Bigfoot is a humanlike figure in the folklore of many societies. Known as Sasquatch to the Native Americans, it is a large and hairy hominoid who walks on two legs. The study of Bigfoot is an example of cryptozoology – the study of unknown creatures. While many scientists dismiss the Bigfoot as legend without basis in scientific fact. Still, the number of reports across the world and through the ages has led other scientists to postulate that Bigfoot does exist, the remnants of ancient humanoid populations displaced by Homo sapiens. Unfortunately, it has proven difficult to obtain great big foot photos, which would be proof of their existence.
According to reports, the Sasquatch stands between 7-10 feet tall, with a covering of dark reddish or brown hair. The eyes are large, under a jutting brow ridge and large forehead, reminiscent of a gorilla.
In North America, Bigfoot is known by the Salish name for this “hairy man”. Over centuries, stories of this ape-man have persisted. Natives reported a large, powerful creature with a foul smell, though occasionally the creature is seen semi-clothed and using tools. Other names include the Florida Swamp Ape, the Windigo (Quebec, Canada), the Wookie (Louisiana), and the simple yet elegant Bushman.
The Yowie, a Sasquatch-like creature of Australia, has been part of aboriginal folklore for many years. The Blue Mountain area near Sydney has had a large number of sightings – up to 3200 of them! A recent sighting in 1979 occurred when hikers came across a mutilated kangaroo, apparently freshly killed by the large, hairy ape-man standing forty feet away.
In South America, the Mapinguari is also known as Isnashi. They are described as nocturnal, with red hair and a terrifying scream. In one version, the creature is strictly vegetarian.
The Tibetans talk of Yeti, the Abominable Snowman, who lives in the Himalayan mountains. Explorers have reported sightings of creatures and footprints. The UK representative to Nepal reported an attack by a large, hairy creature who attacked his servants in 1832. Sir Edmund Hillary spotted massive footprints when conquering Mount Everest. Dozens of reports have been made, with Yetis and their tracks spotted across the mountain range.
In China, the Wild Man lives in remote forests, and sightings have been reported for 2000 years. In folklore, the creature would capture people, eating them.
The Almas have been reported in the Caucasus mountains of Kazakhstan. For centuries, these creatures reportedly communicated through gestures and even traded for trinkets. The first written reference was made in 1420 by a captive of the Mongols. In the mid-1800’s, a wild woman was reportedly captured and named either Zanya or Zana. During her captivity, she bore several children. Those who survived were raised by village women, and were integrated into town society. Nicolai Przewalski, explorer and rediscoverer of the ancient Przewalski’s horse, once believed to be extinct, also reported seeing wildmen in Mongolia in 1871. Reports of creatures in this area continue to this day.
While anecdotal evidence for the existence of Bigfoot is strong, to date there has been little photographic evidence. Until further proof is found, they will remain a mystery.