Before I started this foray into monsters I had no idea that anyone had codified the study of those real/mythological creatures that lurk on the outskirts of human societies. The Yeti (AKA The Abominable Snowman), Sasquatch (AKA Bigfoot), Chupacabras (goat suckers), Ogopogo (AKA Naitaka) and a curious assortment of ‘living examples of extinct creatures’ and animals described by less than completely credible scientific sources, inhabit the strange corner of the universe occupied by cryptozoologists.
The Yeti is particularly fascinating. He — he’s nearly always described as male — is an ape-like cryptid of the Himalayas. People claim to have seen him, but hard evidence is very hard to come by. The locals have all sorts of myths about hairy, wild men and half beast/half human creatures. By the 1800s, he became a subject for popular fiction in the West.
There are a lot of reports of encounters with a Yeti. I’m considering pursuing a few of them. The 1938 story told by a Captain d’Auvergne is a hoot. He claimed to have been injured and carried by a 9-foot tall Yeti/pre-historic human to a cave where the creature nursed him back to health. Eleven years later, the Sherpa Tenzig — the man who was either the first of the second man to climb Everest — claimed to have seen a Yeti. His half man/half beast was 5’6”, with a pointed head and reddish hair. The Yeti was playing in the snow near a monastery in Thyangboche.
Big and tall, short and furry… there are countless Yeti stories and frequent expeditions are mounted to find them. I enjoy the tales of sightings, but I am NOT planning my next vacation around Yeti tracks in the snow.