Beast from the east: Indian soldiers reckon they've found Yeti footprints 04/30/2019 12:22
NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Mountaineers from the Indian army on a expedition in Nepal have found mysterious large footprints in the snow that they think belong to the Yeti, or the abominable snowman, the military said on Tuesday.
Largely regarded by the scientific community as a myth, the Yeti is part of Nepali folklore and is said to live high in the snow-capped Himalayas.
In a tweet accompanied by pictures, the Indian army said it had sighted footprints measuring 32 by 15 inches (81 by 38 cm) close to a camp near Mount Makalu on April 9.
"For the first time, an #IndianArmy Mountaineering Expedition Team has sited Mysterious Footprints of mythical beast 'Yeti'" it said in a tweet, not explaining how a mythical beast could leave footprints.
Located on the border between Nepal and China, Makalu is among the highest mountains in the world and stands near the Makalu-Barun valley, a remote wilderness that has also been surveyed by researchers hunting for the Yeti.
Daniel C. Taylor, who has extensively explored the Makalu-Barun area and written a book on the mystery of the Yeti, said the footprints were "likely" those of bears.
"If that is the footprint of an animal or a single animal, it's the size of a dinosaur," he told Reuters, adding that repeated measurements of the footprints were required to ascertain their origin.
"One needs to really confirm those measurements of the footprint size because we know for sure that there are no dinosaurs living in the Barun valley."
Tales of a wild hairy beast roaming the Himalayas have captured the imagination of climbers in Nepal since the 1920s, prompting many, including Sir Edmund Hillary, to go looking for the creature.
In 2008, Japanese climbers returning from a mountain in western Nepal told Reuters they had seen footprints, which they thought belonged to the Yeti.
And although they carried long-lens cameras, video cameras and telescopes, they hadn't seen or taken any photographs of the creature.
But scientists have found little evidence of the Yeti's existence so far. In 2017, a group of international researchers studied multiple purported Yeti samples collected from across the Himalayan region and concluded they belonged to bears.
Indian Army Claims of ‘Yeti’ Footprints Causes Social Media Frenzy 30 APRIL, 2019 - 19:01
A tweet from the Indian army has unleashed a storm of controversy on social media. It claimed on the microblogging site that an Indian military expedition found footprints that belong to the fabled Yeti. The response to the claim has been mixed, to say the least, and some have expressed doubts while others have outright mocked the claims.
Social Media Storm
The tweet started a frenzy on social media. According to Aljazeera “Indian social media was abuzz with skeptical and even hilarious reactions from users on the discovery”. The tweet became the number two trending tweet in the vast country, where the microblogging site has up to 30 million monthly users. Some tweeted that they were disappointed with the Indian military for being so gullible and for believing in stories and legends.
One Twitter user, according to the Deccan Times , posted with all “due respect, institutions such as yours should be more responsible and careful before going ahead and declaring the sighting of any footprints as 'Yeti's'!”
One wonders why then, when National Geographic produces documentaries and articles on the subject – even one article titled, “This Man Searched for the Yeti for 60 Years—and Found It”, there wasn’t a similar outburst.
Perhaps because the content there included the results of all DNA testing on physical evidence speculated to be yeti turned out to be dogs or bears.
Some users have expressed disbelief and very few appear to believe that the Indian army has actually found evidence for the yeti. The majority of the responses on social media were mocking. Many have openly ridiculed the claims and have posted funny comments and images on the alleged find, which have proven to be very popular.
The storm on social media was so great that the army issued a statement to the Times of India newspaper. They stated that they handed over the photographs of the prints to scientists. They also claimed that they had made the tweet to “excite scientific temper and rekindle the interest”, reports the BBC.
At the moment, judging by the response, the Indian army is probably regretting the tweet. However, it has no doubt helped to revive interest in the story of the yeti.