Attenborough on the Yeti Mystery

While giving a Q&A session at the 2013 UKTV Showcase event led by Jarvis Cocker, Sir David Attenborough admitted that he thinks that there could be an abominable snowman living in the Himalayas.

Attenborough: The Yeti Could Exist

Sir David Attenborough revealed that he believes that there "might be something in the abominable snowman mystery."

Sir David Attenborough and Jarvis Cocker before the Q&A

Sir David Attenborough and Jarvis Cocker before the Q&A

Speaking to Jarvis Cocker during a Q&A at UKTV's Showcase event, the legendary natural history broadcaster explained that evidence collected over the last century may suggest that it is possible that a giant ape-like creature could be hiding away in the Himalayas.

The "yeti", or "abominable snowman", is a large, hairy, bipedal animal that is said to inhabit the Himalayan mountain region of Nepal and Tibet. The word yeti comes from the Tibetan words for "rocky bear", giving an idea as to basis of the legends.

I actually believe that there is a real possibility that there might be something in the abominable snowman mystery.

One of the most famous pieces of evidence submitted was documented when mountaineer Eric Shipton took photographs of a number of large prints found whilst scaling Mount Everest in 1951, yet these are widely agreed to be unreliable at best.

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An explanation as to the origin of the yeti was stumbled upon by German-Dutch anthropologist Ralph von Koenigswald, who when visiting a Chinese apothecary in 1935 found the fossilised molar teeth of a giant ape. However, the roughly 3 metre high and stocky Gigantopithecus, as it would go on to be known, may not have been able to walk upright as most of the yeti sightings suggest. Dating methods have also put its ultimate extinction at around 100,000 years ago, slightly overlapping the emergence of modern humans in the area.

Although not firmly announcing the yeti's definite existence, Sir David stated that as there is no doubt that a giant ape did exist in the area at some point and that it is therefore not impossible that it may have been able to avoid human contact within the vast open space of the Himalayas.