Deep within the Altai and Tien Shan mountains of Mongolia and the People’s Republic of China, respectively, a wild man is said to exist. It is called the almas (singular, like ‘chupacabras‘).
Reports date back to the 1420’s when an explorer named Hans Schiltberger (no, really) composed several journal entries detailing his sightings of the creatures. Schiltberger described the creature much in the same way as other hairy bipeds: hair covering most of the body with only hands and faces being free from the coat. Schiltberger claimed the creatures ate small animals and foliage to survive. The account also consists of sighting both a male and female almas – both of which were captured and put on display by a local warlord’s military.
In the 1930’s, Professor Tysben Zhamtsarano, accompanied by an artist, traveled throughout the mountainous region searching for the creatures. The Professor was able to create a detailed map of almas sightings and accounts by consulting with nomads who frequented the area.
Unfortunately, the good professor was imprisoned by the murderous Stalin regime. Apparently due to the conditions he was placed in, Professor Zhamtsarano passed away – leaving all of his research and data to be lost. Dordji Meiren, one of the professor’s associates, had tried to verify at least some of the data before it was completely destroyed. The decrease in Almas population, Meiren suggests, is due to the bipeds moving west to escape civilization.
Some researchers, such as the British anthropologist Myra Shackley, suggest that the almas are a descendent of an ancient man and henceforth lead simple lives. Chris Stringer, also a British anthropologist, points out that many of the characteristics of the almas do not fit that of prehistoric man. Among the unique attributes are bent knees, lack of language, and seemingly unusual gait.
Although the likelihood of finding an almas decreases with each passing day, the strange creatures are an important part of hairy biped history.