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Humans have been creating and believing in mythological creatures for centuries. One of these is the most popular snowman ever, and we're not talking about Frosty. The abominable snowman, or Yeti, is so popular a legend that it occasionally makes its way into our Christmas stories.
In the Rankin/Bass television special, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, the abominable snow monster lives at the North Pole and manages to trap Rudolph and friends in his cave. By the end of the story, Rudolph is guiding Santa's sleigh and old Abominable is tamed and putting the star on the top of the North Pole Christmas tree.
The real legend of the cryptid ape has it living in the Himalayas in the area of Nepal and Tibet. Much like the North American legend of Big Foot, the creature appears to be a taller than normal hominid and is deeply ingrained in the history and mythology of the region.
Certain people in the area pre-Buddhism believed in a Glacier Being that they revered as the god of the hunt. Followers of the Bön religion also believed in a wild man that they depicted as an apelike creature that carried a large stone weapon and made strange whistle-swoosh sound.
Over the past 200 years both locals and Westerners have observed evidence of the Yeti, from footprints in the snow to strange cries in the wilderness and from unidentified feces to a mysterious scalp that turned out to be a hoax. Even Sir Edmund Hillary was reported to have found mysterious footprints in the snow while he was conquering Mount Everest.
In the 21st Century, the myth endures and scientists are still searching for a conclusive answer on the existence of a real Yeti. While tantalizing evidence keeps turning up, we still haven't found it Yeti.
Laurie Kay Olson
Animal News Blogger