Indian army’s claim to have found footprints of yeti prompts ridicule

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article titled “Indian army’s claim to have found footprints of yeti prompts ridicule” was written by Amy Walker, for The Guardian on Tuesday 30th April 2019 18.11 Asia/Kolkata

The Indian army has claimed to have found the footprints of a yeti, prompting ridicule on social media.

On Monday, the army tweeted to nearly 6 million followers that it had found “mysterious footprints of [the] mythical beast”. The post added that the prints, measuring 81 x 38 cm (32 x 15 inches), were discovered close to Makalu base camp in the Himalayas.

In Nepalese folklore, 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 legend.

The army claimed “this elusive snowman” had “only been sighted at Makalu-Barun National Park in the past”, and posted pictures of the footprints on its Twitter account.

Though the supposed discovery was made on 9 April, according to the Times of India, the army said it held on to the “photographic evidence” about the yeti before they decided it matched earlier theories. They added that the “evidence” had been “photographed and handed over to subject matter experts” for scientific evaluation.

Pictures of a ‘yeti footprints'
Pictures claiming to show yeti footprints have triggered a barrage of mockery online. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

Among the Twitter users who reacted with jokes and bewilderment at the army’s announcement was author Siddharth Singh. He posted pictures of people walking, alongside the caption: “Can there possibly be a simpler explanation?”

Another questioned whether the markings were left by one of the giants featured on Game of Thrones. Other users were less amused by the post, including one who deemed it “ridiculous”.

Previous scientific studies have concluded the origins of yeti stories, which have been told for centuries, are based on real animals.

The results of a DNA analysis of supposed yeti samples – including hair, fur and faeces – published in 2017, showed the samples were from Himalayan and Tibetan subspecies of brown bear and an Asian black bear.

In 2011, a “yeti finger” found in Nepal in the 1950s was revealed by a genetic expert to have been human bone.

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Indian army's claim to have found footprints of yeti prompts ridicule | NORTH INDIA KALEIDOSCOPE

Rajesh Ahuja

I am a veteran journalist based in Chandigarh India.I joined the profession in June 1982 and worked as a Staff Reporter with the National Herald at Delhi till June 1986. I joined The Hindu at Delhi in 1986 as a Staff Reporter and was promoted as Special Correspondent in 1993 and transferred to Chandigarh. I left The Hindu in September 2012 and launched my own newspaper ventures including this news portal and a weekly newspaper NORTH INDIA KALEIDOSCOPE (currently temporarily suspended).