An abominable footprint

The yeti has been firmly rooted in Himalayan legend for a long time. Mostly confined to superstitious whisperings and folkloric tall tales at first, the notion of the yeti (lesser known as "snow-bigfoot") started earning more serious treatment after 1951, as CNN tells it. That's when mountaineer Eric Shipton came across a large, oddly-shaped footprint he believed belonged to that most abominable of snowmen. The photographs he took were printed in newspapers around the world, and yeti-fever started to spread like a snowstorm. The U.S. State Department even laid down some rules to be followed in the event of a yeti encounter in 1959.

Since then, other tantalizing discoveries have included thick tufts of black hair supposedly found at 19,000 feet on Mount Everest by Edmund Hillary, and there was even a scalp found in a Nepalese woman's home in 1960, thought to have once belonged to a yeti (mistakenly, as it turns out), and now housed in a nearby monastery.

Pesky science hasn't gone and disproved the yeti's existence outright just yet, though it has come close. In 2017, a study of nine DNA samples thought to be from yetis or yeti-like animals found that they mostly belonged to bears from the region. The legend lives on, though. And let's be real: if you were just a simple yeti trying to make your way in the world, and that world obsessed over every morsel you left behind and still insisted on calling you abominable, you'd probably want to stay hidden too.