After centuries of myth and legend, one mountaineer may have proved the existence of the yeti.
Steve Berry believes he has found the footprints of the legendary beast and took a photo deep in the remote Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan of the strange tracks, the Daily Mail reports.
The footprints are far larger than a human’s and were left on a mountainside so far untouched by man – except for the two blokes climbing it.
Mr Berry insists that the single line of prints, one in front of the other, couldn’t have been made by a snow leopard, or any other four-legged creature – in fact, it looks like if this was a yeti, it was hopping.
While a bear can walk on two legs, its size would make it almost impossible to place its paws so precisely.
Instead, he believes they were left by a gorilla-like animal that carefully made its way across the steep, snow-covered slope.
The tracks were discovered on the slopes of Gangkhar Puensum, the world’s highest unclimbed mountain, and were spotted by Mr Berry’s Bhutanese guide 200 yards away, across an impassable chasm.
Mr Berry, 66, who lives near Badminton in South Gloucestershire, said:
I had always thought that stories about the yeti were a bit of old bunkum. But there is no denying these tracks existed.
The prints were clearly visible with the naked eye from where we were standing on a pass at 17,800ft.
It was another four days before Mr Berry reached human habitation and was able to share news of his find.
While in the village, a yak herder told him he had seen the yeti, or ‘migo’ as it is known in Bhutan, 11 years earlier.
Mr Berry recounted the locals story:
He said it was about 100 yards from him and standing upright facing him and looked straight at him.
It was completely covered in long dun brown-coloured hair and a face covered in hair like a cat or dog but of human height.
Then, he said, ‘You can recognise migo tracks because they put one foot directly in front of the other’ and I nearly fell over.
I showed him the pictures from my camera and he said, ‘Yes, these are migo tracks’.
Mr Berry’s company apparently specialises in treks through the Himalayas, so the appearance of a yeti would be pretty good for business – not that we’re suggesting he’s lying or anything.
Tibetan folklore claims that the yeti is a nocturnal beast that whistles, and can reportedly kill with a single punch. There’s no word on why it appears to hop on one leg, however, but we’re not the experts.