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Creatures, Myths & Legends

Bigfoot

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CRYPTOZOOLOGICAL CREATURE
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Statue of Bigfoot in Oregon.
A statue of Bigfoot in Oregon. Image Credit: CC BY 2.0 Oregon Department of Transportation
FACTUAL ANALYSIS: The existence, in the modern age, of an undiscovered species of large hominid in North America would seem to be an impossibility, yet so many people claim to have had first-hand experiences with such a creature that its existence cannot be entirely ruled out.
Bigfoot (or Sasquatch) is the name given to a type of large, bipedal ape-like hominid said to roam the forests of North America. While several other similar ape-beast myths and legends around the world also use the term in a general sense, 'Bigfoot' or 'Sasquatch' are the names most commonly associated with sightings of the creature in North America.

Witnesses who claim to have observed the creature first-hand often describe it as very tall (sometimes in excess of 10ft), with a strong, muscular build and covered from head to toe in dark or light brown hair. Accounts of a strong, foul-smelling odor are not uncommon (leading to the name 'Skunk Ape' in some regions), as are reports of whistling sounds and deep, beast-like vocalizations.

Bigfoot sightings have occurred across the United States and there are stories of large ape-like beasts in the folklore of indigenous cultures across the continent, many of which predating the arrival of European settlers.

The creature is often thought of as intelligent (more so than any other ape besides humans), thus speculatively accounting for its remarkable ability to stay hidden in an increasingly populated modern America.

Some of the myths and folklore surrounding Bigfoot also portray it as some sort of supernatural (rather than biological) entity possessing paranormal abilities.
Evidence

Several types of physical evidence have been presented over the years.

Footprints, in particular, have often been found following a sighting. These range in size and shape, with some exhibiting ape-like characteristics indicative of a large bipedal animal.

Plaster casts made from some of these prints measure up to 24 inches in length and 8 inches wide.

Opinions on these tracks remain mixed, with many examples being either native wildlife or potentially fraudulent and others being impossible to identify one way or the other.

Hair samples found snagged on wire fences or on tree branches have also been hailed as potential physical evidence of the creature. While some remain unidentified, DNA testing has made it possible to determine that others have come from various species of conventional wildlife.

To date, no definitive evidence for the existence of Bigfoot has ever been found.

Theories

North America contains vast swathes of forests and wilderness, but given its extensive human population and ever-growing urban areas, it seems as though it would be very difficult, if not impossible, for a population of large bipedal hominids to remain undetected in the present day.

The discovery of such a species would certainly be one of the most significant scientific finds in centuries.

As mentioned above, some argue that Bigfoot isn't actually a biological creature at all and is in fact some sort of supernatural entity that can appear and disappear at will.

It has even been suggested that the creature is actually a member of an extraterrestrial race that periodically visits the Earth (thus accounting for its ability to remain hidden).

As things stand, however, there is no evidence to confirm or deny either of these theories.

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  Related Entries:
  • Loch Ness Monster, a legendary Scottish loch monster.
  • Yeti, a legendary ape-like creature said to roam the Himalayas.

(Note: This feature is a work in progress with more entries being added on a regular basis.)

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