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What Is the Abominable Snowman?

Diana Bocco
Updated Jan 30, 2024
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The abominable snowman is a creature known around the world by many names. The traditional name for the abominable snowman is metoh-kangmi, which means "man-bear of the snow." The term has been used by centuries by the Sherpa people in the Himalayans, but it wasn't until 1921, when Lieutenant-Colonel Charles Howard-Bury came across strange footprints during an expedition of the Everest, that the name became known to Westerners. The creature is also known as yeti in Nepal and Tibet, and as Bigfoot or Sasquatch in the US and Canada respectively, although experts argue that the creature seen in the North American continent is not the same species as the one inhabiting the Himalayans.

The abominable snowman is said to be about eight feet tall, with extremely large feet, and a face that reminds that of a gorilla. He is also said to have a particularly strong smell, which people have used to identify his presence nearby. Theories indicate the creature may be our distant cousin, or at least an unknown member of the ape family.

Sightings of the abominable snowman have been recorded since ancient times. Although Lieutenant-Colonel Charles Howard-Bury remains the first westerner to hear about the creature, early accounts of a mysterious ape-like creature are numerous. In 1832, a sighting of such creature was the center issue of the Journal of the Asiatic society of Bengal. While explorer B. H. Hodgson himself did not witness anything, his local guides provided a detailed account of a sighting during their Himalayan climbing trip together. During the 1950s, several expeditions went to Nepal to look for the abominable snowman, with mixed results. While conclusive physical evidence of the existence of the creature has yet to be found, large human-like footprints were identified and sightings tripled during the 20th century.

The abominable snowman is one of the most popular species under study by Cryptozoology, a branch of science that studies animals which existence remains to be proven. While skeptics point to several famous hoaxes as proof the creature does not exist, crytozoologists argue that just because some people took it upon themselves to exploit the story does not mean all accounts should be dismissed.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Diana Bocco
By Diana Bocco
Diana Bocco, a versatile writer with a distinct voice, creates compelling long-form and short-form content for various businesses. With a data-focused approach and a talent for sharing engaging stories, Diana’s written work gets noticed and drives results.

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Diana Bocco
Diana Bocco
Diana Bocco, a versatile writer with a distinct voice, creates compelling long-form and short-form content for various...
Learn more
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