Beware the Mountain Mop Man of the Himalaya
There are many myths about the yeti. This photo represents a commonly held belief among the Bhote people that it is a space alien clothed in rotten spaghetti.
This really isn’t a fair representation of Pokhara’s International Mountain Museum, but it’s still my favorite. Mural-size photographs of the Himalayan giants are amazing to scrutinize closely but my photos of the photos aren’t going to do any good here.
And while I really enjoyed the stories and portraits of the first ascents of the world’s 14 highest peaks, displayed in a row of bulletins like Stations of the Cross, I don’t have any inspired reflections to share on them.
But who can resist the yeti? Everybody wants to believe in snowmen—whether it’s Sir Edmund Hillary or a plaid-vested claymation Burl Ives. Like glass-encased footprints of Neanderthals or Mohammed, there have been unexplainable, captured impressions left in the ground of a boogeyman who chills out in the high Himalaya eating snow and freaking out the occasional traveler.
What I found surprising though was the lack of any horrific tales or images. I mean, look at these. There’s the drawing of the Monk and the Yeti, which looks like a Far Side comic. I’m actually more creeped out by the monk than the innocent, naïve apeman who is apparently sharing a lunch of rocks with a hermitic holy man that lives in a doghouse.
Cynics have long suggested that yeti evidence is actually that of chemo, a Himalayan bear. I don’t know if it’s pronounced like the cancer treatment or like chinos, which makes it sound like some kind of racial slur to me. But in the image of “Two men holding a stuffed chemo near a monastery,” I can’t figure out what’s going on. It hardly looks like the man in the rear is “holding” the feared creature. It’s more like a drunken scene from The Hangover.
What I found most disappointing was that they’ve pretty much confirmed all yeti evidence as being from chemo (at least according to the museum). Like the DNA evidence that confirmed Anna Anderson not really being Anastasia Romanov, this seems like it’s been quietly swept under the carpet. And with good reason. If this creature really does exist, god help us all.