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YETI. A MYSTERY. Prepared by : Anil Raj P.S. Welcome.

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YETI

A

MYSTERY

Prepared by : Anil Raj P.S

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The Yeti or AbominableSnowman is an ape-like cryptid taller than an average human that is said to inhabit the Himalayan region of Nepal andTibet.The names Yeti and Meh-Teh are commonly used by the people indigenous to the region, and are part of their history and mythology. Stories of the Yeti first emerged as a facet of Western popular culture in the 19th century.

The scientific community generally regards the Yeti as a legend, given the lack of conclusive evidence, but it remains one of the most famous creatures of cryptozoology. Analysis of samples associated with claimed yetis found a sequence of mitochondrial DNA that matched a sample from an ancient polar bear jawbone found in Norway, that dates back to between 40,000 and 120,000 years ago.

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Purported yeti scalp

At khumjung monastery

etymology and alternate names
Etymology and alternate names

The word Yeti is derived from Tibetan: གཡའ་དྲེད་, Wylie: g.ya' dred, ZYPY: Yachê), a compound of the words Tibetan: གཡའ་, Wylie: g.ya', ZYPY: ya "rocky", "rocky place" and (Tibetan: དྲེད་, Wylie: dred, ZYPY: chê) "bear".Pranavananda states that the words "ti", "te" and "teh" are derived from the spoken word 'tre' (spelled "dred"), Tibetan for bear, with the 'r' so softly pronounced as to be almost inaudible, thus making it "te" or "teh". Other terms used by Himalayan peoples do not translate exactly the same, but refer to legendary and indigenous wildlife: Michê (Tibetan: མི་དྲེད་, Wylie: mi dred, ZYPY: Michê) translates as "man-bear". Dzu-teh – 'dzu' translates as "cattle" and the full meaning translates as "cattle bear", referring to the Himalayan brown bear.

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Migoi or Mi-go (Tibetan: མི་རྒོད་, Wylie: mi rgod, ZYPY: Migö/Mirgö) translates as "wild man". Bun Manchi - Nepali for "jungle man" that is used outside Sherpa communities where yeti is the common name. Mirka – another name for "wild-man". Local legend holds that "anyone who sees one dies or is killed". The latter is taken from a written statement by Frank Smythe's sherpas in 1937. Kang Admi – "Snow Man".

pre 19th century
Pre-19th century

According to H. Siiger, the Yeti was a part of the pre-Buddhist beliefs of several Himalayan people. He was told that the Lepcha people  worshipped a "Glacier Being" as a God of the Hunt. He also reported that followers of the Bön religion once believed the blood of the "mi rgod" or "wild man" had use in certain mystical ceremonies. The being was depicted as an apelike creature who carries a large stone as a weapon and makes a whistling swoosh sound.

19th century
19th century

In 1832, James Prinsep's Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal published trekker B. H. Hodgson's account of his experiences in northern Nepal. His local guides spotted a tall, bipedal creature covered with long dark hair, which seemed to flee in fear. Hodgson concluded it was an orangutan. An early record of reported footprints appeared in 1899 in Laurence Waddell's Among the Himalayas.Waddell reported his guide's description of a large apelike creature that left the prints, which Waddell thought were made by a bear. Waddell heard stories of bipedal, apelike creatures but wrote that "none, however, of the many Tibetans I have interrogated on this subject could ever give me an authentic case. On the most superficial investigation it always resolved into something that somebody heard tell of."

20 th century
20th century

Important Dates

&

Important Incidents

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1925

N. A. Tombazi, a photographer and member of the Royal Geographical Society, writes that he saw a creature at about 15,000 ft (4,600 m) near Zemu Glacier. Tombazi later wrote that he observed the creature from about 200 to 300 yd (180 to 270 m), for about a minute. "Unquestionably, the figure in outline was exactly like a human being, walking upright and stopping occasionally to pull at some dwarf rhododendron bushes. It showed up dark against the snow, and as far as I could make out, wore no clothes." About two hours later, Tombazi and his companions descended the mountain and saw the creature's prints, described as "similar in shape to those of a man, but only six to seven inches long by four inches wide... The prints were undoubtedly those of a biped."

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1951

While attempting to scale Mount Everest in 1951, Eric Shipton took photographs of a number of large prints in the snow, at about 6,000 m (20,000 ft) above sea level. These photos have been subject to intense scrutiny and debate. Some argue they are the best evidence of Yeti's existence, while others contend the prints are those of a mundane creature that have been distorted by the melting snow.

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1948

Peter Byrne reported finding a yeti footprint in 1948, in northern Sikkim, India near the Zemu Glacier, while on holiday from a Royal Air Force assignment in India

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1953

In 1953, Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay reported seeing large footprints while scaling Mount Everest. Hillary would later discount Yeti reports as unreliable. In his first autobiography Tenzing said that he believed the Yeti was a large ape, and although he had never seen it himself his father had seen one twice, but in his second autobiography he said he had become much more skeptical about its existence.

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1954

During the Daily Mail Snowman Expedition of 1954, the mountaineering leader John Angelo Jackson made the first trek from Everest to Kanchenjunga in the course of which he photographed symbolic paintings of the Yeti at Tengboche gompa. Jackson tracked and photographed many footprints in the snow, most of which were identifiable. However, there were many large footprints which could not be identified. These flattened footprint-like indentations were attributed to erosion and subsequent widening of the original footprint by wind and particles.

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1954

On 19 March 1954, the Daily Mail printed an article which described expedition teams obtaining hair specimens from what was alleged to be a Yetiscalp found in the Pangboche monastery. The hairs were black to dark brown in colour in dim light, and fox red in sunlight. The hair was analysed by Professor Frederic Wood Jones, an expert in human and comparative anatomy. During the study, the hairs were bleached, cut into sections and analysed microscopically. The research consisted of taking microphotographs of the hairs and comparing them with hairs from known animals such as bears and orangutans. Jones concluded that the hairs were not actually from a scalp. He contended that while some animals do have a ridge of hair extending from the pate to the back, no animals have a ridge (as in the Pangboche "scalp") running from the base of the forehead across the pate and ending at the nape of the neck. Jones was unable to pinpoint exactly the animal from which the Pangboche hairs were taken. He was, however, convinced that the hairs were not of a bear or anthropoid ape. He suggested that the hairs were from the shoulder of a coarse-haired hoofed animal.

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Possible Explanations

Misidentification of Himalayan wildlife has been proposed as an explanation for some Yeti sightings, including the Chu-Teh, a Langur monkey living at lower altitudes, the Tibetan blue bear, theHimalayan brown bear or Dzu-Teh, also known as the Himalayan red bear. Some have also suggested the Yeti could actually be a human hermit.

A well publicised expedition to Bhutan reported that a hair sample had been obtained which by DNA analysis by Professor Bryan Sykes could not be matched to any known animal. Analysis completed after the media release, however, clearly showed the samples were from a Brown bear (Ursus arctos) and an Asiatic black bear (Ursus thibetanus).

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In 1986, South Tyrolean mountaineer Reinhold Messner claimed to have a face-to-face encounter with a Yeti. He wrote a book, My Quest for the Yeti, and claims to have killed one. According to Messner, the Yeti is actually the endangered Himalayan brown bear, Ursus arctos isabellinus, which can walk both upright or on all fours.

The 1983 Barun Valley discoveries prompted three years of research on the 'tree bear' possibility by Taylor, Fleming, John Craighead and Tirtha Shrestha. From that research the conclusion was that the Asiatic Black Bear, when about two years old, spends much time in trees to avoid attack by larger male bears on the ground ('ground bears'). During this tree period that may last two years, young bears train their inner claw outward, allowing an opposable grip. The imprint in the snow of a hind paw coming over the front paw that appears to have a hallux, especially when the bear is going slightly uphill so the hind paw print extends the overprint backward makes a hominoid-appearing track, both in that it is elongated like a human foot but with a “thumb” and in that a four-footed animal’s gait now appears bipedal.This “yeti discovery”, in the words of National Geographic Magazine editor Bill Garrett, “[by] on-site research sweeps away much of the ‘smoke and mirrors’ and gives us a believable yeti”.

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This fieldwork in Nepal’s Barun Valley led directly to initiating in 1984 Makalu-Barun National Park that protected over half a million acres in 1991, and across the border with China theQomolangma national nature preserve in the Tibet Autonomous Region that protected over six million acres. In the words of Honorary President of the American Alpine Club, Robert H. Bates, this yeti discovery "has apparently solved the mystery of the yeti, or at least part of it, and in so doing added to the world’s great wildlife preserves" such that the shy animal that lives in trees (and not the high snows), and mysteries and myths of the Himalayas that it represents, can continue within a protected area nearly the size of Switzerland.

In 2003, Japanese researcher and mountaineer Dr. Makoto Nebuka published the results of his twelve-year linguistic study, postulating that the word "Yeti" is a corruption of the word "meti", a regional dialect term for a "bear". Nebuka claims that ethnic Tibetans fear and worship the bear as a supernatural being. Nebuka's claims were subject to almost immediate criticism, and he was accused of linguistic carelessness. Dr. Raj Kumar Pandey, who has researched both Yetis and mountain languages, said "it is not enough to blame tales of the mysterious beast of the Himalayas on words that rhyme but mean different things."

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British scientist 'solves' mystery of Himalayan yetis

Research by a British scientist has concluded that the legendary Himalayan yeti may in fact be a sub-species of brown bear.

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DNA tests on hair samples carried out by Oxford University genetics professor Bryan Sykes found that they matched those from an ancient polar bear.

  • He subjected the hairs to the most advanced tests available.
  • He says the most likely explanation for the myth is that the animal is a hybrid of polar bears and brown bears.
  • Prof Sykes told the BBC that there may be a real biological animal behind the yeti myth.
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"I think this bear, which nobody has seen alive,... may still be there and may have quite a lot of polar bear in it," he said.

"It may be some sort of hybrid and if its behaviour is different from normal bears, which is what eyewitnesses report, then I think that may well be the source of the mystery and the source of the legend."

Prof Sykes conducted the DNA tests on hairs from two unidentified animals, one from Ladakh - in northern India on the west of the Himalayas - and the other from Bhutan, 1,285km (800 miles) further east.

The results were then compared with the genomes of other animals that are stored on a database of all published DNA sequences.

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!

Prof Sykes found that he had a 100% match with a sample from an ancient polar bear jawbone found in Svalbard, Norway, that dates back to between 40,000 and 120,000 years ago - a time when the polar bear and closely related brown bear were separating as different species.

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The sample from Ladakh came from the mummified remains of a creature shot by a hunter around 40 years ago, while the second sample was in the form of a single hair, found in a bamboo forest by an expedition of filmmakers around 10 years ago.

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Prof Sykes said that his results were "completely unexpected" and that more work needed to be done interpreting them.

He said that while they did not mean that "ancient polar bears are wandering around the Himalayas", there could be a sub-species of brown bear in the High Himalayas descended from an ancestor of the polar bear.

"Or it could mean there has been more recent hybridisation between the brown bear and the descendant of the ancient polar bear," he said.

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THANK YOU

Done by : Anil Raj P.S

CLASS - IX