A group of Russian and American scientists, along with others, team up to hunt for any Yetis. The group will start their search in the Kemerova region of Siberia were in the last 20 years sightings of the legend have tripled. They were invited to evaluate evidence of the creatures, the existence of which has never been proven, at a conference later this week.
It’s been called the Abominable Snowman, and described as an ape-like cryptid said to inhabit the Himalayan region of Nepal, India and Tibet. The names are derived by the people indigenous to the area, and are part of their history and mythology. Stories of the creature first emerged as a facet of Western popular culture in the 19th century while on the hunt.
The scientific community generally regards Yetis as a legend, given the lack of conclusive evidence, yet it remains one of the most famous in cryptozoology. It may even be considered a parallel to the Bigfoot or Sasquatch of North America. The team wants to hunt the creature down to prove if it does exist, and if so, the name of the species.
With the uptick in recent discoveries, scientists estimate that there is a current population to be dozens living in the area. Other facts of the existence of the species, such as basic twig huts, twisted branches and footprints of up to 35 centimeters, also has been found nearby.
Misidentification of Himalayan wildlife has been proposed as an explanation for some of the sightings, including the Chu-Teh, a Langur monkey living at lower altitudes, the Tibetan blue bear or the brown bear and red bear. Some have also suggested that it could actually be a human hermit.
Some speculate that these reported creatures could be present-day specimens of the extinct giant Gigantopithecus, as some of the team members suggest, but it’s a possibility they want to explore.
However, while the Yetis are generally described as bipedal, most scientists believe Gigantopithecus to have been quadrupedal, and so massive that, unless it evolved specifically as an ape, like Oreopithecus and the hominids, walking upright would have been even more difficult for the now extinct primate than it is for its extant relative, the orangutan.