If Bigfoot is Real Where are the Bones?

Gorilla skulls like this one aren't common in the wild, but Bigfoot bones are unheard of.  One find could prove Bigfoot is real once and for all.
Gorilla skulls like this one aren't common in the wild, but Bigfoot bones are unheard of. One find could prove Bigfoot is real once and for all. | Source

Bigfoot Bones and Fossils

When skeptics argue that Bigfoot can’t possibly be real, one of the first questions they ask is, “Where are the bones?” If Sasquatch really exists, there ought to be some sort of physical proof left behind when they die. If not bones and bodies, at the very least there should be evidence of a North American Ape in the fossil record.

There are no confirmed Bigfoot bones or fossils, of course, and the skeptics have a point. Biology is a science, and science is based on fact. Without compelling physical evidence no biologist or paleontologist would ever make the claim that Bigfoot does, or did, exist.

On the other hand, we humans would never have gotten very far if we weren't able to imagine possibilities that seem to be slightly outside of what we can definitively prove. The ability to form theories that can’t yet be validated, but seem to fit another set of facts, is what moves science along.

That other set of facts is the plethora of sightings and first-hand accounts that tell us Bigfoot is out there. All kinds of people spot Bigfoot. Even President Teddy Roosevelt had a Bigfoot story!

So, based on eye-witness acccounts, Bigfoot appears to be a real, flesh-and-blood creature, and its habitat apparently stretches to most corners of our continent. People see it, take pictures of it and record it on video. Tracks are found, and even occasional hair samples and scat.

There is something weird in the woods, and according to witnesses and the evidence they collect it is very real.

So how do the believers answer the skeptics when it comes to the issue of bones, bodies and fossils? Or, do the lack of bones and fossils equate to an outright slam-dunk debunking of the Bigfoot phenomenon?

Whether you believe in Bigfoot or not, consider the following food for thought.

The Bigfoot Population

The chances of finding Bigfoot bones are highly dependent on the number of living Sasquatch.

Why Hasn't Anyone Found a Dead Bigfoot?

The first issue at hand is how the total number of Bigfoot in North America. Bigfoot is obviously a very rare animal, but how rare? We have no idea how many Sasquatch there are in North America, but we can assume it is a fairly low number.

For comparison, in the lower 48 states there are less than 2,000 Grizzly Bears. We can assume there are fewer Bigfoot than Grizzly Bears. Still, the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization estimates there may be between 2,000 and 6,000 Bigfoot in all of North America, but emphasizes that the usual methods of estimating an animal’s population do not apply very well here.

Six thousand animals spread out across all of North America makes Sasquatch a very rare creature indeed. But this is just one variable we need to consider when we think about our odds of stumbling upon Bigfoot remains. The next thing we need to think about is how long these animals live, and how often they die.

Bigfoot Lifespan

Since we don't know how long Bigfoots live, we can't possibly know how often a carcass may appear.

How Long Does Bigfoot Live?

It may not be fair to compare Bigfoot's lifespan and mortality rate with that of humans, given the medical attention we receive. Instead, let’s use gorillas as an analog. According to the WWF, wild gorillas live to about 40 years of age, and experience an adult mortality rate of about 5%.

If we apply that percentage to Sasquatch, using the BFRO’s population estimates, that would mean there are only between 100 and 300 Bigfoot carcasses on the ground in any given year, across all of North America, from the swamps of Florida to the forests of Alaska.

Of course this is only a guess. Bigfoot may live much longer, and have a much lower mortality rate. If fewer than a hundred Bigfoot bodies are available to find every year, and this animal lives is such remote locations, what are the chances someone will find one?

Even when Bigfoot dies, the forest has a way of reclaiming things. Experiments conducted with deer carcasses have shown that within only a few days the remains are completely gone from the site. Scavengers drag parts away, and the rest decomposes at a rapid rate. Unless someone was to come upon a Bigfoot body within a few days after its passing, they may never know it had been there.

Fossil Evidence

Does the absence of a North American Ape in the fossil record mean the search for Sasquatch is hopeless?

Sasquatch in the Fossil Record

Even if it is rare to find Bigfoot bones, or any remains at all, if a species of North American Ape really exists there ought to be proof in the fossil record. But how likely are we to find fossilized Bigfoot remains?

Fossils only form in very specific situations. Animals that die in damp forest environments aren’t likely to fossilize due to the quick decomposition described above. Erosion may play a part in the preservation of fossils from mountainous areas.

Since Bigfoot seems to live in both dense forests and mountainous areas, and since we’ve already established how few Bigfoot must die every year, it appears a fossilized Bigfoot would be highly unlikely.

Possible Sasquatch Relatives

Some believe an ancient ape called Gigantopithecus helps to explain the lack of Bigfoot fossil evidence.

Gigantopithecus Blacki

For a less theoretical take on this, let’s take a look at a creature called Gigantopithecus Blacki. Giganto was a ten-foot-tall ape that weighed in the neighborhood of a thousand pounds. It lived in Asia until about 100,000 years ago, and we know it was real from the fossil record. In fact, Giganto lived for about nine million years before it went extinct.

So how much evidence do we have in the fossil record, left by this creature over nine million years? Just a few pieces of jawbone along with some teeth.

Since there is no history of any apes in North or South America, or humans for that matter before the last ice age, we have to assume Bigfoot’s ancestors made the trip from Asia across the Bering Land Bridge around the same time humans did.

This puts the first Sasquatch in North America around 20,000 years ago. So, if Gigantopithecus only left some teeth and jaw fragments over nine million years, what makes us so sure Bigfoot would have left fossil evidence over only 20,000 years?

Combine low mortality with a small population and an environment not very suitable for fossilization and it is easy to see why Bigfoot fossils are hard to come by.

Even after millions of years, little fossil evidence exists for Gigantopithecus Blacki.
Even after millions of years, little fossil evidence exists for Gigantopithecus Blacki. | Source

Bigfoot Culture

Sasquatch behavior and ritual itself may be the reason remains are so scarce.

Does Bigfoot Bury Its Dead?

Up to this point we’ve been talking about luck, numbers and chance, but what if Bigfoot has a hand in making sure the dead aren’t found? Perhaps Sasquatches bury their dead.

We’re not talking about ceremonial interment here. If they do bury the remains of their kind it must be in a very crude way since no Sasquatch graves have ever been found. Maybe they have learned to do this as a way of keeping their living area or territory clean and free from scavengers.

Or, maybe there is deeper reason. Being an intelligent creature, perhaps Bigfoot grasps the meaning of death, and seeks in some way to find closure to a relationship through burial. Some researchers believe Sasquatch isn’t a kind of ape at all, but instead something more like a primitive human. If that is the case it is reasonable to imagine it burying the bodies of its lost family members and even grieving.

Some primates are thought to grieve for the dead. An even better example would be elephants, which are shown time and again to express grief and mourn for their lost family members. Some have even been noted to “bury” their dead under branches and leaves.

Humanlike or not, it isn’t inconceivable that Bigfoot may somehow inter the remains of its lost. Even if only a percentage of Sasquatch carcasses are buried intentionally, it cuts down on the already small numbers that are available to be found.

Can We Trust the "Evidence"?

Interference from Forest Creatures

Everything in nature goes back to the Earth. Does it make sense that animals may be scattering Bigfoot remains?

Do Porcupines Eat Bigfoot Bones?

One theory put out there by some Bigfoot researchers says porcupines eat up or hide all the Sasquatch bones. After getting over the initial “Huh?”, and then shooing images of conspiring Bigfoots and porcupines out of our heads, when we look at this it is actually an interesting idea.

Porcupines are herbivores, so they aren’t going to munch on a Bigfoot carcass for food. However, they are known to chew on antlers and bones to satisfy their needs for certain minerals. They also may drag bones to their den.

But there are a couple of problems with this theory. While porcupines are prevalent in much of Canada and Alaska, as well as the Northwestern and Northeastern United States, there are also some Bigfoot hotspots where porcupines are rare or nonexistent, such as Florida.

And, with so many abundant animals to choose from, it’s hard to image porcupines would be a main reason Bigfoot bones are so hard to find. Still, it’s an intriguing idea that conjures up some odd mental images.

Porcupine: It wasn't me.
Porcupine: It wasn't me. | Source

Them Bones

Are there really rare Bigfoot bones out there to be found? Or, are all of these arguments put forward by Bigfoot enthusiasts and researchers simply wishful thinking? Is it unrealistic to suggest a creature like Sasquatch could live among us for thousands of years and not leave any fossil evidence or physical remains?

Even if it seems reasonable that Bigfoot bones would be extremely hard to come by, it’s a darn shame that is so. Even the discovery of fossils as minuscule as what we have for Gigantopithecus Blacki would turn the Bigfoot debate upside-down. It would be near-certain proof of the existence of a North American Ape.

But for now the skeptics have the scientific high ground. Without any solid proof Bigfoot is relegated to the shadowy world of cryptozoology. Many of those skeptics would love nothing more than to be proven wrong, and be shown that Bigfoot does exist. Bones or fossils would do it, but for now this evidence is sorely lacking.

Do any of these arguments makes sense as for why no Bigfoot bones are found?

  • Yes! It all makes sense!
  • Yes . . . but the porcupine one is a little odd.
  • Maybe. We just don't know enough yet.
  • No way. If Bigfoot were out there, we would find bones.
See results without voting

© 2013 Eric Dockett

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Comments 37 comments

Geekdom profile image

Geekdom 3 years ago

Great Hub! A friend of mine is a biologist who has studied big foot. As a scientist he can not say that big foot exists but he does say two things that make it a very real possibility. One he has three unique samples of unidentified primate hair. (If not big foot, there is a primate species we have not recorded in North America). The size of the world is huge. There are over 100 plane crashes, on land, in North America that the wreckage can't be found. These are huge structures that don't move.

EricDockett profile image

EricDockett 3 years ago from USA Author

Thanks Geekdom! Interesting point about the plane crashes. I think I've heard that before but I haven't thought about it in a while. There are more hidden places in this world than we realize.

sheilamyers 3 years ago

I think all of the explanations make sense. I'm an avid day hiker and have spent a lot of time in the woods. I'm not talking regular trails here, I mean way off the beaten path. In all my years in the woods, I've found one leg bone from a groundhog and part of one deer jaw. If it's that hard to find bones of the animals we know, the same applies to Bigfoot.

EricDockett profile image

EricDockett 3 years ago from USA Author

Very true, Sheila! Keep an eye out for Bigfoot when you're out there on the trails!

sheilamyers 3 years ago

If I ever do, I never be able to tell you because I'd probably have a heart attack - not so much from fear as from the excitement of actually seeing one.

KyrickZ profile image

KyrickZ 3 years ago

Interesting!! There are also footprints as evidence..

EricDockett profile image

EricDockett 3 years ago from USA Author

@sheila: Just make sure you have your camera ready!

@KyrickZ: Tracks are interesting but also easily faked. Researchers know what to look for, but the average Joe can be duped by hoaxers with some cardboard Bigfoot feet and a little time on their hands.

Maggie Bennett profile image

Maggie Bennett 3 years ago from New York

Good read. Besides the bones, there should be Big Foot scat out there somewhere for someone to pick at. There are books for hunters and trackers describing all the different types. Find that and it will not be all BS anymore. LOL

iamfenr profile image

iamfenr 3 years ago from Bangkok, Thailand

many one say it's true.

EricDockett profile image

EricDockett 3 years ago from USA Author

Very true, Maggie! And thanks!

Suhail and my dog profile image

Suhail and my dog 3 years ago from Mississauga, ON

Another good article that I had to read after looking at your profile. You have great arguments and counter-arguments.

IMHO, if there are anything like Big Foot, they can only be ETs visiting from other distant planets. That could be the only possible reason for me.

Also, I agree with Shielamyers above. I hike a lot too and in my hiking of 30 years, I have come across a shoulder bone and a foreleg of one deer once.

EricDockett profile image

EricDockett 3 years ago from USA Author

@Suhail: Bigfoot as an alien visitor is an interesting idea. Hardcore Bigfoot researchers might not feel that way, but I like to keep an open mind to any possibility.

xxtonybxx profile image

xxtonybxx 3 years ago from wales

An excellent, engaging article. I liked the fact that your arguments are open and unbiased. You present the facts and analyse them with what comes across as a real intention to get to the truth. I often find Cryptozoology can descend into a subject rife with people who think shouting "unbeliever!" at anyone who questions the existence/non-existence of a creature is a reasonable replacement for intelligent debate. More of these!

earner profile image

earner 3 years ago from United Kingdom

They don't have bones, Big Foot is made of cheese.

carlajbehr profile image

carlajbehr 3 years ago from NW PA

I wrote a hub on bigfoot as well - I summed it up by saying, it's the DNA evidence that will prove or disprove this once and for all. Science based on evidence is the only way to put this to rest. I guess we shall see. Great hub with interesting points - pretty refreshing!

sgbrown profile image

sgbrown 3 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

First of all I would like to congratulate you on "Hub of the Day". This is a very thought provoking article. To add a thought to the comments here, one of the main reasons we don't find animals bones when hiking is that most of the time wild dogs, such as coyotes and wolves take the bones to their dens or chew them up on the spot. Generally, where ever there is wilderness, there are wild dogs. This could be another reason why no bones have been found.

I have enjoyed reading your hub, as well as the comments. Voting up, interesting and sharing. :)

cheeluarv profile image

cheeluarv 3 years ago from INDIA

Interesting hub,with discussions similar to existence of yeti in Nepal.

Nitin Pillai profile image

Nitin Pillai 3 years ago from Mumbai, Maharastra, India

Wow, awesome topic! Well, the only video that has convinced me a bit of the Bigfoot's existence is the patterson gimlin footage.

kmaskreations profile image

kmaskreations 3 years ago

Great hub! One thing's for sure, Finding Bigfoot tv show is a success. I love the show, but much of it is laughable. Still, some of the eye-witnesses certainly seem sincere. My husband is a land surveyor and has practically lived in the woods in the southern US for over 4 decades and has never seen anything like a Big Foot. As far as the discovery of a carcass or bones, vultures and other scavengers quickly move in followed by coyotes, wolves and dogs who would quickly do away with bones. My husband rarely sees bones of any type in the woods though the deer population is very high. The fact that some hair samples have been unidentifiable by labs has been the most convincing to me. Anything's possible. Thanks for sharing.

purl3agony profile image

purl3agony 3 years ago from USA

Interesting article - The possibility of Bigfoot's existence scared the begeezes out of me as a kid, but I'm keeping an open mind. Congrats on your HOTD!

EricDockett profile image

EricDockett 3 years ago from USA Author

Thanks for all the kind comments everyone, and some great perspectives on this topic!

Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 3 years ago from Southern Georgia

Interesting article, Eric. Here in SE Georgia there's the "Alapaha River Bigfoot" where the gigantic wild boar "Hogzilla" was killed not too many years ago. Not saying I believe in the creatures, but it's fun to read about them from some people's perspectives.

Congrats on HOTD also. It's good to see a non-apprentice hub awarded to a deserving writer.

NornsMercy profile image

NornsMercy 3 years ago from Charlotte, NC

I wish someone would find some Bigfoot's bones. It would be awesome! I'd want a pet Bigfoot... I'd name him Steve and we'd have crazy adventures together..........

moonlake profile image

moonlake 3 years ago from America

Maybe they eat their own when they die, sounds awful. Congrats on HOTD. Voted up.

whonunuwho profile image

whonunuwho 3 years ago from United States

Interesting hub. I believe that the animal, we call Sasquatch , or Big Foot, buries its lost one's bones and much like the elephants do. whonu

W1totalk profile image

W1totalk 3 years ago

I like this. I feel like every time just before the end of summer there is some amazing story. Once. there was even a reveal of what was supposed to be a Bigfoot carcass. Great article.

NickSimpson profile image

NickSimpson 3 years ago from Jacksonville, Illinois

One of the best hubs I've read in some time. You really bring up some great questions and you have obviously done your homework bravo!

royblizzard profile image

royblizzard 3 years ago from Austin / Leander, Texas

Good hub. Who really knows what is in the wild. We don't have a real good handle on several large expanses of country all over the world. Many things in legends of differing peoples have truth in them, it just takes other cultures a while to figure them out. As far as bigfoot existing in America, I think we have about 535 semi-hairless varieties inhabiting DC.

melpor profile image

melpor 3 years ago from New Jersey, USA

Great hub. Unfortunately, I am a skeptic when it comes to discussions about bigfoot. Until there is definitive proof of bigfoot then I will believe it. Voted up and interesting.

sparkster profile image

sparkster 3 years ago from United Kingdom

Great hub Eric and a very thought-provoking read. Last time I looked into this topic (and as someone mentioned above) I was taken to information that suggested Bigfoot could be somehow related to ET/UFO visitation. I believe that certain creatures that were being transported as ET cargo have ended up on Earth in the past due to crashes but not so sure about Bigfoot. Though I'm an avid UFO researcher, I have never found any compelling evidence that Bigfoot and ET's are linked.

Barbara Kay profile image

Barbara Kay 3 years ago from USA

You've covered the subject thoroughly. Every answer I came up with was answered later. I don't know where I stand on the issue of Big Foot. I always say though that they didn't know bacteria existed until someone invented a microscope. You just never know.

EricDockett profile image

EricDockett 3 years ago from USA Author

Thanks for all the great feedback on Bigfoot, everyone. Obviously this is a subject I find interesting and I guess I'm not alone. I started writing Bigfoot articles a little over a year ago, and at the time I was on the fence, probably leaning more toward disbelief. As I did more research and really saw the stories and "evidence" that's out there I started to shift my opinion a little, thinking maybe there really is something to this Bigfoot thing.

I like to think its possible but, in the end, who knows? If nothing else it's fun and interesting to ponder the "what ifs".

Damien Smith 23 months ago

It's no such thing,, it's a circus act...Really, they can find billion yr old lost ancient tomb, dinosaurs remains, new species everything time the ocean is explored,, but No Bigfoot...I wish they would admit the hoist.

and why do people only have distant clips, all walking claim and slowly,I mean like why didn't they follow the thing and call help while staying on the"so call"Bigfoot sitting...

EricDockett profile image

EricDockett 23 months ago from USA Author

LOL! I have to agree with some of your points, Damien (I think). When people see Bigfoot, why do they run? Get your darn cell phone out and take some pictures! People stop to take video of a Tsunami coming, but they run from Bigfoot. I don't get that.

Still, I remain optimistic!

G Ivanova profile image

G Ivanova 21 months ago

I definitely agree with your points of view. Great hub! Voted up.

Jennifer Mugrage profile image

Jennifer Mugrage 9 months ago from Columbus, Ohio

Great title! You sound like a skeptic but then sneakily undermine skeptical arguments, all while examining the evidence fairly.

"We would have found the bones" ... mmm, I don't know. Are we really that smart ... or motivated? I remember hearing once that Europeans didn't believe in gorillas for many years, until someone brought a gorilla carcass back to Europe ... perhaps this is covered in another one of your Hubs.

EricDockett profile image

EricDockett 9 months ago from USA Author

Thanks Jennifer. I am certainly skeptical, but also intrigued. It seems like people are seeing something weird in the woods, but as of yet there is simply not enough physical evidence to confirm the existence of a bigfoot-like creature

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