World of Warcraft’s Yeti

Posted by: Loren Coleman on January 2nd, 2008


Yetis are truly everywhere, including within the popular online game of World of Warcraft. Reportedly WOW, as it is called by those in the know, is played by nine million individuals around the globe, often late into the night.


If you are one of those 9,000,000 players and have gone to level 70, you’ve seen the Yetis. But why do they look the way they do in WOW?

In terms of the creative copycat phenomena, the horned nature of WOW’s Yetis seems to have more in common with the snow creature from the Star Wars movie rather than cryptozoology’s Yetis or Abominable Snowmen. Horns are not reported as part of what are seen on the heads of Himalayan Yetis, period.

harry's yeti

The typical Yeti is shown above, as drawn by Harry Trumbore for The Field Guide to Bigfoot and Other Mystery Primates Worldwide (NY: Anomalist Books, 2006).

The Wampa looks, instead, like this:


Horns are to be found on the Star Wars’ Wampa from The Empire Strikes Back. Wampas are the planet Hoth’s alpha predators, and certainly their legacy seems to continue on through the Yetis running around the World of Warcraft.


I don’t think there are any collectible WOW Yetis yet (but I could be uninformed about this). On the other hand, Wampa figurines do exist, in a couple different sizes, for I’ve got a few here looking at me.


Loren Coleman About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.

16 Responses to “World of Warcraft’s Yeti”

  1. SuperSpyVelociraptor responds:

    As one who has played Warcraft 3 and World of Warcraft. Both which have the yeti and sasquatch as monsters and each just being a recolor of eachother. All that I can say is. I have no clue why they look the way they do. The wampa look alike is likely. Pop culture and WoW is like… for lack of anything better “combustion engines and oil”?

  2. Dan responds:

    Man, I’ve had to kill like a hundred of those. When you first have to fight them, they live in the cave the foothills of a mountain range. It’s actually a pretty green area with farmers in light clothing, so the transition from that area to a snowy summit is almost non-existent. There’s some mean high-level ones up in the mountain areas though.

  3. SuperSpyVelociraptor responds:

    To add, I think they were once originally called wendigos and sasquatch in Warcraft 3. Been a while since I played that. Anyways. Which, a look onto Wikipedia for wendigo shows it as a cannibalistic spirit or modern depictions, as a horrific entity. Within Warcraft, cannibalizing is often refered to as a humanoid eating another humanoid. Yeti are humanoids in WoW. They probably changed the main monster title to yeti so it is more recognizable than wendigo. But some yeti are still named wendigo as their subspecies/type.

    Why they still have horns, pop referances via star wars or just an artist’s own touch on the creature.

    And I got a better analogy, “like peanut butter and jelly”.

  4. bill green responds:

    very interesting new article about the world of warcraft yeti. i realy like the above photos great artwork done on them. thanks bill green 🙂

  5. Greg102 responds:

    I personally play world of warcraft and when i spotted them, cryptomundo is the first thing i though of. Ironically they are quite easy to find in WOW. Too bad in the real world, Yetis aren’t that easy to spot!

  6. gridbug responds:

    Coming soon to a MMORPG near you: “Leeroy Jenkins, Yeti Hunter.” Yes, it’s geek humor. And I make no apologies. 🙂

  7. Hawkeye responds:

    This is just another reason why I have to start playing WoW

  8. doctoratlantis responds:

    I don’t think this grainy photo of a “Yeti” proves that they exist inside World-of-Warcraft. Where’s the body? Until I am wearing Yeti-pelt armor, I just can’t believe. 😉

  9. Cryptonut responds:

    Perhaps the WOW Yeti designer is from Texas, and included his own “Hook ‘Em Horns” touch to the design. 🙂

  10. Nachzehrer responds:

    The WOW Yeti looks like California’s Billiwhack Monster, a bad-tempered creature with ram’s horns. It haunts a dairy in Ventura County.

  11. Dan responds:

    Oh man, this completely skipped my mind when I first posted. There’s also a creature called “Nessy” in the game.

  12. Emonix responds:

    As a WoW player myself, I can tell you the black yeti on the first picture is indeed a cryptid. It’s a rare spawn!

    Gridbug – Leeroy Jenkin is not a yeti hunter, he’s a dragonkin hunter … which actually killed him. LOL

  13. enjoyment responds:

    Doctor Atlantis u missed ur chance, i had me a sweet yeti cape, but sold it on the AH for a couple silver hehe.

  14. Rappy responds:

    I don’t play WoW, but I can say that it somewhat resembles a few of the more modern interpretations of Minotaurs where you have an almost Sasquatchoid creature with horns and hooves.

  15. Ftero responds:

    Actually Rappy, they have a Minotaur race that you can actually play, they’re called Taurens. I’m not really sure why they call the creature above Yeti. There are still Wendigo in WOW, I think you’d first see them at lower levels and then the higher level you get you’d start to see Yeti. The WOW developers have said that they have added in little quirks like that all over the game, and they have. There are references to other games, movies, TV shows, so it’s not surprising that they’ve added something as popular as a Yeti to the game.

  16. thylo responds:

    yeah Blizzard (the company that makes and hosts WoW) takes all kinds of liberties with the design of its game fauna. the crocs have six legs! (they call them crocolisks though).

    but at least they gave these yetis nails instead of claws, and incisors instead of a host of fangs.
    but of course, it’s just entertainment and not a serious attempt at a zoo. 🙂

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