With interests in science and nature, the author explores topics from a unique and sometimes controversial perspective.
Does Bigfoot Really Exist?
Bigfoot is the most famous of the world’s mysterious creatures, and a real celebrity among cryptids. Known as Sasquatch in the Pacific Northwest, Skunk Ape in the South, and various other monikers across North America, Bigfoot is also the most widely dispersed creature of cryptozoology.
In fact, the beasty is so popular that certain cable television networks have even found it worth their while to film reality programs about Bigfoot researchers.
With all of this fame, you’d think Bigfoot would be living the good life, but the Big Guy has a little problem: Despite all of this recent attention, a lot of people still don’t believe he exists.
It’s his own fault, really. All of that skulking around in the dark of the woods and refusing to stand still for a proper photo has taken its toll on his public image over the years.
Fact is, the Bigfoot non-believers make some pretty good arguments for why our favorite bipedal man-ape is probably nothing more than a figment of our collective imagination, perhaps spurred on by the misidentification of known animals mixed with a dab of wishful thinking. They say Bigfoot is not real, and it is tough to argue without solid evidence.
Are they right? Here we’ll take a look at some of the valid questions Bigfoot skeptics put forward, and see if any theories help to alleviate their concerns.
Why Hasn’t Anyone Found Bigfoot?
Obviously, this is the most glaring problem that cryptozoologists and Sasquatch researchers face when trying to prove the point of their work to the general public. Bigfoot is supposedly eight feet tall or more and weighs perhaps a thousand pounds. How in the world has such a massive creature remained hidden for so long? It’s a fair question, but perhaps there is an easy answer. In short: He hasn’t, really.
Bigfoot is spotted all over the place. From Washington State to Florida, and from Maine to California, there are dozens of reported Bigfoot sightings in the United States alone each year. There are usually a few pieces of visual evidence that crop up annually as well, along with plaster casts of footprints, scat, and hair samples.
And these are the only the reported incidents. We can only speculate about how many more people have had experiences but are hesitant to speak up. If these people were to come forward, would that double the number of alleged sightings? Triple it? Who knows.
So, Bigfoot really isn’t sneaking under our radar at all. He’s seen all the time, but if Bigfoot really exists we are talking about an extremely rare animal, so sightings will not be as common or predictable as we might like.
Bigfoot sightings occur around the world. Biologists and scientists have had hundreds of years to locate and study this critter, yet they have failed. Why?
Why is Bigfoot So Rare?
We know there are or were many animals in the United States that had been decimated or killed off completely since Europeans came to the continent hundreds of years ago. Back then, at a time when there was far less communication and fewer people were able to read and write, perhaps Sasquatch encounters were more common.
If early settlers living on the edge of the wilderness with little contact with civilization had killed off a large percentage of these animals there would be few official records of these incidents. In the absence of photography, written journals, and news coverage all that would be left is stories. And we know these stories exist, not only because of the accounts of the early settlers but because of thousands of years of Native American lore.
Unfortunately, by the time science caught up with the New World, perhaps Bigfoot had already become extremely rare, even on the verge of extinction. But that doesn't necessarily mean people never knew about the creature; it just means there is no record.
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Still, the skeptic’s argument has merit. Logically, if Sasquatch is real then biologists should be able to track him down and complete some proper study. Until that happens, there will always be questions, and any Bigfoot facts will be suspect.
The Patterson-Gimlin Film was shot in 1967 and is still considered the best documentation of Bigfoot we have today. In the clip below, Robert Gimlin talks to the Finding Bigfoot crew about the footage. Is it a hoax? You be the judge.
Why Hasn’t Anyone Found Bigfoot Bones or a Body?
So, if Bigfoot is real he obviously has to be pretty tough to corner. Assuming he's an intelligent creature, adept at hiding and staying clear of humans, perhaps he has simply evolved in such a way that makes him ultra-stealthy.
But what about Bigfoot bones? A live Bigfoot might be pretty sneaky, but a dead one can’t move very far on its own. A carcass should have been found by now.
In theory, this makes a lot of sense, but there are a few problems here. Firstly, nothing dead lasts very long before nature breaks it down and recycles it. Any carcass that hits the forest floor decomposes within weeks, and bones are scattered far and wide. In a very short time, there is no trace that a carcass ever existed on the spot.
Secondly, if Bigfoot is so super-rare to begin with, it would be extremely unlikely that a hiker or hunter would happen upon a Bigfoot body in the wild. Deer and bear carcasses are rare to stumble upon, and those are two abundant species.
But there should still be bones floating around somewhere, right? How come nobody has ever found a Bigfoot femur?
With Sasquatch, we’re talking about a very small population of animals that live perhaps as long, or longer, than humans. Deaths in the wild are rare, and therefore carcasses and bones are rare.
It’s possible someone may have seen stray Bigfoot bones on occasion and dismissed them as some other animal, but finding bones strewn in the wilderness is probably much less likely than spotting a living creature. And we know how rare that is.
Some researchers think Bigfoot may bury their dead. This implies some interesting possibilities. Bigfoot may have some sort of culture, or even spiritualism, which dictates this practice. Chimpanzees exhibit a primitive type of “spiritualism” where they will mourn losses and show reverence in certain situations.
Or, perhaps Bigfoot is more closely related to humans than we realize. Interesting food for thought.
Why Hasn’t a Hunter Shot Bigfoot?
What about hunters? Surely some trigger-happy deerslayer should have blown away a Sasquatch by now! There are a few who have claimed to have done just that, but of course, they were not able to provide evidence. However, this may not be as likely as you’d think (and as any hunter would know), and here are a few reasons why:
- Hunters aren’t out there looking to shoot anything that moves; they are hunting a specific animal, and it isn’t Bigfoot. Of course, there are surely some maniacs out there who will shoot first and ask questions later, and woe to the Sasquatch that crosses their paths, but the great majority of hunters are very cautious about what they shoot.
- What looks like a Bigfoot could be some jerk in a costume or another hunter in a Ghillie suit. This thought alone would make it tough for most hunters to pull the trigger. As much as some moron in a gorilla suit running around the forest during hunting season would have it coming, nobody wants to be a murderer.
- Speaking of murder, would you want to be the person who killed Sasquatch? Most hunters have a certain respect for the natural world, and blasting away at perhaps the rarest animal on the planet doesn’t sit well with them.
Still, it would make sense that if Bigfoot is really out there, hunters should be seeing him left and right. Perhaps Bigfoot learned to avoid humans with weapons long ago, after seeing what our species is capable of.
Where Are the Bigfoot Fossils?
Okay, so no living Bigfoot, and no dead Bigfoot. Bigfoot is extremely rare and very elusive, and this is why nobody has captured one. Being rare, and living a long life, means carcasses are hard to come by. Even bones end up scattered, and if they actually bury their dead the situation seems completely hopeless when it comes to finding Sasquatch remains.
But even if all of that is true, if there really is a species of North American Ape running around in the woods of the United States and Canada, it seems to make sense that we should see proof of it in the fossil record. Bones or fossils would be the easiest of Bigfoot facts to confirm. Even if nobody has found a live one or a dead one, there must be evidence in the history of the continent, one would think.
Maybe not. To put it in perspective, let’s take a look at Gigantopithecus Blacki, an ancient species of ape that went extinct thousands of years ago. Gigantopithecus Blacki stood ten feet tall and weighed half a ton. Sound familiar?
Giganto lived in Asia, but some people think it may have crossed the Bering Land Bridge to North American around the same time as humans, and evolved into what we now know as Bigfoot. This would have been around 20,000 years ago.
That’s a long time. We could speculate that over 20,000 years there ought to be fossil evidence left in North America of such a creature, but of course, there is none. That seems telling until we look at the fossil evidence for Giganto in Asia.
During approximately one million years of occupation, Gigantopithecus Blacki has left behind only a few fossilized teeth and mandible fragments. No large bones, no skulls, no full skeletons, nothing else in the fossil record to tell us this creature existed for a million years.
We know Gigantopithecus Blacki lived in Asia for a million years, yet there is almost no fossil evidence. Looking at it that way, it certainly seems possible that there could be any number of large mammals that live or have lived in North America for which we have no fossil record.
Of course, Bigfoot-Giganto Theory has a few holes in it, most glaringly the fact that Giganto is presumed to have gone extinct many thousands of years before the Bering Land Bridge was most recently accessible. Still, it is a good illustration of just how much the fossil record is lacking, and how a rare animal like Bigfoot could slip right through.
What Does Bigfoot Eat?
Bigfoot is a large creature and has to eat something to survive. Probably a lot of something. Diet and the amount of available food is another subject that makes some people skeptical of Bigfoot.
Whether Bigfoot evolved from Gigantopithecus Blacki or some other great ape, or whether it is more closely related to humans, the fact is that a population of such huge creatures is going to require enormous amounts of food.
People think of Giganto as a big gorilla, like King Kong, but it was probably more closely related to modern Orangutans. If you can get a picture of a ten-foot Orangutan in your mind it likely doesn’t look much like the stealthy, sure-footed Sasquatch we’ve all heard about. Orangs are foragers, and so likely was Giganto, dining on bamboo and other vegetation. If Bigfoot is similar, it’s hard to imagine the deciduous/coniferous forests of North America would provide enough sustenance in the winter months.
Elk and Moose are grazers that live in rough climates. Would the types of food they consume be adequate for a Bigfoot population? Grizzly bears are massive creatures, but they hibernate their way through the long, cold winter. What’s Bigfoot’s trick?
If Bigfoot did evolve from Giganto, it must have changed drastically in appearance, behavior, and food preferences. Indeed, some researchers believe Sasquatch may even hunt animals as large as deer and elk to supplement its diet with meat. That would certainly help in northern climates where there is sparse vegetation for many months of the year. But does it make any sense?
While many ape species (including Orangs) do consume insects as part of their diets, and chimpanzees are known to hunt monkeys and other small animals, the only living hominids that routinely take down game of this magnitude are humans.
This brings us back to considering Bigfoot as a closer relative to us on the family tree. If Bigfoot does hunt, kill, and consume large game we must assume it is capable of at least a fair amount of aggression. Maybe it is using tools or some kind as hunting weapons, perhaps something as rudimentary as large rocks or sticks.
Is it possible Bigfoot might even attack humans? Should we fear Bigfoot? Facts on this are sketchy, but there seems to be no reasons to prepare for a Bigfoot mauling when you enter the woods.
But this is all speculation, of course. The skeptic’s argument makes sense. We can assume an adult Sasquatch would need thousands of calories each day to survive the rough northern winters, but we also don’t know if it might, for instance, enter into periods of torpor or even hibernate for several months.
Where Does Bigfoot Live?
Everywhere, it seems. One of the problems a lot of skeptics have with Sasquatch sightings is the wide range of habitat and territory they seem to cover. When we consider the deep, rarely-trodden woodlands of the Pacific Northwest or the dark and foreboding swamplands of the south, it’s easy to imagine Bigfoot or any other unknown animal making a home there, well protected from the meddling of humans.
But Bigfoot sightings occur all over the place, not just in remote areas. Bigfoot is even seen in older, more densely populated eastern states like Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Maryland. These states do possess significant game lands and forests, but they are also well-explored and thoroughly mapped. How could a creature this large slip past biologists and researchers, not to mention hunters, for hundreds of years?
To get an idea of how it might be possible, let’s take a look at the story of the mountain lion in the Northeastern parts of the United States. Like in the western and southeastern parts of the country, cougars were once prevalent in the northeast. Because of their dangerous nature, it didn’t take long for settlers and early colonists to decide they were better gone than here. So, for a few hundred years cougars were killed on sight, until one day there were none.
Today, according to agencies like U.S. Fish and Wildlife, there should be no more cougars in the Northeast. But you don’t have to look far to find someone who knows someone, who has a brother, who once talked to someone who saw a cougar firsthand while hunting in the northeast. If you look a little harder you might even find the source of the sighting, and they’ll swear what they saw was not a bobcat, but a real cougar. There are even bodies of cougars allegedly shot or hit by cars in the northeast.
Cougars are very elusive animals, and if they still exist in the places like New York, New England, and Pennsylvania their population is very small. Yet people see them and report their sightings all the time. Just like Bigfoot. If we factor in Bigfoot’s presumed intelligence level, which must be far greater than a cougar’s, it makes sense that it would be even harder to spot, capture and document. Bigfoot isn’t likely to get hit by a car any more than a person would, and he’s going to be smarter at finding hiding spots than a cougar.
If it is plausible that cougars could still exist in the east, as many believe, it’s also plausible that the same woods could conceal another extremely rare animal.
The Conclusion . . .
Even though there is plenty of evidence for Bigfoot’s existence, in the absence of a living specimen, a body, or even fragments of a carcass it’s impossible to say definitively that there is a rare species of hominid running around the woods of North America. And there have been plenty of pranksters willing to hoax Bigfoot evidence over the years. Those skeptics who say Bigfoot is not real have some solid ground on which to make their point.
Still, many people believe Bigfoot is really out there.
The thing is, belief should have nothing to do with it. Science is based on information and logic, not whimsy and wishes. Ultimately, it’s up to the individual to decide if the available evidence and arguments are compelling enough to support the existence of such a creature. Right now, science says no.
The skeptics will say no as well. Without cold, hard facts and indisputable evidence Bigfoot is no more real than Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny.
Sasquatch researchers will counter that the available evidence had to come from somewhere, and there is simply too much information out there to ignore. Just because we don’t have all the pieces yet doesn’t mean we should give up on the puzzle.
Some may argue that there can be no such thing as “Bigfoot facts” when studying a creature like this. While that may be true in the sense that we have no animals to study, there certainly are facts and evidence that accompany the Bigfoot phenomenon.
It’s a fact that people are routinely claiming to see a large, bipedal ape-like creature all across North America. It is a fact that a certain amount of evidence has been collected that suggests the existence of the creature. Like any evidence, it must all be weighed carefully to come up with a conclusion.
So, where do you stand? Is Bigfoot real, or only a myth?
The Bigfoot Poll:
Rezra on March 14, 2020:
Ive read this & also seen Bigfoot 1st sighting was with my son we was leaving after hunting a area that Finding Bigfoot series had been on the Snake River bottoms area in Idaho but on the Shoshone/Bannock Indian Reservation side Shoshoni's even have a word for Bigfoot in our language there is no new words which means Bigfoot sightings are very old some Native American tribes say they can go camouflage blend in even go invisible like the article says adapt or chagned with evolution. lots of tribes say he has a language which nobody understands he makes & uses tools such as spears backpacks & makes kind of rope out of brances which ive seen for myself Native American legends have been telling of Bigfoot for thousands of years but i seen a Bigfoot carrying a baby wild horse on its shoulder running like Gorillas do on 3 knuckles with horse on 1 shoulder me & my son seen the baby horse kicking its legs n the Momma horse trying to keep up she was also crying ive never heard a horse cry i thought i was seeing things or my mind was playing tricks on me till my son who was 9 at the time yells dad you see that Gorilla carrying that baby horse away he also said thats mean Dad that Gorilla should give that baby horse back to its mom shes crying i didn't want him to see it but he did n we all know kids are real honest so i knew i did see exact same thing i replied to my son i told him that the Gorilla probably wanted to play with the Baby horse n would probably give it back when the Gorilla was done playing with it i knew it was food tho i i may have not seen Bigfoot but me n my son seen a Gorilla carrying a baby horse away on its shoulder only problem is we dont have Gorillas in Idaho or in North America we do have Bigfoots though
John on March 01, 2020:
So with all the people who live or work in the woods, and they all have phones with cameras, and more and more drones everyday, do you really believe a bunch of Sasquatch are hiding behind trees? C'mon!?
dave on January 13, 2020:
Hate to tell you bones have been discovered. A vertibra and half of a leg bone. In a slide area, their species bury their dead.
Aubrey on May 04, 2019:
hunter on April 29, 2019:
bigfoot is real
crobatica on July 10, 2018:
I belive that animal of that size is still roaming in forests of the world but this is a question of a govermant cover up becouse bigfoot,yeti whatewer is called is delicate and sensitive stuff what do you think how big effect it would have on society and all l forest users campers hunters everybody who would have balls walk at night that knows there is somewhere werry smart mybe smarter than us ape like or some sort of humanoid thousand pound creature walking at night capable of throwing human like freaking softball all i wanna say is that it would have massive affect on human life on all levels in sports in science,politics,whatever you can think about it would have affect.i am shure that they are real but for some reason they are hiding them from publicity
Michael from Birmingham U.K. on February 26, 2017:
I'm a Bigfoot believer. This is the best summing-up of the claimed existence of this amazing creature, that I've ever read - in decades of reading on the internet. So congratulations!
It's balanced and reasonable and gives pause for thought.
The big man of the forest deserves respect from humans. So do the whales and dolphins. If we don't start respecting the planet soon, it will bite back!
Nothing is real, believe in everything on February 10, 2017:
(The Important thing is that Bigfoot believes in itself.) But seriously, why didn't this mention the "dimensions" theory? That the Bigfoot (the bigfeet?) come from a place "not of our world"? And accidentally end up in our world for a while before going back to their realm. Damn ridiculous thought for most, but ya know, Theory is theory.
Teleri on August 22, 2016:
Science does NOT say 'this doesn't exist' - it says 'the evidence is underwhelming'. Period.
Landon Parker on February 24, 2016:
Bigfoot is real, I've seen him before. He ran off as soon as i seen him.
cryptid (author) from USA on March 04, 2015:
Tiber Septim on March 04, 2015:
I agree with the theory of BIG FOOT burying their remains. It's not uncommon as many would think. Take a look at "ANTS" they carry their fallen Comrades away from the Colony to tiny clearing and lay them in a "Fetal" position in mass graves. Elephants will cover their dead with Grass, Shrubs, Small Bushes and, Light-Medium Brush. Also, I grew up on a farm. We raised cattle, horses, chickens etc. We had a cow die one time and it was the first time for me to see it. But, as the old girl lay giving her last breath, the rest of the herd had surrounded her and began bellowing in a way that truly sounded like they were mourning. Much like what one would hear a funeral.
cryptid (author) from USA on September 29, 2014:
In regard to the Eastern Cougar: Some people seem fixated on disputing whether or not the Eastern Cougar is extinct, or whether it is was a legitimate subspecies, or whether there are still cougars in some Eastern states. This is really missing the point of the reference in this article.
According to authorities, in many Northeastern states there should be no more cougars. Of course there are still cougars in Florida or Carolina and of course there are cougars in the west. But if you live in a state like Pennsylvania or New York, according to fish and wildlife there are not supposed to be any cougars in your area. Yet people see them.
This article is about Bigfoot and the reference to the Eastern Cougar is meant to illustrate how a large mammal can remain hidden in an area where it is not supposed to be. Whether the cougars that formerly lived in states like Pennsylvania are classified as a subspecies or not is irrelevant to the point.
That said, I am editing this article to remove any reference to the "Eastern" Cougar subspecies because I have become weary of the debate. However, I stand by the point that cougars are sighted in states where their range formerly extended and experts say they are no longer supposed to exist.
THAT is how this is relevant to the Bigfoot discussion.
cryptid (author) from USA on February 17, 2013:
Thanks Yaya. Good luck with your report!
Yaya on February 16, 2013:
If there are any cougars in the east most of them would be up north but some move down to the south but if there is not a lot of other cougars around with them they will move to look for a mate
Yaya on February 16, 2013:
Ya I think it is getting off track I'm using this for a report and it has a lot of good information.
cryptid (author) from USA on February 15, 2013:
Yaya: I'm sure you're right. When I think of the east I'm talking about New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New England states, etc. I live in PA for instance, and I've known hunters who claim to have seen wild cougars, even though the game commission says they aren't around.
This Bigfoot Hub is getting way off track! LOL!
yaya on February 15, 2013:
cougars are very rare in the east there are reported sighting in Illinois but not many so there is some in the east but they are rare
cryptid (author) from USA on January 31, 2013:
EM, as I suggested above, my research on the eastern cougar actually came from the US Fish and Wildlife service (not wikipedia), who did indeed declare the eastern cougar an extinct subspecies in 2011. However, people are still seeing cougars in Eastern states. Whether they are the Eastern subspecies, or vagrants from the elsewhere is irrelevant. The point is cougars are managing to stay well hidden in the East, a place they are not supposed to exist.
And I'm well aware that the cougar is not extinct in other parts of the continent. :-) In fact, I saw a few myself a few years ago.
Becki Rizzuti from Indiana, USA on January 31, 2013:
You suggest that the cougar has been declared extinct, but I believe that you are misunderstanding information provided by wikipedia, which is hardly a reliable source. The article infers instead that the Eastern Cougar was declared extinct but that there is some doubt about its original existence as a sub-species.
Cougars are not an extinct species and in fact most sub-species aren't even at risk. I've seen several in my lifetime and hope one day to have a pet cougar.
cryptid (author) from USA on January 21, 2013:
I believe too, cool2s, but I sure would like to see some real proof! :-)
Sevi from Kewaskum, WI on January 21, 2013:
I believe bigfoot is out there... somewhere. bigfoot!
cryptid (author) from USA on November 17, 2012:
No problem, mechishier. :-)
mecheshier on November 16, 2012:
You are most welcome!
Man, I reread my comment. Sure wish I could edit it! Talk about spelling errors. My excuse is that it was early morning & I wasn't yet awake plus I am a 3 fingered typist and one finger is injured. LOL..
cryptid (author) from USA on November 16, 2012:
Thanks mecheshier! I appreciate your kind remarks.
mecheshier on November 16, 2012:
Great Hub! I grew up half my life in Northern California. This area is knows for Bigfoot sitings. For there is a vast area of woods that is rarely traveled by humans. I have one friend who claims he saw Bigfoot. he is a very stable man. But as you said, there is no concrete proof that Bigfoot exists. I believe that just because something is not scientifically proven does not mean it doesn't exist.
Thanks for sharing. Voted up for useful and interesting.