Home » Blog » 2023 » February » Bipedal apes? Part 2: an Asian radiation


Written by Graham on Tuesday 7th February 2023.

This post covers the Asian and Australasian counterparts of the Sasquatch and family, including the yetis, almas, yeren and yowie, as well as smaller sorts such as the Orang Pendek of Indonesia.


In the first part of our look at cryptid hominids, I attempted a crude taxonomy of those species reported from across North America. These included the iconic Sasquatch, alongside the gugu and the skunk ape, which three appear to be the major forms. There are various other local reports, which conform loosely to the characteristics of the "big three."

Particular features which occur across the species include: -

  • with the exception of the skunk ape sensu stricto, whose height appears to be similar to the human average, all reported North American hominids are taller than man, generally averaging somewhere near or just over the seven foot mark;
  • in pretty much all cases the animal is noted to stink to high heaven, being likened in general to the noisome stench of the skunk, or else putrefaction. The most notable exception is the "gugu-type" of eastern Canada and the northeastern continental United States, where nothing was stated about any foetid odours;
  • the fur of the animals is often stated to be long and matted, and, in terms of colour, generally ranges through autumnal reds through brown hues to black. The most significant outlier is again Canadian: Old Yellow Top features yellow hair about its head;
  • the most notable vocalisations include terrifying high-pitched screams, along with whistles - and, in the case of the "Sierra Sounds," perhaps some rudimentary "language";
  • the Sasquatch and its southern cousin the Mogollon Monster in particular are said to hurl rocks as a means of territorial defence;
  • these two, along with the Grassman of Ohio, are said to build nests from plant matter: in the case of the Grassman, these can be quite elaborate and hut-like;
  • numerous reports feature nocturnal enounters with what appears to be eyeshine emanating from the creatures, which is not a characteristic associated with apes and monkeys.



  • Name: Yeti comes from the Tibetan g.ya'dred (obviously), which means something like "rock bear."
  • Other names: the Abominable Snowman (which is most inaccurate as the creatures do not have carrots for noses and sticks for arms); Migoi (Tibetan mi rgod, meaning "wild man"); Mirka (Sherpa); xueren (Chinese, "snow man"); Michê (Tibetan mi dred, "wild bear"); Kang Admi ("snow man"); rendered in occidental sources as metoh-kangmi and metch.
  • Range: the Himalayas, around eight to ten thousand feet above sea level.
  • Height: around 8'.
  • Fur colour: varies (perhaps seasonally?), with reports of grey, brown and white-clad individuals.
  • Vocalisations: the mi rgod makes a whistling "swoosh sound."
  • Other notes: the mi rgod is said to be armed with a large stone (suggestive of rudimentary tool use or perhaps territorial stone-throwing).
    The Yeti, like its American cousin, seems to have been around for a long time: practitioners of the ancient Bön faith formerly made use of the blood of the Migoi, while the Lepcha worshipped the entity as a hunting deity. Tibetan Buddhism also has an awareness of the beast.


  • Name: Yeti comes from the Tibetan g.ya'dred (obviously), which means something like "rock bear."
  • Other names: see above for general Yeti terms.
  • Range: the Himalayas.
  • Height: as tall as 15'.
  • Fur colour: black.
  • Vocalisations: unstated.
  • Other notes: a larger cousin of the Chuti.


  • Name: originally from a Khowar term meaning "Big Hairy One," borrowed into many other languages.
  • Other names: variants include Barmanou and Baddmanus.
  • Range: Range: estimated to include portions the Chitral, Karakoram, Pamir and Himalaya ranges, centred upon Chitral, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Gilgit, Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan.
  • Height: unstated
  • Fur colour: unstated
  • Vocalisations: Dr. Anne Mallasseand reported hearing various strange and guttural sounds whilst in the Shishi Kuh valley in Chitral District.
  • Other notes: occasional reports of attempts to abduct human women for mating purposes.
    Occasionally said to make use of animal skins as clothing for the head and back.


  • Other names: Mande Burung (variant).
  • Range: subtropical forests in the Garo Hills of the Indian state of Meghalaya.
  • Height: estimated from alleged footprint evidence to be between about 7'6" and 9'.
  • Fur colour: black or blackish brown.
  • Vocalisations: unstated.
  • Other notes: largely herbivorous, subsisting on fruit, berries, bark and roots, supplemented by the occasional crab.
    Nests are built in open ground.
    The creature has a reputation as something of a "gentle giant," remaining highly wary of humans.
    The creature is reported to exude a foul stench.


  • Name: Chinese, "wild man"
  • Other names: shān guǐ ("moutain spirit"); máorén ("hairy man"); xīngxing ("ape," "orangutan"); feifei ("baboon"); jué ("wild"); females referred to as yě qī ("wild women").
  • Range: muntainous areas of mainland China, with a particular concentration in the Shennongjia Forestry District, Hubei.
  • Height: significantly over 6'.
  • Fur colour: orange-brown, red or black.
  • Vocalisations: described as "laughing" when encountering a human.
  • Other notes: this creature, perhaps, has a long history in Chinese literature.
    Occasionally described as notably fleet of foot.
    Fur said to be especially long at the scalp.


  • Name: the most eye-catching theory suggests from Arimaspoi, a race of cyclopes famous for waging war against griffins!
  • Other names: almasty; alma; kung-guressu ("man-beast"); akhai (a name-avoidance term used by the denizens of Oburkhangai and Bayankhongor, meaning "uncle-brother").
  • Range: the Caucasus, Pamir Mountains, Tian Shan and Altai Mountains.
  • Height: unstated.
  • Fur colour: black.
  • Vocalisations: unstated.
  • Other notes: samples of fur said to be from the species have been proven to be no such thing.
    The popular religion of the Darkhad features a god based upon this species, who is placated with wild roots and meat from game. He is associated with highland prairies and forests. Face described as flat.


  • Range: Siberia, particularly areas populated by the Tungus and Yakut peoples.
  • Height: between 6 and 7'.
  • Fur colour: fur is sparse: only a white parch on the forearms is noted.
  • Other notes: the creatures are said to wear animal pelts, suggesting a hominin (Denisovan!!!!!!!). They are also occasionally known to consume human flesh.
    Some reports, however, state that corpses of the species have tails - thus far less hominin or even hominoid.


  • Name: orang indicates a person in Bahasa languages, while the word mawas (or malas) is applied to the orangutan in Sumatra.
  • Other names: hantu jarang gigi (Orang Asli term, meaning "snaggle-toothed ghost"); Muwa (Philippines); Butnak (Thailand).
  • Range: jungles around Johor, peninsular Malaysia, possibly with related populations in Thailand.
  • Height: around 10'.
  • Fur colour: unstated.
  • Vocalisations: unstated.
  • Other notes: diet seems to include fish and fruit from orchards.


  • Name: Ujut; Người Rừng (Vietnamese: "forest man"); L'homme sauvage (French).
  • Range: major population centre is Vũ Quang, Vietnam, with populations in other areas of Indochina. A smaller, highly aggressive relative dwells in Borneo.
  • Height: 7' (Vietnam & Laos); 4' (Borneo).
  • Fur colour: grey, brown, black.
  • Vocalisations: unstated.
  • Other notes: diet includes monkeys and flying foxes, alongside fruit and leaves.


  • Name: a Gamilaraay term for a night spirit.
  • Other names: Yahoo; Yahoo-Devil Devil; Australian ape; Australian gorilla; hairy man of the wood; quinkan (Shire of Cook, Queensland).
  • Range: mainland Australia, primarily the east, incorporating the Great Dividing Range and adjacent areas of the Northern Territory, Queensland, New South Wales, parts of Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory.
  • Height: ranges from just shy of 7 to 12'.
  • Fur colour: colour unclear, perhaps black with red-brown around the chest and neck, described as long and shaggy.
  • Vocalisations: some reports feature screaming noises which are ascribed to the yowie, usually by yowie enthusiasts.
    A man from Gympie in Queensland claims to have befriended members of this kind, teaching rudimentary English to a large male individual.
  • Other notes: arms are described as particularly long. Neck absent.
    Generally described as shy, though not without the possibility of blistering aggression.
    Eyes are described as "small and restless" by Henry James McCooey, who encountered a representative of this species between Batemans Bay and Ulladulla.



  • Name: short person in Bahasa.
  • Other names: Hantu Pendek ("short ghost").
  • Range: Sumatra and Borneo, with a population centre in the Taman Nasional Kerinci Seblat in Kerinci Regency, Sumatra.
  • Height: usually between 30 (2'6") and 60" (5').
  • Fur colour: black, with lighter hues at the front of the animal.
  • Vocalisations: unstated.
  • Other notes: a Mr. van Heerwarden, who encountered such a beast way back in 1923, noted that "[t]here was nothing repulsive or ugly about its face, nor was it at all apelike."


  • Other names: BTM; BTMM
  • Range: the Bukit Timah area of Singapore.
  • Height: estimated at about 5'10".
  • Fur colour: grey.
  • Other notes: said to be immortal. You can't kill the BTMM. He kills you.


  • Name: means "forest-man" in local Aryan dialects.
  • Other names: Ban-mancche, Bun Manchi (Nepal); Van-manas (India). Compare the name of the Pakistani/Afghan Barmanu.
  • Range: seems to be centred upon the area of the Siliguri Corridor in India, along with adjacent areas of Bangladesh and Nepal.
  • Height: 4 to 5'.
  • Fur colour: greyish.
  • Vocalisations: unstated.
  • Other notes: tracks have allegedly been identified around the edges of forests.
    Said to be an aggressive beast, with considerable strength, carrying away the occasional human, likely for nefarious purposes.


  • Name: possibly from niṣāda, a term originally applied by the Indo-Aryan speakers to tribal peoples of the Subcontinent.
  • Status: extinct.
    The Nittaewo were thought to have been rendered extinct by the Leanama Vedda during the latter part of the 18th century, who trapped the creatures in a cave, which was then blocked and filled with smoke. However, alleged sightings have still occurred.
  • Range: Sri Lanka.
  • Height: around 3 to 4'.
  • Fur colour: reddish.
  • Other notes: the arms are said to have been uncharacteristically short for a primate, with clawed hands.
    Made use of leaf-nests.
    Particularly well-known to the Vedda peoples.


  • Range: the Himalayas.
  • Height: from 3' to 5'.
  • Fur colour: reddish-brown.
  • Other notes: the smallest "subtype" of Yeti known from Tibetan lore.


  • Name: from Hiba-yama in Hiroshima Prefecture.
  • Other names: Hinagon (variant).
  • Range: centred upon Hiba-yama.
  • Height: around 5'.
  • Fur colour: black, possibly white fur around the hands and feet.
  • Other notes: the animal has a large nose and its fur is bristly. The face is described as brown in colour.


  • Name: from Nage ebu ("grandparent") and gogo ("one who eats anything").
  • Range: central Flores island, Indonesia.
  • Height: around 5'.
  • Fur colour: unstated.
  • Vocalisations: apparent usage of language and an ability to mimic human sounds.
  • Other notes: described as fast runners. Their bodies are described as hairy. Broad faces with large mouths and wide, flat noses. Females have "long, pendulous breasts."
    Interestingly, their island home once housed a small human, Homo floresiensis.


  • Name: hairy man (Yuin).
  • Other names: also rendered dulagal or thoolagal. Other names from New South Wales are ghindaring, gulaga, jurrawarra, myngawin or puttikan.
  • Range: associated with the area of Mount Gulaga, Barmagui and Biamanga National Park in southeastern New South Wales.
  • Height: according to Henry James McCooey, under 5'.
  • Fur colour: black, with reddish-brown around the neck and chest.
  • Vocalisations: known to imitate birds.
  • Other notes: a possible smaller-than-the-Yowie hominid known from Yuin lore.
    Described by Guboo Ted Thomas as having red eyes and a long forehead, with the neck being absent.
    Fur is described as long and prone to matting.


Aaagh! Fossils! Verily a story for another day.

Sir Graham