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BIGFOOT

Type: Hominid Anthropoid

Names of Known Representatives: "Harry," Sasquatch, Yeti (Abominable Snow-Man), Skunk Ape, Mo-mo, Jacko, Nuk-luk, Yowie, Mono Grande, et al

Typical Height: 7-9'

Typical Weight: 500-800 lbs.

Diet: Omnivorous, eating everything from small berries, edible roots and leaves to fish, small animals and insects, sometimes scavenging

Traits: Bigfoot are shy, elusive creatures adapting both humanoid and primate characteristics. They tend to preside in inaccessible areas and rarely travel into civilized areas. They know how to use simple tools, exist in small family groups and communicate with gestures, movements and basic phonetic sounds. They have a potential for language. It is been theorized that they may bury their own dead.

Lifespan: 75-90 years (possibly)

Habitat: The Pacific Northwest (Washington, Oregon, Northern California and parts of Idaho and Montana, including British Columbia and Alberta in Canada) and Western Asia (The Himalayas) with isolated families and tribes around the world  

History: Bigfoot is the blanket term for a mysterious race of humanoid ape-like beings which populate the North American continent. While most sightings have occurred in the Pacific Northwest of the United states, sightings have been reported all over the world, such as the Himalayas and the most inaccessible parts of the world, such as the mountains of Indochina. The cultures of these countries often have various names for their respective Bigfoot, such as the Yeti in Tibet and the Skunk Ape in the Everglades of Florida. In North America, Bigfoot is part of Native American folklore where he is typically called Sasquatch.

The evolutionary origins of Bigfoot are undetermined, but theoretical evidence suggests they may be descended from an extinct species of ape known as Gigantopithecus, separate but related to hominids, gorillas, chimps, orangutans and gibbons. Samples of suspect Bigfoot hair have been shown to be similar to humans and chimpanzees. Gigantopithecus once existed in the region of Western China, and their descendants may have emigrated into North America along the Bering Land Strait which connected North America to Asia during the last Ice Age.

It is not known when human civilization first began encountering and making sightings of Bigfoot. The Native Americans definitely knew of Bigfoot, calling him Sasquatch ,and revered them as spirits of nature for several millennia. Tibetan priests honored them as mountain deities. In 1884, a mysterious creature known only as Jacko was captured by railroad workers near what is now Bluff Oregon. He was kept captive for a while in a local jail but later escaped; although published verifications of this creature are non-existent, it is believed no such creature eve existed. However, in 1893, future president Theodore Roosevelt while hunting near the Wisdom River came across a presence in the woods he believed to be Bigfoot and believed so till his death. In September 1921, Colonel C. K. Howard Bury ascending Mount Everest recorded of the first Yeti sightings and returned to Western Civilization with his description of the creature he had seen.

Full public knowledge of Bigfoot did not meet the media until 1958. Loggers near the Klamath River in California left their gear parked on the job site overnight, and on their return, discovered numerous tracks of large humanoid bipedal tracks around their equipment. The incident brought stories of Bigfoot to the media for the first time and people all over the United States and across the world, even to the Himalayas where legends of the Yeti were already public knowledge. The discovery of an ape-like creature across the world brought the existence for the Yeti to a credible level.

The public perception of Bigfoot, however, seems mired in as much conspiracy as there is in confirming its existence. Bigfoot is often erroneously thought of a a violent animal, but this is action based on a negligible amount of sightings. On one occasion, Bigfoot took a warning charge at a viewer, but this may have just been an effort of staking its territory. Abduction legends are common, connected to the infamous disappearance of D.B. Cooper over the Oregon wilderness in 1978 and a number of vanishings by women along Vermont's Long Trail in 1976. The 1924 abduction of Albert Ostman, however, suggests that Bigfoot is just as curious about human beings as the public is about them. 

The most famous piece of evidence to support the existence of such creatures is the 1967 motion picture footage of a female Bigfoot caught by ranchers Roger Patterson and Bib Gimlin. The brief footage has been analyzed and scrutinized more than any other piece of footage with more evidence coming as proof of its authenticity than doubt against the existence of such creatures. While video footage of the Yeti and other creatures is rare, one photo taken by a motion-sensitive camera near Lakeland, Florida in 2000 shows far more detail: teeth, eyes, hands and hair pattern. Believed surprised while catching frogs, this Florida creatures is often called Skunk Ape because of the scent it uses to repel predators. The inaccessibility of the Florida Everglades and the recurring nocturnal sightings suggest a small family of Bigfoot live in the area. 

Regardless of the evidence of countless sightings, physical evidence and countless plaster molds of footprints, evidence of Bigfoot's existence far out weighs the criticism against its existence. Bizarre animal cries recorded on tape from Texas have been compared to howler and hamadryad monkeys. In recent years, hair samples from the broken-in back door during a rash of Bigfoot sightings in Pike's Peak have actually been analyzed. DNA analysis of these hairs suggest a creature somewhere between human beings and chimpanzees in the primate order of mammals. (It should be noted that chimpanzees are more genetically compatible with human beings than any other primate.)

Media Appearances: (movies)

(documentary)

(television)

(pop culture)

(comics)

Comments: This profile describes the probable characteristics of an unknown animal; it is meant for entertainment value and does not describe any actual known animals. Research culled from the books "The Bigfoot Casebook" by Janet and Colin Bord, "The Encyclopedia of Monsters" by Jeff Rovin, "Field Guide to Bigfoot, Yeti and Other Mystery Primates" by Loren Coleman and Patricia Huyghe, "The Unexplained" by Jerome Clark, and "Mysteries of the Unexplained" by the Editors of Reader's Digest

Cryptozoology is the study of hidden or unrevealed animals, usually animals associated with animals from the prehistoric past (like sea serpents), sometimes including mysterious animals of uncertain characteristics (like the chupacabra and Jersey Devil).

In the movies, Kevin Peter Hall played "Harry" in the movie, "Harry and the Hendersons" (1986). In "Monsters Inc." (2001), the Yeti was voiced by John Ratzenburger, better known as Cliff Clavin from "Cheers" (1987-2000). 

Clarifications:  Bigfoot (Sasquatch) is not to be confused with:  

Last updated: 01/16/08

 

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