With the recent news of a yeti showing up at a Pyrenees ski resort, interest in cryptid sight-seeing has increased, and the Telegraph out of the UK thought they would do their part by offering this guide to help individuals interested in spotting some of these elusive creatures.
Following the definite, incontrovertible and utterly undeniable news that a yeti has been sighted – and not in the mountains of Asia, but on the ski slopes of the Pyrenees – the hunt is on again for those elusive, semi-mythical creatures which haunt the back woods and gloomy waters of the planet, as well as the more feverish parts of our imaginations.
So where – aside, obviously, from the pistes of Formigal – can you catch a glimpse of a yeti? And, more to the point, where can you lay eyes on a bigfoot, a bunyip or a fiendish chupacabra? Telegraph Travel goes a bit Mulder-and-Scully on a journey into the dark…
Where? Apart from the blue runs of north-eastern Spain, the creature also sometimes known as The Abominable Snowman tends to hang out – if it hangs out anywhere – amid the icy peaks of the Himalayas. Which means Nepal, Bhutan, Tibet and India. Sightings have also been claimed further afield in Mongolia, if you want to be really adventurous.
What? Tibetans refer to the yeti as “miché” – which translates loosely as “man-bear”. They also use the term “mirka” – which loosely boils down to “wild man”. Whether there is a Tibetan term for “man in a ski suit loitering in the Pyrenees pretending to be a yeti” is unclear, but the gist seems to be that the beast is a tall chap with human and ursine facets.
Chances of it being real: The yeti is thoroughly embedded in Himalayan folklore, so the idea of something existing up in those mountains is not utterly implausible. In 2013, DNA studies of supposed yeti hair by a team of scientists at Oxford University produced the intriguing suggestion of an undocumented hybrid of a brown bear and a polar bear.
How should I react if I see one? Check your life insurance. Tibetan folklore says that anyone seeing a “mirka” will die or be killed. The time scale on this is unhelpfully vague.
The Loch Ness Monster
Where? Really? Does this need spelling out? OK – Loch Ness, 23 miles to the south-west of Inverness in the Scottish Highlands. Said dramatic dot on the British map is, of course, the country’s largest lake by volume of water. This is thanks to its depth – it drops to an inky-black extremity of 755ft (230m). A fine spot for a monster to lurk, then.
What? Nessie, a serpentine entity which has earned a dastardly reputation for luring tourists to their doom – or, at least, to the many Inverness shops which sell monster tea towels and those hilarious “Scottish” hats which come with ginger wigs attached. But away from the roar of American banknotes rustling towards Highland tills, there are genuine theories as to what the creature might be. One is that Nessie is a surviving example of a plesiosaur – a water-based dinosaur with a broad body, a tail and flippers.
For the rest of the guide, click here.