The Yeti, also commonly known as the Abominable Snowman, is a humanoid cryptid from the Himalayan areas of Nepal and Tibet. The name “Abominable Snowman” came into use in 1921 when Charles Howard-Bury led an expedition to Mount Everest and in his book, Mount Everest The Reconnaissance, 1921, referred to tracks made by an unknown creature the locals called ‘metoh-kangmi’ which he translated as “Abominable Snowman” However, despite Howard-Bury coining what would become the popularized name for the beast, the stories behind the history of the Yeti are much older.
One of the earliest documented sightings of a Yeti came from an account published in the Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal in 1832 by BH Hodgson. Hodgson was travelling with some local guides in northern Nepal when they saw a tall, bipedal creature which ran from them. It was covered in long dark hair and Hodgson mistakenly assumed it was an orangutan, not knowing orangutans are only found in Malaysia and Indonesia.
Reports increased in the 20th century as more Westerners ventured into the area to climb the mountains of the Himalayan range. In 1925, NA Tombazi, a member of the Royal Geographical society, saw a creature at 15,000 feet near the Zemu Glacier. He said it walked like a human and was foraging from some bushes. It was dark against the backdrop of the snow and wore no clothing. A while later, they found some tracks that were similar to those of a man but only 6-7 inches in length and 4 inches in width.
The sightings reached a peak in the late 1940’s and early1950s as the efforts to scale Mount Everest grew. In what has became perhaps one of the most famous pieces of evidence, in 1951, Eric Shipton took photographs of suspected Yeti foot prints in the snow at 20,000 feet.
Even the famous Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay reported seeing footprints during their climb up the mountain. Hillary later distanced himself from the original reports but Tenzing maintained he thought the Yeti was a large ape which he had not witnessed himself but that his father had.
Tom Slick, a wealthy American, funded investigations in the late 1950s which turned up some supposed Yeti droppings. Analysis of the droppings led to the discovered a previously unknown parasite, fostering a theory that if the parasite was an unknown species, then so too was the host.
More recently, in 2007, a TV presenter, Joshua Gates, and his team cast footprints possibly belonging to a Yeti as well as collecting some hair samples. These samples were analyzed forensically and confirmed to contain and unknown DNA sequence.
Not isolated to the Himalayas, recent sightings of possible Yeti-like creatures across the world has led to renewed speculation about the possible connection between the Yeti and another well-known humanoid cryptid; Bigfoot. Perhaps Bigfoot and other similar man-like creatures are closely connected to the Yeti, sharing a common ancestry dating back to the times when the Bering Land Bridge was still usable.