Every week we answer your questions about all kinds of topics. Today Evelyn H. from Rodenberg asks us: Do Bigfoot, Yeti and Nessie really exist? Here you can find out the answer …
Cryptozoology is the field of animal science that deals with as yet unexplored and invisible animal creatures.
The term comes from the Greek words kruptos (hidden/hidden), zoon (animal) and logos (word/study) together. Translated, it means the study of hidden animals.
The mystery of Loch Ness
Already in the Middle Ages a beast is said to have lived in the lake. At least that is what is said in the life story of St. Columban, who 1500 years ago is said to have ordered the water creature to desist from a man it was about to attack.
In fact, the creature retreated and remained missing for many centuries.
From the 16th century on, there were occasional reports of a monster in the loch again. But the story about a monster from the deep became really famous only on May 2, 1933, when the local newspaper brought a report of the sighting of the monster. It was said to be several meters long and to have created large waves.
The photographic evidence
About a year later, on April 19, 1934, a photo was even published that would show Nessie so the nickname of the creature. Two humps and a head rising from the water are depicted on it. But what kind of animal could it be?
One theory is that Nessie is a dinosaur, namely the plesiosaur. This species of dinosaur were marine reptiles, with long necks and small heads that fit the description of the Scottish monster quite well.
Illustration: The plesiosaur fits the description of the fabled Nessie quite well.
However, biologists believe it is highly unlikely that these prehistoric animals could have been preserved here. In order to preserve an animal species over millions of years, quite a large group of individuals would be needed, and it would have been impossible for them all to feed in Loch Ness.
But just a fake?
Some 60 years after the sensational Nessie photo appeared, two different men claimed to have faked the photograph. But other sightings also raise uncertainty, as descriptions differ widely. Most recently, in May 2007, a man published a video of an eel-like creature about 15 meters long swimming fast. What can actually be seen on the film remains unclear to this day. So it remains exciting.
Is the Yeti a legend …
The Yeti, also called Snowman, is a two-legged, hairy mythical creature that is said to live in the Himalayas and gained fame mainly through photos of tracks in the snow.
The creature is said to be two to three meters tall and weighs over 200 kilograms. Its 43-centimeter-long footprints were discovered and traced in the snow at 50007000 meters during different expeditions.
Figure: Is the yeti a Tibetan bear?
Some zoologists and mountaineer Reinhold Messner assume that the Yeti is the Tibetan bear. The Tibetan bear, is a large, rare brown bear, which is hardly known in Central Europe. It lives in the vast and barren mountain landscapes of Tibet and the neighboring areas.
Even though the Tibetan bear is quite a large contemporary, it feeds mainly on roots and small animals.
…or does it really exist?
Recently, British researchers at Oxford University made headlines by saying that they had discovered an apparently convincing clue to the legendary snowman Yeti.
They found a tuft of hair that cannot be assigned to any known animal, even with DNA analysis. The hair comes from a tree in the Himalayan state of Bhutan. This is unusual because no DNA has ever been found before that the researchers could not recognize.
Bigfoot is English and means big foot. It refers to a creature with oversized feet, considerable size, and strong furry hair that has been sighted primarily in many mountains in the United States, as well as in certain areas in Asia.
A hardly meaningful myth
The legend arose when Northern California Indians reported seeing Bigfoot in the 1850s. In 1958, the legend was finally revived by various sightings. However, to date, all sound and image recordings are either disputed or fakes.
For example, it is believed that a known film evidence does not show Bigfoot, but only a human in a gorilla costume.