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Yeti once again!

Yeti once again!

Ginormous footprints of mythical snowman Yeti, taken by the Indian Army Mountaineering Expedition to Mount Makalu, have stormed the internet and are only the latest in a nearly 70-year album of photographic evidence of the beast. However, there is no scientific evidence to establish the existence of such a large creature which is more commonly found in the Himalayan folklore, making frequent appearances in popular culture and narratives. There is a lot of myth regarding the Yeti but the local cultural understanding is perhaps the real answer. In Nepalese folklore particularly, the Yeti or abominable snowman is a tall ape-like creature said to live in the Himalayas, Siberia, central and eastern Asia. Given the lack of evidence for existence, scientists have regarded it as a legend. The Himalayas, being the highest mountains in the world, command mankind's greatest love and stewardship on the planet. Meaning the 'abode of snow' in Sanskrit, which is the abode of Lord Shiva, the Himalayas are the only place from where Ganga evolves and nourishes life. It is thus, important to understand the ecosystem and the wild heritage that we thrive in and that it is this wild heritage that the Yeti lives in too. In perspective, it is imperative to protect these habitats and such precious species so that they can be born again in this world where man has already made too big an imprint. For over a century, mountaineers, adventurers and scientists from the West have brought back tales of the Yeti from their expeditions in the Himalayas. Most recently, footprints that are 32 inches long and 15 inches wide are what the Indian Army team claims to have found during the expedition. The Himalayas is perhaps the location with the highest number of alleged Yeti sightings probably because the mountain range is so vast. One of the most popular "discoveries" of the Yeti is a photograph taken in 1951. British explorer Eric Shipton was searching for a route up the mountain with his team members when they came across a set of "tracks" at approximately 20,000 feet and documented the find, which, has been subjected to much scrutiny over the years. Amidst all this, myths around Yeti have deepened and so have the researches. However irrelevant it may be to think of myths as "true" in a scientific or historical context, it is also important to understand that these supernatural fantasy stories give identity to a particular race, religion, country and sometimes a period, realising the ideals they advocate.

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