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Thursday, June 05, 2003  
Yeti Lives

In the thick, humid, impenetrable Sumatran rainforest of Indonesia poor old Yeti has finally been tracked down. He hasn't actually been captured, or even caught on camera, but the Extreme Expeditions crew - who specialise in trying to ascertain the likely existence of local monster legends around the world - reckon they have enough evidence to support their claim that Yeti is, in fact, a new species and a key to the door of human evolution (like: how did we learn to walk...).

Yeti, known to affectionate locals as 'orang pendek', is a five-foot orang utan-like primate who can - according to eye-witness reports - stand upright on his hind legs and walk '"like a human". Adam Davis and his 'extreme explorers' (who, I reckon, I hope, all have names like 'maverick' and 'ice man') pursued orang pendek in a hot chase through the jungle, but eventually had to settle with a child-sized footprint and a clump of the elusive creature's hair for their efforts (however, this hair sample has yet to match the hair type of any known species, including the orang utan, despite its similar colouring).

Of course this could totally destroy one of the world's few remaining monster legends (after Adam & Co trashed Nessie), while promising a potential bonanza for evolutionary research. But it's hard not to be ambivalent about trapping the imagination, folklore and local legend with high-tech equipment and gung ho expeditions. Our unexplored rainforests, lakes, mountains, caves and deep ocean ridges and caverns are the last dwindling pockets of the unknown that we have. You can't map our precious, uncharted Dark Regions without tracing, exposing and unravelling the unconscious in a way that slowly starves us of dreams, fears, and desire. (Killed by cartography, catalogues and archives.)

Next stop: the Gobi Desert, in search of Allghoi Khorkoi AKA the Mongolian Death Worm - a 7ft long serpent that can spit nerve gas strong enough to kill a camel. I don't know, it's a great job, though, isn't it?

Run, monsters, run!

12:52 PM

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