Sometimes called the “Abominable Snowman,” Yeti (described as large, but shy, ape-like creatures which make loud, yelping calls) have been sighted (or, presumably sighted) in the Himalaya for at least 150 years. What is some of the evidence that such creatures exist?
Returning to find the Yeti in 1960, Hillary was disappointed with the results of his mission. He wrote:
I am inclined to think that the realm of mythology is where the Yeti rightly belongs.
His colleague, however, had a different view. In 1979, writing for the official publication of the Royal Geographical Society, John Hunt confirmed his belief that an unknown primate lived in the Himalaya:
My own evidence in support of this unknown primate consists of personal observations of tracks, and hearing a yelp-like call attributed to the yeti by the Sherpa but also similar to the calls made by certain large apes.
To my mind, the evidence points to the existence in Tibet and during the winter months, in the high valleys of the Nepalese and Indian Himalaya of an ape-like primate ... (Geographical, 1979)
Sherpa legends accept as fact that such a creature - whom they call Yeti - exists. Khunjo Chumbi, a Nepalese village elder, once reproached Professor J. Millot (of the Museum of Man in Paris) when he expressed his doubts, noting:
In Nepal we have neither giraffes nor kangaroos so we know nothing about them. In France, there are no yetis, so I sympathize with your ignorance.
Norman G. Dyhrenfurth, leader of 1963's American Mount Everest Expedition, observed:
The Yeti is one of the last mysteries on this earth which remains to be solved . . . Some day somebody is going to bring in the proof. Some day this particular mystery will be cleared up.
Although its presence is embraced by popular culture, the Yeti’s existence remains an open question. The same, however, is no longer true of the First Emperor’s terra cotta soldiers. Created to protect him in the afterlife, their existence was confirmed after a surprising find in 1974.