Lonely Planet Writer

Hoping to see a yeti while travelling? Scientists seek definitive proof using DNA evidence

It is a mystery that has kept tourists and locals guessing for centuries – does Big Foot or the yeti or Abominable Snowman or whatever names you know it really exist?

The phenomenon of the yeti has been around for generations but now scientists are seeking to prove if it really exists Image by Jessica Fiess-Hill / CC BY-SA 2.0
The phenomenon of the yeti has been around for generations but now scientists are seeking to prove if it really exists Image by Jessica Fiess-Hill / CC BY-SA 2.0 Image by Jessica Fiess-Hill / CC BY 2.0

And if so, is it man, a beast or just a myth? After so many false trails, a team of geneticists are to scientifically probe the creature by DNA analysis and other modern techniques. Tales of the monster in the Himalayas have been part and parcel of folklore for several generations. However, the Daily Telegraph reports that there has never been any real proof of the existence of the yeti.

Tibetans call the yeti either ‘miché which means man-bear or ‘mirka,’ which loosely means wild man. Around the world, the yeti has many names – from Big Foot in North America to Fear Liath in Scotland to Yowie in Australia. Some believe the yeti is a type of Langur monkey that lives at lower altitudes, others suggest he may be a Tibetan blue bear or perhaps a Himalayan brown bear. The creature’s habitat is around the icy peaks of the Himalayas although sightings have been claimed as far away as Mongolia. A few months ago, a similar monster to the yeti was spotted in the ski resort of Formigal in the north of Spain.

People from Nepal describe the yeti is nocturnal, with a penchant for whistling and growling with an ability to kill with a single punch. Folklore suggests that anyone witnessing a yeti will end up either being killed or dying soon after the event. Separate from stories of sightings are numerous occasions in which mysterious footprints have been found on the icy trails of the Himalayas.