The Abominable Snowman
The Abominable Snowman, or Metch-Kangmi in Tibetan, is a huge, hairy creature that walks upright and haunts the snowcapped peaks of the Himalayas. For years explorers have reported footprints measuring as much as 12½ by 6½ inches in the snow.
While leading an expedition on Mt. Annapurna in 1970, Don Whillans spotted a large, furry creature walking on two legs on a nearby mountain. He watched through binoculars for half an hour before the "snowman" vanished in a clump of trees.
Scientists believe bears, which can walk on two legs, could have left some of the footprints. Other observers suggest wolves, goats, snow leopards, or perhaps falling rocks or snow could be responsible. However, the Sherpa people of the region have traditionally believed that the Himalayan peaks are haunted by demons and spirits, while the Yeti, an ancient beast, prowls the mountains.
Irish tradition says that the eerie wail of a spirit known as Bean Sidhe, commonly called the Banshee, announces that someone is about to die.
In Scotland the Banshee is known as Bean Nighe. Her hands run red with blood as she washes the clothes of the doomed person in a remote lake. A Bean Nighe has one prominent tooth, one nostril, long, hanging breasts, and webbed feet. She will grant a wish to anyone clever enough sneak up on her and suck her breast.
This deadly goat-sucker rears its ugly head periodically in Latin America.
The monster is described as a winged monkey, six to eight feet tall, with long, clawed arms and hideous fangs. Other eyewitnesses state the creature is a flying rodent or a species of kangaroo.
In 1995, in Puerto Rico Chupacabras allegedly killed eight sheep leaving behind a pile of bloodless corpses. The beast has also struck in Texas, Costa Rica, and Mexico. Chupacabras could be cousins of the world's only vampire bats, three species of which live in parts of Mexico, Central America, and South America.
Information Please® Database, © 2007 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.