Almas: Real Missing Link? Or Myth?
For literally hundreds of years, reports of encounters with large, human-like hominids (hominids are humans and any other creature that is related to them, i.e. Gorillas, chimpanzees, etc) have come out of the Caucasus and Pamir Mountains of central Asia, as well as the Altai Mountains of southern Mongolia. These creatures, which have become known as “Almas”, reportedly look a lot like humans, except that they are covered in reddish brown hair, have pronounced brows, flat noses, and “weak chins”. Basically, they look an awful lot like it’s believed neanderthal men did. Reports aside, it’s been consistently debated whether the Almas (which means “wild man” in Mongolian) is a real creature, or just another country’s version of Bigfoot (not to say bigfoot isn’t real, but it’s existence is useally laughed off by legit scientists). The most compelling proof that Almases are real creatures comes from two factors: they’ve been showing up in fairly reliable accounts in a matter of fact manner for years, and they’re description isn’t that far fetched.
Whenever you hear a story about Bigfoot or the Loch Ness Monster, it tends to have an air of the fantastic to it. People tell the stories of these beasts as if it was a life changing moments. However, most older accounts of Almases treat them as if they “just are”. They’ve even been found listed in an old Tibetan Medical book alongside other animals; indexed in like all the others. Most accounts put them in perspective as just being a lesser tribe of Mongolians, that weren’t as advanced as others, but co-existed none-the-less; even occasionally trading meat for trinkets with the more advanced tribes. Two of the most popular accounts of Almas interactions involve captive Almas being considered “wild people”, instead of “beasts”. First, there’s the story of a a woman named Zana, who was captured outside the village of T’khina, Mongolia in 1850. In the beginning, she was violent towards her captors, but she eventually “domesticated” and assimilated into the society, albeit it as a servant, and even had children with a local man. There’s also the story of the “wild man” captured by the Russian Red Army in the mountains in 1941. He was said to be covered in coarse, dark hair, and wouldn’t (couldn’t?) speak. He was shot as a spy shortly after his capture.
As previously mentioned, the Almas, who are said to stand between 5 and 6 feet tall, aren’t larger than life beasts, and are never described as so. They are just slightly different than us, and somewhat feral. This has led some to believe that they are merely a long surviving tribe of homo erectus, still wandering the mountains. However, others believe that they are merely a lowely tribe of Mongolians, outcast from the rest, that had a myth built around them.
While the existence of the Almas isn’t nearly as far fetched as other myths and legends, it’s still unproven. So until someone captures one, or snaps a clear photo, they will remain a mystery.