On April 9, a mountaineering expedition team of the Indian Army spotted mysterious footprints measuring 32x15 inches near Nepal’s Makalu Base Camp. On Monday, the Army posted photos of these giant footprints on Twitter, claiming they belonged to the Yeti, a mythical beast that has long featured in Nepalese folklore.
The creature is believed to be taller than the average human and to resemble an ape. But scientists have long been sceptical about the existence of the Yeti, which is also called the abominable snowman.
In a study published in 2014 in the Proceedings of the Royal Society of Biological Sciences, genetic scientists said that DNA from hair samples found in the Himalayas “had their closest genetic affinity with a Palaeolithic polar bear, Ursus maritimus. Otherwise the hairs were from a range of known extant mammals.”
As news agency Reuters pointed out, in response to the army’s tweet, it remained unclear how a mythical beast could leave footprints.
The pictures put out by the Indian Army show impressions in the snow made by only a single foot, rather than a pair. This amused Twitter users, flooding the website with jokes and memes.
Bharatiya Janata Party leader Tarun Vijay had a request for the Army. He urged them to “not address Yeti as a beast”.
Predictably, this elicited some responses.