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Creatures, Myths & Legends

Scientist proposes conventional explanation for sightings of Bigfoot

By T.K. Randall
February 5, 2023 · Comment icon 42 comments

Does Bigfoot really exist ? Image Credit: CC BY 2.0 Oregon Department of Transportation
Data scientist Floe Foxon has put forward a theory that could explain the majority of alleged Bigfoot sightings.
When it comes to cryptozoological mysteries, only the Loch Ness Monster is more widely known and debated than Bigfoot - a tall, bipedal hominid said to roam the forests of North America.

But is there really an unknown species of primate wandering around - somehow undiscovered by science against all odds - or is there some other explanation for what people have been seeing ?

According to data scientist Floe Foxon, the answer is obvious - reports of Bigfoot can simply be attributed to sightings of black bears walking around on their hind legs.

It's an idea that has been floated around before and while some witnesses remain adamant that what they saw was no bear, it is likely to explain at least some Bigfoot encounters.

Black bears normally walk around on all-fours, but they can sometimes walk upright on two legs - creating the impression of a tall bipedal creature wandering through the trees.
If you only caught a glimpse of one through the foliage, you might very well think it was Bigfoot.

That said, many witnesses are experienced hunters who would likely be able to tell the difference between a black bear and a large bipedal hominid creature.

Foxon's data links high numbers of Bigfoot sightings with large black bear populations in certain states, although this trend does not always hold up as, for example, some states see a large number of Bigfoot sightings despite having very little in the way of a bear population.

"Notably, Sasquatch sightings have been reported in states with no known breeding black bear populations," he said.

"Although this may be interpreted as evidence for the existence of an unknown hominid in North America, it is also explained by misidentification of other animals (including humans), among other possibilities."

Source: Science Alert | Comments (42)

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #33 Posted by Resume 1 month ago
A prime example of this is hunters shooting livestock, and ever other hunters, mistaking them for deer.  This even happens occasionally during bow season where the ranges are necessarily even closer.
Comment icon #34 Posted by Myles 1 month ago
I think bears make up a percentage of all sightings.  Not sure how big of a percentage.  Maybe lump them into the mis-identified animals category which would probably be around 40%, this would include the times sightings are listed but only a sound was heard.   Hoaxes would probably be somewhere around 30%.   Mind tricks (wanting to find one so bad you think you heard or seen one) - 30%.  Just my guess on the percentage numbers.  
Comment icon #35 Posted by Hammerclaw 26 days ago
Bear behavior is certainly consistent with all but the most fantastical "Dogman" sightings. 
Comment icon #36 Posted by joc 26 days ago
That's why there aren't any BFs....the bears done et em all!
Comment icon #37 Posted by Abramelin 23 days ago
When livestock is in clear sight, mistakes will rarely happen. But when livestock is moving through thick undergrowth, things can go bad.
Comment icon #38 Posted by Golden Duck 19 days ago
I think it's a good explanation for Australian yowie sightings. There was a sighting in the GC hinterland on a road that ran along the boudary of an Army base.
Comment icon #39 Posted by Occupational Hubris 17 days ago
Vietnam, China, Tibet all have bears. Australia... well... you see teh ones we have here
Comment icon #40 Posted by OverSword 17 days ago
Regardless, bears walking on their hind legs does not even come close to explaining every sighting. That’s just a ****ing stupid assertion 
Comment icon #41 Posted by flying squid 17 days ago
Reports of Bigfoot rise when at least 900 black bears are in the area Where black bears are abundant, Bigfoot sightings usually follow – which could make reports of the mythical creature a way to measure American black bear populations. American black bears (Ursus americanus) are being mistaken for Bigfoot throughout North America. For every 900 bears in an area, one Bigfoot sighting is likely to follow, according to an analysis of bear populations and sightings of the mythical being. https://www.newscientist.com/article/2356845-reports-of-bigfoot-rise-when-at-least-900-black-bears-are-in-the-... [More]
Comment icon #42 Posted by Occupational Hubris 16 days ago
I never said it explained all sightings

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