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Creatures, Myths & Legends

New study finds link between Bigfoot sightings and bear populations

By T.K. Randall
January 22, 2024 · Comment icon 27 comments
Bigfoot walking through the forest.
Could bears explain most Bigfoot sightings ? Image Credit: Bing AI / Dall-E 3
New research suggests that black bears could account for a significant percentage of Bigfoot sightings.
Does an unidentified species of intelligent, bipedal hominid roam the forests of North America ?

While the jury is certainly out on whether or not this elusive cryptozoological enigma actually exists, there are many thousands of people who believe that they have witnessed the creature first-hand.

But could these sightings be a case of mistaken identity ?

In a new study published in Journal of Zoology, researcher Floe Floxon of the Folk Zoology Society in Pittsburgh has highlighted a striking correlation between the number of Bigfoot sightings in a particular US state and its black bear population.
For every 1,000 bears, he found, the number of Bigfoot sightings also increases by 4%.

It is certainly not unreasonable to imagine that a black bear could be mistaken for Bigfoot. Despite their name, these animals can have fur in a range of colors and their tendency to sometimes walk upright on two legs could make a bear appear like a bipedal ape-like creature at a distance.

That said, black bears alone cannot explain the Bigfoot phenomenon because, in some cases, US states with no black bear population at all can still see sizable numbers of Bigfoot sightings.

"As black bear populations increase, Sasquatch sightings are expected to increase," Floxon wrote.

"On average, across all states and provinces in 2006, after controlling for human population and forest area, there were approximately 5000 bears per Sasquatch sighting."

"Based on statistical considerations, it is likely that many supposed Sasquatch are really misidentified known forms. If Bigfoot is there, it could be a bear."

Source: Ars Technica | Comments (27)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #18 Posted by Alchopwn 3 months ago
NO, we are saying that they are extremely large omnivores, with prodigious appetites, like pigs, obviously.
Comment icon #19 Posted by Liquid Gardens 3 months ago
How do you know?  Shouldn't just assume it, gorillas aren't omnivores.  When Bigfeet die in the woods how do other Bigfeet know to go and eat them so we can never find any evidence of them?  
Comment icon #20 Posted by Alchopwn 3 months ago
I think there is ample evidence of BFs seen carrying dead deer, as well as eating fruit.  Sounds pretty omnivorous to me.  Plus, no deer bones left at BF nests afaik.  There is actually a LOT of lore.
Comment icon #21 Posted by Liquid Gardens 3 months ago
You have a much much different definition of 'ample evidence' then.  We don't even have 'ample evidence' of BF period, let alone what they carry.  "Nests"... really?  Any explanation how all this ample evidence has eluded biologists?  You were also positing migration, which severely stretches the feasibility of why there is no good evidence if they exist.  I thought the comment by @esoteric_toad above was pretty spot on concerning how biologists discover minute frogs in jungles at least as dense as North American forests yet no one can find and provide anything from such a large creature... [More]
Comment icon #22 Posted by Alchopwn 3 months ago
There are photos of BFs carrying deer.  I think some are legit.  It is very hard for expert wildlife photographers to take good shots of far less intelligent and shy animals in the wild.  They certainly aren't bears, and they're far too tall to be humans. Yes, they build nests, which you'd probably call lean-tos.  It is a species signature. There are plenty of species that have eluded biologists.  Some of them weren't small, either, even this century.  It is no joke to say that BF is the "hide and seek" GOAT.  Plus when evidence presents itself, because there is no precedent, if a sampl... [More]
Comment icon #23 Posted by Liquid Gardens 3 months ago
I'd say Nessie blows away BF, Loch Ness is much more finite and has been searched several times.  And plesiosaurs I don't think were known as being particularly stealthy. And, what, they just stop the analysis?  Are you suggesting that people have done scientific testing on good biological samples purported to be BF, have not been able to identify it, and that was it?  Seems like BF believers would be trumpeting these unable-to-identify examples as evidence for BF, if this is actually what is happening. Please... I know people who believe in Bigfoot, you must recognize that you are a bit fu... [More]
Comment icon #24 Posted by Abramelin 3 months ago I think they'll have some trouble consuming the skull. Ok, BF could splinter the skull using a big rock.
Comment icon #25 Posted by Alchopwn 3 months ago
I'm pretty sure they think the brain is particularly tasty.  IDK if they get Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease from doing so however.
Comment icon #26 Posted by the13bats 4 days ago
My hair is to my waist, I assure you I leave samples everywhere,
Comment icon #27 Posted by OverSword 4 days ago

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