Thursday, July 11, 2013

31 Days of Monsters: Yeti

We know for a fact that the continents used to be a lot closer together and animals could easily travel from one place to another. As the land masses spread apart, species get separated into different areas and eventually adapt specifically to that area. This creates species which are more or less the same, with small, fundamental differences that allows them to be identified from each other. This is one of the base ideas in the theory of evolution.

Name: Yeti, Abominable Snowman

Size: 6 - 8 feet tall.

Appearance: Human-like, walking upright and covered in hair which is usually described as either a dark brown or white.

Threat: Low-Medium.

If any of you are planning a trip to try and scale Mount Everest (a bucket list item if I ever saw one), that is where most sightings of this creature tend to be, typically at the higher altitudes between 10 - 20,000 feet. Sightings have been made throughout much of the Himalayan mountains where humans live and stories and tales are told from ancient times.

One of the interesting things about the Yeti, Sasquatch, and all the like cryptids from around the world, is how similar they all are in appearance. You would expect different cultures in different parts of the world to see different things, for instance horns, spines, maybe quills. Instead, all of the bigfoot types are remarkably similar to each other, with small differences like the Yeti's white coloration, which would allow it to hide much better as an ambush predator on the snow-covered slopes on which it reportedly lives. Compare this to the dark brown or black of Sasquatch which lives in the dark woods of the Pacific Northwest and the light brown/orange of the Orang-Pendek in the tropical jungles of the Philippines. Such similarities should only help to give credence to their existence, as they demonstrate evolution despite it being a concept foreign to such isolated tribes as many tales of these creatures come from.

Sightings of the Yeti have been made by such notable expeditions as those sent by the Royal Geographical Society in 1925. Sir Edmund Hillary even reported the discovery of large, human-like footprints during his historical ascent of Everest in 1953. I would rather think he would be one to take seriously, as I doubt he would want to suggest he was actually beaten to the mountaintop by someone walking barefoot, no less.

Oddly enough, the Yeti has actually had more screen time than its cousin the Sasquatch, with multiple movies to its name, though books featuring his visage seem to be scarce. His visage was the basis for the Wampa from Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, and who can forget the Bumble from the classic stop-motion version of Rudolph. Most recently, they made a cameo in The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor. On top of that, lists seven different movies with Yeti in the title, including this interesting title.

So if you find yourself lost in the Himalayas this summer and stumble upon a huge man-beast covered in fur. Offer him a hug, that may be all he's looking for.

~ Shaun

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