Nyalmo

The Nyalmo, also called the Orang Dalam or the Thloh Mung is a true giant reported to inhabit the high altitude subtropical pine forests of Northern Nepal and south-central Tibet. They are described as being 13 feet tall, very muscular, but skinny bipedal apes with long limbs and a large gorilla-like head. They are covered in thick black, dark red, or grey hair, and have four toes and leave enormous two-foot tracks. Nyalmos are solitary and are few in number and only come out of their caves at night. They are also said to only live in the most isolated mountains. They’re more intelligent than other apes and often shake pine trees to show off their strength, both to humans and other nyalmos. 


One of the first reports of a nyalmo was in 1895 when a couple of telegraph workers disappeared under mysterious circumstances in Jelap La, in the Kingdom of Sikkim, now a state of India. After their disappearance, several soldiers from the British Raj tried to find their bodies in the mountains where they were last seen. A few hours into their search, they spotted a “snowman”, which they shot and killed. They described the creature as being 12 feet tall, with shaggy black hair and “backwards toes”, although none of the mentions of this report described what that means. The soldiers knew the animal was unknown to science, but since the creature must have weighed hundreds of pounds and they were in a pine forest thousands of feet up a mountain, they had no way to bring it back. 


In the mid-'30s, an Indian pilgrim in northern Nepal claimed to have joined an expedition to search for nyalmos. After walking through the high-altitude pine forests for eight days, they came across an enormous set of four-toed tracks and all members turned back except three. After following them, they came across a group of four nyalmos sitting in a circle, 10 to 13 ft tall. One of them was banging a hollow tree trunk like a drum and the rest were swaying back in forth to the beat. The pilgrim described a “strange sadness” to their faces and said, “there was nothing animal in their attitude.”


Another equally incredible report was in the fall of 1954, when an isolated tribe in Assam, India reportedly killed, and even ate a 10-foot tall nyalmo. They allegedly sent the bones and hair of the animal to a monastery, but the current whereabouts are unknown. Also in Assam, but 19 years earlier, a series of 22 inch long, 11 inch wide tracks were found near Jalpaiguri in the Siliguri Pass. 

Harry Trumbore's illustration of a nyalmo