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The Almas, Mongolian for 'wild man', is a cryptozoological species of presumed hominid reputed to inhabit the Caucasus and Pamir Mountains of central Asia, and the Altai Mountains of southern Mongolia. Most mainstream scientists consider the Almas to be a purely legendary creature.
Almas is a singular word in Mongolian. The Russian plural is almasty; the correct Mongolian (or any Turkic) plural is almaslar. As is typical of the unknown hominids throughout central Asia, Russia, and the Caucasus, Almas are generally considered to be more akin to "wild people" in appearance and habits than to apes (in contrast to the Yeti of the Himalayas).
Almas are typically described as human-like bipedal animals, between five and six and a half feet tall, their bodies covered with reddish-brown hair, with anthropomorphic facial features including a pronounced browridge, flat nose, and a weak chin. They are usually described as unclothed, but a handful of sightings refer to primitive clothing.  Many cryptozoologist researchers have been struck by the similarity between these descriptions and modern reconstructions of how Neanderthals might have appeared
Almas appear in the legend of local people, who tell stories of sightings and human-Almas interactions dating back several hundred years. Some of these accounts describe primitive communication between Almas and humans via the use of hand gestures and exchange of goods. 
Drawings of Almas also appear in a Tibetan medicinal book. British anthropologist Myra Shackley noted that "The book contains thousands of illustrations of various classes of animals (reptiles, mammals and amphibia), but not one single mythological animal such as are known from similar medieval European books. All the creatures are living and observable today."
Sightings recorded in writing go back as far back as the 15th century.
In 1430, Hans Schildtberger recorded his personal observation of these creatures in the journal of his trip to Mongolia as a prisoner of the Mongol Khan. Schildtberger also recorded one of the first European sightings of Przewalski horses. (Manuscript in the Munich Municipal Library, Sign. 1603, Bl. 210).
Nikolai Przhevalsky observed the animals in Mongolia in 1871 (Shackley, 94). He noted that Almas are part of the Mongolian and Tibetan apothecary's materia medica, along with thousands of other animals and plants that still live today.
British anthropologist Myra Shackley in Still Living? describes Ivan Ivlov's 1963 observation of a whole family of Almas. Ivlov, a pediatrician, decided to interview some of the Mongolian children who were his patients, and discovered that many of them had also seen Almas. It seems that neither the Mongol children nor the young Almas were afraid of each other. Ivlov's driver also claimed to have seen them (Shackley, 91).
When a mystery is too overpowering, one dare not disobey
Oct/1/2007, 2:41 am
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