The people of Nepal call it "rakshasa" which is Sanskrit for "demon". According to them, stories of its existence date back to the 4th century BC. Yeti means "magical creature".

According to legends, there are three species: the Rimi, the Nyalmot and the Raksi-Bombo. In spite of differences in size, the species have a general resemblance. The Yeti has reddish hair, smells terrible and it is very strong. It makes an ululating, whistling sound, and is sometimes heard roaring like a lion.

I caught a story on the Discovery Channel one evening involving an Englishman on approach to one of their camps. There was a "squaking warbling" sound that came from behind the men on the trail. The sherpa all got down to their knees and said, deadpan, to their shocked white leader:

"Yeti coming, sahib."

Y:
As I was sitting down to eat, I
Cried, "I thought I heard a yeeti."
Something growled, in accents fretty,
"Ho! Take that! You mean a yeti!"

--The Roguelet's ABC

The Yeti, most commonly known in the western world as the Abominable Snowman, is an apelike creature that walks on two feet, with dark shaggy hair covering its whole body except for its face. It is said to live in the Himalayan mountain range in India, Nepal, and Tibet. The first records of the creature's existence was reported in 1889 by British Army Major L.A. Waddell when he found abnormally large footprints in the snow, although legends had existed in the area for at least fifty years prior to this. A little over thirty years later, Lieutenant Colonel Charles Kenneth Howard-Bury, the leader of a British expedition team climbing Mt. Everest, noticed a man-like creature walking along the mountain at and altitude of around 17,000 feet. By the time a few members of the team reached the spot, the creature was gone. However, several large, bare footprints were found. The native guides explained that they were made by the meroh-kangmi. The explorers mistranslated this as “abominable snowman”, although a more literal translation is “wild man of the snow.” The sherpas called it Yeti.

In 1925, a Greek photographer by the name of N. A. Tombazi claimed to have been within three hundred feet of the Yeti. Thirteen years later, Captain d'Auvergue of Calcutta, India alleged that he had run out of supplies and was freezing to death on the mountain when a hairy, ape-like creature picked him up and carried him out of the cold to safety. During this time period, the number of Yeti sightings increased dramatically, as did the number of people searching for the ephemeral creature. Eric Shipton, in 1951, took the famous first photographs of a Yeti footprint in the snow.

According to legend, the Abominable Snowman does not actually live in the snow. It supposedly lives at the treeline, right below where the snow remains on the mountain all year long. Sherpa parents warn their children that if they are being chased by a Yeti they should run downhill, because the Yeti’s hair will fall over its face and cover its eyes. Belief in the creature is so stalwart that the country of Bhutan, a nation in the Himalayas, declared the Yeti their national animal.

Names of similar creatures throughout Asia

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