Scientific American Bloggers and Podcast Hosts Speculate on the Yeti

Posted by: Guy Edwards on August 6th, 2013

Bigfoot Lunch Club

Himalayan Yeti in summer pelt, surrounded by flowering rhododendron.
Image by John Conway, from the forthcoming Cryptozoologicon.

All Yesterdays: Unique and Speculative Views of Dinosaurs and Other Prehistoric Animals was a successful book written created by palaeozoologist Darren Naish, and palaeontological artists John Conway and C.M. Kosemen. Mr. Naish and Mr. Conway host Scientific American’sTetrapod Zoology Podcast.

They will soon release a book in the same flavor as All Yesterdays, but with a cryptozoological theme titled Cryptozoologicon. Earlier today (08.04.2013), Scientific American’s Tetrapod Zoology Blog posted a preview of Yeti section of Cryptozoologican.


It starts out great distinguishing that the white-furred-blue-skin yeti is more of a Hollywood conception:

The Yeti is easily one of the most famous of mystery creatures. The Yeti of the cryptozoological literature is not the shaggy-furred, white snowbeast of Hollywood movies and popular artwork. Instead, it’s a blackish, dark brown, or red-brown animal of the sub-temperate and temperate forests and mountainsides of the Himalayan Mountains and Tibetan Plateau, predominantly bipedal and 3 m or so in height (though, to be fair, white Yetis have supposedly been reported from Tibet). Eyewitness and mythological accounts believed to describe the Yeti come from such countries as Russia, China, Nepal, Tibet and India. Across this large area, a variety of different local names are believed by cryptozoologists to describe the same creature (Shackley 1983). However, there is much variation in the size, form and behaviour of the hairy ape-men described across this area by witnesses and known from lore, so one interpretation favoured by some cryptozoologists is that there are actually two kinds of yeti, or that we’re actually seeing references to a huge cast of unknown hominids that range from shaggy, orangutan-like species to surviving Dryopithecus-like species, australopithecines, Neanderthals, members of Homo erectus and others (Heuvelmans 1986, Coleman & Huyghe 1999).

Although they ultimately conclude the Yeti as, “an amalgamation of fleeting glimpses of known animals (including bears, takin and serows) with both the universal wildman archetype and with local Asian lore about humanesque, mountain-dwelling demons,” this does not stop the palaeo-power team to serious speculate on (from their perspective), “What if the Yeti were real?”

Read the rest of speculative Yeti segment at Bigfoot Lunch Club.

Guy Edwards About Guy Edwards
Psychology reduces to biology, all biology to chemistry, chemistry to physics, and finally physics to mathematical logic. Guy Edwards is host of the Portland, OR event

2 Responses to “Scientific American Bloggers and Podcast Hosts Speculate on the Yeti”

  1. Goodfoot responds:

    Pretty cool picture. And pretty cool for SciAm, I must say. That sure looks like the south face of Everest, and I bet it is. As Ivan Sanderson taught, higher elevations in the rhododendron forests in winter, lower elevations in the foothills in summer. But no snow peaks as regular habitat. No primate of sound mind and body would do it otherwise, except for short forays into higher elevations for specialized vitamins, i.e., Vitamin D. Lichens.

  2. DWA responds:


    “an amalgamation of fleeting glimpses of known animals (including bears, takin and serows) with both the universal wildman archetype and with local Asian lore about humanesque, mountain-dwelling demons,”???

    Anybody here know anybody walking around with a consistent tendency to see known animals and turn them into unknown animals based on fairy tales?

    I honestly don’t know where scientists get some of the stuff they think.

Sorry. Comments have been closed.

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