Stories of the yeti, an ape-like beast said to stalk the snowy mountains of Asia, have been around for centuries. A yeti conference held in Siberia last weekend now claims they have found “irrefutable evidence” of its existence. By REBECCA DAVIS.
The yeti – or “Abominable Snowman”, to use its alternative designation – has featured in the myths of Himalayan people since pre-Buddhist times. The yeti came to the attention of the west in the nineteenth century, when two accounts of European explorers’ travels in Nepal contained mention of tall, bipedal creatures covered in hair. The first men up Mount Everest, Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay, reported seeing large footprints during their ascent in 1953. Since then there have been a number of attempts to secure proof of its existence, but none have turned up anything much. Last week a dozen scientists and yeti fans set out to change that, descending on Siberia for a conference in the town of Tashtagol in the Kemerevo region of Siberia. The area was chosen because locals have reported an increase in the number of yeti sightings in recent years.
Last weekend the conference participants went out on a two-day tracking expedition, and claim to have collected “irrefutable evidence” that yetis do indeed exist. This “evidence” appears to consist of some hairs, footprints and a place where a yeti may have bedded down for the night. The Kemerevo government said that this cache of proof amounted to “95% evidence” of yetis roaming around on Kemerevo land.
The Guardian points out, however, that the Kemerevo government is on a mission to establish itself as the world’s yeti capital – presumably in the hope of boosting tourism. As one commentator on the Guardian website wrote: “’Irrefutable evidence’ would be a Yeti. The rest is refutable.” DM
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