Bigfoot is an example of a “cryptid” – an animal whose existence has not yet been proven by scientific methods. Thought by believers to be a large, ape-like creature living in the forests of the Pacific Northwest of the United States, some dismiss Bigfoot as a hoax, or a make-believe creature. Others, however, are certain it’s really out there.
Class: Mammalia (?)
Common Names: Bigfoot, Sasquatch
Sightings of Bigfoot, described as an ape-like creature over six feet tall, walking on two legs with abnormally large feet, date back to the 1800s. The creature’s other common name, “Sasquatch”, is derived from the word “sásq'ets”, a name for the creature from the First Nations Halkomelem people of British Columbia.
There have been numerous sightings of Bigfoot throughout the years, and over 30% occur in the Pacific Northwest. The most famous account is that of Roger Patterson and Bob Gimlin, who in 1967 shot footage of what appears to be a large furry creature walking upright in the woods of California.
Many believe the video to be a hoax, and several people have made claims about involvement in the video, including a man who said he made the Bigfoot suit used in the film, and another who said he wore the suit on camera. However, others remain captivated by this footage and believe it to be the most convincing evidence to date that Bigfoot is (or was) out there.
Real or not, Bigfoot continues to capture the hearts and minds of those who want to believe. Bigfoot is featured in movies, books, cartoons, commercials, and even reality TV shows where they search for the elusive creature.
Bigfoot even drives tourism to the Pacific Northwest, with museums devoted to the hunt for the beast, and festivals and conventions celebrating the elusive cryptid.