A furry, bipedal, humanoid creature native to the Nepalese and Tibetan Himalayas. Its existence is unconfirmed, but has featured in local folklore for centuries.
The Yeti, also known as the Abominable Snowman, was likely named from the Tibetan གཡའ་དྲེད་, which translates to “Mountain Bear.” Locally, it is also known as metoh-kangmi. "Metoh" translates as "man-bear" and "Kang-mi" translates as “snowman."
Thought to be tall, accounts vary from six feet to as tall as eleven feet. Yeti are usually described as having dark fur, usually red of grey and it is said to smell terrible. Yeti are also described as making an ululating or whistling sound, or sometimes roaring like a lion.
According to H. Siiger, the Yeti was a part of the pre-Buddhist beliefs of several Himalayan people. He was told that the Lepcha people worshipped a "Glacier Being" as a God of the Hunt. He also reported that followers of the Bön religion once believed the blood of the "mi rgod" or "wild man" had use in certain mystical ceremonies. The being was depicted as an apelike creature who carries a large stone as a weapon and makes a whistling swoosh sound.
Western interest in the Yeti peaked dramatically in the 1950s, following Sir Edmund Hillary’s summating of Everest. In 1953, Hillary and his sherpa guide, Tenzing Norgay, reported seeing large footprints while scaling Mount Everest.
The frequency of reports increased during the early 20th century, when Westerners began making determined attempts to scale the many mountains in the area and occasionally reported seeing odd creatures or strange tracks.
In 1960, Hillary mounted an expedition to collect and analyze physical evidence of the Yeti. He sent a supposed Yeti "scalp" from the Khumjung monastery to the West for testing, whose results indicated the scalp was manufactured from the skin of a serow, a goat-like Himalayan antelope.
A 2013 mitochondrial DNA analysis of samples of hair from an unidentified animal from Ladakh in northern India on the west of the Himalayas, and one from Bhutan. These samples were compared with those in GenBank, the international repository of gene sequences, and matched a sample from an ancient polar bear jawbone found in Svalbard, Norway, that dates back to between 40,000 and 120,000 years ago.
Existence still unconfirmed, but the government of Nepal officially declared the Yeti to exist in 1961. It became their national symbol, and has been featured on stamps.
"Yeti." Yeti. N.p., 3 Mar. 1997. Web. 8 June 2014. http://www.pantheon.org/articles/y/yeti.html
"Yeti." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 6 Aug. 2014. Web. 8 June 2014. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yeti