Did an Indian Army expedition team indeed spot the mythical creature’s imprints?
The Indian Army posted a strange update on its Twitter handle recently where it claimed that an Army mountaineering team in Nepal, which was scaling Mount Makalu south-east of Everest, found some large footprints. These impressions, measuring 32 inches by 15 inches, were clearly too large for a human. So the Army concluded that the footsteps were possibly those of the mythical creature called the Yeti. So called by local Gurkhas and the “Abominable Snowman” by Europeans, the rare entity has an interesting legend. Rumours of its existence have swirled around the Himalayas for centuries, a giant humanoid creature, which has attacked mountaineering expeditions and local villages alike.
Humanity has long been fascinated by gigantism. The legend of the Yeti is similar to those related to Bigfoot in the vast forests of North America from where several supposed sightings and “footsteps” have been reported. The Yeti’s footprints, similar to those seen by the Indian Army team, have been seen in the past too, headed in a clear direction. Even if we go beyond just land creatures, humans have been captivated by stories of untameable monsters, the Loch Ness being the most legendary alongside the Chinese Dragon, since time immemorial. Every native culture has legends and myths of such creatures, many even built into their ancient texts. The legend of the Yeti, as we know it today, was built up in a large part by Belgian comic creator Herge, whose character, the eternally young journalist TinTin, interacted with the Yeti in the legendary TinTin in Tibet graphic novel. That was the character’s only visit to India. Delhi, in particular, occurred in that same book.
And while seeing is believing, we all know that footprints will not stand up to scientific scrutiny. In an ideal situation, the mountaineering team should have had a naturalist among them. Even if someone is dispatched today, the melting snow would have wiped out any trace of these footprints. At the same time, a bit of prudence by the Indian Army’s public information department would have served it well. It would be unscientific to throw out the possibility that the Indian Army team did find something strange, may not be the Yeti but some other natural curiosity, without some cross-checks. After all we continue to discover new species all the time. A more thought-out investigation away from the public glare would have made more sense instead of putting information out on a medium where many people are professionally outraged all the time. Even in these times where people and institutions constantly ‘over share’ thoughts, a bit of silence can do wonders.
Courtesy: The Pioneer