What does a yeti look like? Who has seen one? Is it still around, in this day and age, to spook us in the dark edges of the deep forests?

But yeti continues to live on in the collective belief of the mountain people.

In the olden days when there weren’t modern motor roads, people had to cross high mountains and deep ravines. While doing so, they did not have to cross path with the dreaded mythical creature. The belief was, and is, that if one saw a yeti that would be the end of one’s life.

Because no one has seen a yeti or no one who saw one has lived to tell the tale, the belief is that one must run uphill if one came across a male yeti. That is because yeti’s long and profuse hair would impede his run. If met with a female yeti, running downhill would have her engaged with her huge and sagging breasts.

Daniel C Taylor who recently wrote a book about yeti titled Yeti, The Ecology of a Mystery, said that he had been working on the puzzle for over 60 years now. “The yeti mystery has been inappropriately simplified over local culture understandings. Local cultural understandings are in fact the real answer to the yeti mystery and each people of the Himalaya have a more nuanced approach.”

He first saw a picture of the yeti footprint on the front page of a newspaper at Mussoorie, India. “I began at age 11 to search the Indian Himalaya for a yeti and I got tired. Here I am searching on the cooler valley and I collapsed on the slope. But I kept searching.”

He said that the yeti could be very confusing with the science of the myth. “The idea of the backward motion feet of the yeti has all sorts of important symbols. But if you put that into physiology, you’re going to go crazy.”

According to Tshering Tashi, a Bhutanese author, there were four expeditions launched to find a yeti – in 1987, 1991, 2001, and in 2007.

Speaking about the unsuccessful expeditions in the country, Tshering Tashi said that in the most recent one, a footprint believed to be that of a yeti’s pointed to be that of a kind of a sheep.

A documentary of the expedition is expected to be released on October 19 this year in the UK.

Yeti has different names in different countries such as Yowie, abominable snowman and Bigfoot, among others.

“In Bhutan, it is known as Migoe which means strong man. In remote east, it is known as dredpo for the male and dredmo for female,” Tshering Tashi said.

Highlighting the importance of protecting nature, Daniel C Taylor said that everyone is a part of one ecosystem and wild heritage. “The real yeti is the wild human that we have to nurture ourselves. Human is the manifestation of the yeti becoming alive, which can be personalised to the each of us. It is each of us’ responsibility to take care of the wild as we have all from the wild.”

In the mystery of Himalaya, he said there were answers and these answers were bigger than science.

Tshering Tashi said that the country has about 750 square kms of park dedicated to yeti. “If we didn’t believe in the yeti, we would not have dedicated such rare land as yeti’s park.”

Daniel C Taylor  said that he had much of his life believing in the yeti and would continue to do so.

Rinchen Zangmo