On Tuesday, the official, verified Twitter account of the Indian Military’s Further Directorate Common of Public Info tweeted an image of what it claimed have been Yeti tracks within the snow.

“For the primary time, an Indian Military mountaineering expedition group has sited (sic) mysterious footprints of legendary beast Yeti,” read the put up, which was accompanied by three footage of footprints, and a bunch photograph that gave the impression to be of the expedition group.

The prints allegedly measured 32 inches by 15 inches (81 centimeters by 38 centimeters) and have been noticed on April 9 near Makalu Base Camp, an remoted mountainous space between Nepal and Tibet, the tweet elaborated. “This elusive snowman has solely been sighted at Makalu-Barun Nationwide Park prior to now,” the put up claimed.

Unsurprisingly, the tweet prompted a flurry of incredulous responses on social media, with many rebuking the Indian navy for propagating theories beforehand debunked by science. Others poked enjoyable on the tweet, with the hashtag #Yeti changing into one of many high Twitter trending subjects in India on Tuesday.

The Indian Military supplied no additional proof of its discover and had not replied to CNN’s request for remark by time of publication.

In a press release on March 26, the Indian Military mentioned an 18-strong unit would make its its maiden expedition to Mount Makalu between March and Could. The unit was heading there as a part of its goal of reaching the summit of all difficult peaks above eight,000 meters (26,247 ft), the assertion mentioned.

In Nepali folklore the Yeti — dubbed the “Abominable Snowman” within the West — is a furry ape-like creature taller than a median human, which inhabits the Himalayas and different areas.

Their existence has been by no means been confirmed, however they’ve captured the creativeness of many, together with acclaimed British naturalist Sir David Attenborough.

The Indian Military does not often enterprise into issues of mysterious monsters — a lot of its tweets are extra mundane, about former military members or public occasions.

Whereas the most recent declare has aroused pleasure amongst Yeti-lovers on social media, it’s at odds with scientific findings.

A 2017 study on the Himalayan “Yeti” used mitochondrial DNA sequencing to look at 24 “Yeti” samples together with hair, bone, pores and skin and feces. Charlotte Lindqvist and her group found that a number of the objects got here from a Himalayan brown bear and a black bear. One tooth was from an animal within the canine household. The paw of the “Yeti” saved in an area monastery got here from a black bear. One other bone saved as a monastic relic was from a Tibetan brown bear.

Different investigations reached related conclusions. A study in 2014 discovered 30 hair samples believed to come back from Yetis had truly originated from quite a lot of beasts resembling a Paleolithic polar bear, different varieties of bear and canines.

Kushal Prajapati, who describes himself as a scientist in his Twitter bio, responded to the Indian Military’s tweet on Tuesday, saying: “With all due respect, establishments resembling yours must be extra accountable and cautious earlier than going forward and declaring the sighting of any footprints as ‘Yeti’s’!”

He added that there was plenty of analysis carried out on Yeti prior to now, and none had proved the creature’s existence.

The Yeti turned a part of native traditions about 350 years in the past, when a holy man named Sangwa Dorje took up residence in a cave close to the distant village of Pangboche, which had a transparent view of Everest. Based on native folklore, he was mentioned to have been aided by Yetis and to have saved relics from the beasts.

Yeti fever took off within the West after British explorer Eric Shipton snapped a picture west of Mount Everest in 1951 of what gave the impression to be a big primate-like footprint.