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Originally the Fear Liath was seen as an evil spirit or harbinger of doom - stalking people over the mountain known as Ben MacDhui, often victims became overwhelmed with sensations of fear and panic as the unseen entity approached them.Rare glimpses of the Fear Liath showed it to be a large but blurry humanoid - further adding to the ghostly nature of the sinister being, it is this large humanoid appearance that has sparked the interest of some cryptozoologists, who believe it could be a type of "missing link".
Outwith cryptozoology other theories to the Fear Liath range from its original legendary status as a ghost or demon to an extra-terrestrial or a guardian to another dimensional-portal.
Science has argued the Fear Liath may be an illusion caused by atmospheric conditions that can be found atop high mountains, which often project a viewer's shadow onto the surrounding mist or sky to create "phantoms".