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7 Things You May Not Know About the Abominable Snowman

January 29, 2015

He’s big. He’s hairy. He’s possibly more synonymous with winter than any other mythical creature. Here is some interesting trivia about the big fella.

  • Abominable Snowman FactsWhile almost certainly a myth, the Abominable Snowman and his no doubt equally abominable colleagues are said to reside in the Himalayas. In 2014, two mysterious hair samples were discovered in a remote region of the mountain range. Scientists at Oxford University have determined that they’re a genetic match for a creature similar to the modern polar bear that was thought to have gone extinct thousands of years ago. Bryan Sykes, one of the geneticists that examined the samples, has theorized that at least a few of those bears could still be roaming around up there and that their ancestors may have inspired all of those Yeti legends.
  • The creature is best known as the “Abominable Snowman” in the U.S. and Europe but those who live closer to his native habitat prefer to call him “Yeti.” Another regional nickname: Meh-Teh.
  • Many people in the West first heard about the legends when famed mountaineer Eric Shipton returned from an expedition on the slopes of Mount Everest. He brought back photographs of enormous footprints that were placed alongside an ice axe in order to convey their enormity.
  • Various Himalayan wildlife and people that have been mistaken for the Abominable Snowman: monkeys, several species of bears, and even an especially hairy mountain hermit or two.
  • Yoshiteru Takahashi, the head of a group called Yeti Project Japan, has led two expeditions into the Himalayas. He claims that his team spotted a Yeti on Dhaulagiri IV, one the range’s many peaks, in 2003. Takahashi and his team returned in 2008 and spent another 42 days looking for the beasts. Despite taking along nine motion-activated cameras, they failed to get a photo of one. However, they did return with photos of a strange footprint.
  • Fictional versions of the Yetis have popped up in tons of movies, comic books and TV shows over the years. Bumbles the Abominable Snowman helped out Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer in his iconic 1964 holiday special. More recently, a Yeti named Skips has appeared on Cartoon Network’s Regular Show, voiced by Mark Hamill.
  • Animatronic Yetis appear in two attractions located in Disney’s North American theme parks. You can find one roaring at guests racing down the slopes of Disneyland’s Matterhorn Bobsleds in California. A much bigger Yeti inhabits Expedition Everest, a roller coaster that debuted at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Florida in 2006.
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