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Camera Captures Mysterious ‘Eye Shine’ In the Woods and People are Convinced It’s BigFoot

What was that?!

When you set up a trail camera, you expect to catch sight of a few critters. After all, the forest is full of animals, and they tend to wander around. This video happened to catch a beautiful segment with a coyote…and something else. 


In the video, a coyote is sniffing around a clearing when, back in the trees, something big and bright opens its eyes and peers out. Is it a deer? A bear? Something more supernatural in nature?

Eyeshine is caused by a thin reflective membrane in the back of many nocturnal animals’ eyes called a tapetum lucidum. This reflective membrane behind the animals’ iris reflects light back at the source — in this case, the low-light detectors in the trail camera. Though there are lots of guides that claim to help you identify animals by eyeshine alone, the truth is that there can be plenty of variation, even within species. A better method would be looking at the shape, size, width apart, and height of the eyes that are doing the shining.

These eyes are very far apart and pretty high, indicating a large species. In the comments section of the video, people are torn between hiking it is some kind of deer and some kind of bear, up on its hind legs. “Well, this is TikTok, so it has to be BigFoot,” insists another. Still others wonder if it’s just the headlights of a car, or even trick editing.

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The coyote in the video eventually notices this creature, whatever it is, and looks toward it, right as the eye shine stops (meaning the creature has left). Perhaps it was indeed the deer the predator was tracking, or maybe that coyote was very close to becoming prey itself.

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