All across the world, thousands of reports describe a similar, 6-11 foot tall bipedal ape. Many call it Bigfoot, and some believe it is an ancient hominin. However there may just be another explanation to the sightings of such a creature. Thousands of years ago, a creature called Gigantopithecus was undeniably the King Kong of ancient people. It thrived for 6 million years in Southeast Asia before dying out just a few thousand years ago...or did it?
Dr. Russel Ciochon, a paleoanthropologist at the University of Iowa, says that when Gigantopithecus was standing on its hind limbs, it would have measured up to the eves of a one story house, almost doubling the size of a human. It was about 10 ft tall and 1,100lbs. The fossils of this massive and mysterious creature have been carefully studied, and although scientists only have 3 jaws and 1,100 isolated teeth, they can conclude that it was the largest ape that ever lived. Gigantopithecus was also the only one to go extinct in the Pleistocene, the geological epoch which lasted from about 2,588,000 to 11,700 years ago. But what if this creature did not go extinct...what if it was still thriving, perhaps in a different location than it originally inhabited.
Scientists believe that the land bridge that once connected Siberia to Alaska may have been a possible route for Gigantopithecus to have traveled to North America. Dr.Jeff Meldrum from Idaho State University points out that the environments of both continents share a striking resemblance. If this giant ape has been dwelling in North American forests, then perhaps it could explain the thousands of eye witness reports of an ape-like creature called Bigfoot. Some experts even believe Bigfoot may be a relative of Gigantopithecus. Either way, the countless sightings and descriptions of a giant ape-like creature have been talked about for centuries. Aboriginals have told many stories of giant apes kidnapping their women and children from the village, and different Native American tribes have over 100 names for it.
Dr.Briggs Hall is a Washington State wildlife veterinarian, and he believes the possibility of a giant ape living in the North American forests is high if the creature is nocturnal and very intelligent. But, if this giant ape exists in North America, why did it go extinct in Asia? Aaron Clauset, a computer scientist at the University of Boulder has been studying the extinction of Gigantopithecus. He explains that as an animal gets larger, they become unable to produce offspring as quickly, therefore reducing the population and making them more sensitive to changes. As a result, fluctuations in climate that threatened their food sources caused their ultimate demise. But, if their food source was being affected in Asia, perhaps they were intelligent enough to seek it out elsewhere. If Gigantopithecus really did migrate to the Northwestern United States, then it would have had an abundance of food and water, and it would be able to sustain its population. Until further evidence is discovered, we must assume the extinction of Gigantopithecus. Could Bigfoot be a descendant...or perhaps not an ape at all? Bigfoot may just be closer to us in DNA than we think.
"The Largest Ape That Ever Lived Documentary." YouTube. N.p., 23 July 2015. Web. 03 May 2017.
"The Largest Ape That Ever Lived Was Doomed By Its Size." National Geographic. National Geographic Society, 01 May 2017. Web. 03 May 2017.
In the Great Rift Valley of Ethepoia, about 300,000,000 years ago, an upright hominin lived. Her name? Lucy. She was determined to be the first Australopithecus africanus found in the region. By examining her knee bone structure and spine, scientists determined that Lucy walked primarily upright, however she did climb trees to seek shelter, which resulted in her death from falling. This species of hominin (an early human ancestor) measured about 3 feet tall and weighed 60 lbs. Their brain was the size of an orange and they began to evolve human-like features. Because of this discovery, scientists are able to further link ape and human, and determine how modern humans were the species to ultimately out-live other hominins….or so we think. Bigfoot is described as a bipedal ape-like creature, and whose description has a striking resemblance to a hominin. Could it be that a mystery species survived along modern humans, remaining undetected? What would it take to make it through millions of years? Lucy, and other hominins might reveal the answer.
Archeological research shows that Homo erectus, our early ancestor, actually constructed stone tools. Because of their ability to hunt, they were now consuming high-energy food: meat. This energy would be enough to power and grow the brain, increasing intelligence. This would eventually lead to an increase in population. Research suggests that the Bigfoot population remains in the thousands, which many assume will lead to extinction. However, the early Homo-Sapiens population was extremely small, and bones are rarely found. The early Homo-Sapien resembled something of a modern man from Africa, with a round braincase and a flat face. Similar to Homo erectus, Homo-Sapien used stone tools to gather high energy food. This could be how Bigfoots hunt their prey, and combined with their massive size and power, they could have easily competed with Homo-Sapien.
Because of their newly created stone tools, humans began to hunt. However, they would soon run into some major dilemmas while catching prey: becoming prey themselves. Humans had to be extremely organized while hunting in order to avoid large cats and other predators. This need for organization eventually evolved the intelligence of the Homo-Sapien brain. This type of social culture would evolve us into what we are today. Similar organization has been reported in many eye witness accounts of Bigfoot. Many witnesses report seeing more than one creature in the same area, and some have even heard a sort of signal system using whistles and tree knocks back and forth in order to catch deer. This similarity to the style of ancient Homo-Sapien hunting is striking. Aside from eating, the human brain development took place when migration kicked in. When land became bone dry, humans were forced to regroup and migrate. Evidence discovered of a 100,000 year old artifact suggests that the Sans people stored water in empty Ostrich eggs while traveling, and during migration they hunted and cooked over fire. Experts believe Homo-Sapiens may have used similar methods. Their brains were growing and they were evolving. During this time, a form of verbal language was also present. Such language can be compared to Bigfoot’s language which is often described by eye witnesses as a gibberish grunting sound.
Although another species of hominin, Neanderthals, were skilled hunters with large builds, their intelligence wasn’t enough to compete with Homo-Sapiens. Homo-Sapiens had greater technological skills and the ability to relate objects with one another. While Neanderthals developed stone tools, humans developed more intricate hunting tools along with representations of them. *CLICK READ MORE TO CONTINUE*
Bigfoot- a 6-10 foot tall bipedal ape-like man, possibly a hominid, dwelling in the rainforests of North America. Many questions arise when discussing the possibility of such a creature, however the biggest skepticism lies in the absence of Bigfoot remains. A body of the creature has never been brought to the attention of science, and undeniably remains the most vital missing piece of evidence we have.
However, there may be a clear explanation as to why we haven’t found a body. After all, gorilla remains are few and far between due to the humidity and rainfall that occurs in their habitat. In Indiana, a body farm serves as a research facility for determining criminal acts. The Blow Fly and its maggots are examined in order to determine the age of the decaying body, and often, the cause of death. Dr.Neil Haskell, one of the world’s leading entomologists recalls a record during the early 80’s indicating a pig of 50 pounds that was reduced to 18 pounds within 96 hours by a species of Blow flies, which inhabit most of the world. By using a mathematical proportion, and basing it off of an estimated 800 pound Bigfoot, this would mean that the entire body of a Bigfoot could decompose in 100 days with just the influence of the Blow fly. This calculation would not include the influence of vultures, who have been known to decompose a human body in just 5 hours. It would also leave out the influence of other insects, bugs, animals, and weather. Bigfoots habitat is the Pacific Northwestern U.S., an area with a large amount of rainfall. In a rainforest, the average time for a leaf to decompose is 6 weeks, as opposed to 7 years in a pine forest.
The climate of Bigfoot’s habitat can leave huge clues as to why we haven’t found remains. Another important point to recall, is the possibility of Bigfoot burying their dead, as seen in many hominid groups’ behavior. Bigfoot sightings usually occur deep in the woods, mountains, and rural terrain. If such a creature is roaming the Pacific Northwest, its remains would lie in the deepest parts of the forest. Many animals have an instinct to hide when they are sick, hurt, or dying. If such a creature seeks cover, their remains may lie in a hidden location. The legend of Bigfoot will forever remain a mystery if a body is not discovered. However, because of the creatures’ illusiveness along with the nature of its habitat, scientists may want to consider the other evidence we have of the creature, such as footprints revealing anatomical features, hair samples, and the countless sightings by credible witnesses. Could Bigfoot be intelligent enough to bury their dead? Leave a comment below!
There's a big difference in how a human walks vs. how a bigfoot walks
Bigfoot evidence can be considered credible at times, and a complete hoax at others. But how can one tell the difference? The answer lies in the anatomy of the creature-anatomy that cannot physically be recreated by a human. Through digital analysis of the famous Patterson-Gimlin film, the creature’s size of 7’6.5” was determined. However, one does not need scientific skill to distinguish a Bigfoot from a human hoaxer. In fact, there is a 21 degree difference between Bigfoot’s stride and a human’s, which is often the line that draws the two apart. When a human walks, they lift their foot 52 degrees off of the ground, whereas a Bigfoot lifts theirs 73 degrees. Such an anatomical difference is why the Patterson-Gimlin film has been proven not to be a hoax. In the most credible photography and videography evidence of the creature walking, it represents the same image: a back leg that bends at an extremely abnormal angle, not possible for modern human anatomy to recreate. Such anatomy can be supported in the way the creature steps.
After close examination of hundreds of credible footprints, scientists have been clued in to why the creature walks the way it does. A human has a longitudinal arch, which means the entire foot is incorporated into the lever which propels it off of the ground, and weight is pushed to the ball of the foot. The bending happens on the toes, providing traction. In a foot with mid-foot flexibility, like the subject in the film, the weight is not concentrated on the ball of the foot, but rather the midfoot. A Mid-tarsal break causes weight to transfer from rear to forefront and is most commonly present in apes. By piecing the evidence together, it can be determined that the way the footprints are formed lies in the way the creatures walks, which can be proven by geometry, to be 21 degrees different than a human.
Many skeptics in the Bigfoot community believe such footprints to be pure hoaxes. However, large, humanlike footprints do not stray far from current scientific discoveries. About 9 miles from the Ol Doinyo Lengai Volcano in Tanzania, Africa, a huge collection of Homo sapien (modern human) footprints were found solidified by a previous lava spill. However, just because the word “modern” is used in our name, one must not draw the conclusion of these prints being recent. The prints date back to up to 12,000 years ago, and imply a lot of jogging that took place by our own kind. Some suggested up to a 12 minute-mile running pace, and others revealed a misshapen big toe. Interestingly enough, protruding big toes are often seen in Bigfoot tracks, and many eye witnesses report seeing the creature running at a shocking speed. As much as many do not wish to admit, this creature is eerily close to us in the sense of anatomy, and even behavior. Our own kind left evidence of running, stepping, and jogging through the natural elements. How could Bigfoot be much different? If this creature is-in-fact, a hominid, it would surely leave tracks just as we once did some 12,000 years ago. The real question becomes: What is the creature leaving these tracks?
What do you think? Leave a comment below & stay tuned for more posts!
Sasquatch footprints and film have actually proven the creature real, but science wants a body
For thousands of years, Bigfoot, or Sasquatch, has been a legend. However, recently, researchers have come up with the solid evidence that may just prove the creature's existance. Sasquatch footprints have been hoaxed time and time again, however under close examination, scientists are able to distinguish fact from fiction. In credible footprints, anatomy is extremely evident. A pair of tracks cast in Boksburg, Washington are just that. One of the footprints appears as a much larger version of the average human foot, however its partner does not appear so normal looking. Under close examination, Dr. Jeff Meldrum, professor of Anatomy and Anthropology at Idaho State University, made a compelling observation. A set of bulges on the left side of the left footprint indicate a clear injury, possibly resulting from a spinal injury, or a crushing accident. Such an injury has caused the soft tissue of the foot to form in bulges, and displace the toes. The bulges are located more distally on the footprint than a human’s would be, as humans have a shorter calcaneus. The position of the bulges on the Sasquatch footprint indicate the creature’s long calcaneus, which exits in creatures with massive weight and whom need greater leverage while walking. A hoaxer would have to have a vast knowledge of such pathology in order to conceive the idea to create such a deformed footprint.
Other credible footprints demonstrate mid-foot flexibility, not present in humans. Such anatomy distinguishes hoaxes from actual footprints, and is the reason why publicity seekers are proven liars very quickly. A man by the name of Ray Wallace, a construction company owner in Bluff Creek, California, claimed that he and his family constructed faux footprint boards to wear around the woods, creating all of the famous footprints found in the Western United States. Such hard wooden feet were exposed to the public by Wallace, and at first view are extremely non-anatomical. Despite the news media grabbing up the story, independent scientists knew the truth. Bill Miller, researcher and Historian, compared the pictures of the Wallace carvings with photos of actual footprints. The difference between the carvings and the actual footprints is very much evident. Such crude carvings could not have possibly made the many variations of the anatomical prints found all over the Western U.S.
Aside from self-proclaimed footprint hoaxers, the Patterson-Gimlin film was said to be a hoax itself. Many individuals provided confessions of being the man in the suit, however, their stories clearly did not add up. Bob Hironimus claimed to have joined forces with Philip Morris, a famous costume designer, to hoax the film. The only problem was that they both told completely different stories from each other, each providing contradicting details. So, if the Patterson-Gimlin film was proven not to be a hoax, how can scientists prove it an actual animal? In the film, the creature walks swiftly across the creek, something a hoaxer would have trouble doing without stumbling. However, the most provoking evidence is the way the creature walks. As the creature takes a step, its foot becomes vertical to the ground. When humans walk, our feet do not lift higher than a few inches. A human has a longitudinal arch, which means the entire foot is incorporated into the lever which propels it off of the ground, and weight is pushed to the ball of the foot. The bending happens on the toes, providing traction. In a foot with mid-foot flexibility, like the subject in the film, the weight is not concentrated on the ball of the foot, but rather the midfoot. A Midtarsal break causes weight to transfer from rear to forefront and is most commonly present in apes.
In credible prints, the toes and mid-foot sink in deeper than the heel, due to such anatomy. No evident arch has been found present in tracks, which points to the way weight is distributed in a heavier animal. Because of longer toes and shorter legs, Sasquatch has a greater stepping gauge, causing its leg and foot to be parallel with the ground when lifting for a step. Humans only lift our feet a few inches with each step, as we are conditioned by sidewalks and flat ground. Sasquatch’s typical habitat is uneven, thick brush, causing their steps to become higher. Such high steps can be observed in the Patterson-Gimlin film. National Geographic not only touched upon this anatomy, but used photogrammetry and optic measuring to determine the size of the subject in the film. The animal was determined to be 7’, 6.5” high, ruling out the possibility of a human in a suit. The Patterson-Gimlin film alone seems to prove the existence of Sasquatch, however evidence has been arising for years.
In the mid 1930’s a jawbone was found in a cave in China, and was examined by an Anthropologist who determined it to be ape-like in nature. The mysterious thing about the jawbone was that it was spread to sit on a spine, meaning that the creature was bipedal. They determined the creature to have been about 8’ tall. Teeth were also found within the jawbone, and since then, 4 more jawbones have been found between Vietnam, India and China. The latest bone has been dated back to 100,000 years ago. Although such evidence was found halfway across the world, China and the U.S. were once connected during Pangea, pointing to the possibility of migration of the creatures to the U.S. Sasquatch has been seen mostly roaming the vast habitat of the Pacific Northwestern United States, as well as many other areas and even other countries. The United States military has even acknowledged these creatures in their 1975 records including survival maps for air force personnel and army corps’ descriptions of the creature in the Washington environmental atlas of 1975. Evidence has been accumulating for hundreds of years, but recent technology has allowed researchers to thoroughly explore current evidence. Scientists and media claim that the only proof of existence would be a body. Researchers and believers argue. If the Patterson-Gimilin film has been proved credible, thousands of anatomical footprints have been found, and sightings by region correlate with a specific habitat, then the creature is sure to exist. The questions that remain: What is it? How smart is it? How dangerous is it?
sightings of bigfoot recorded 500 years ago provide evidence of existance
The oldest documentation of Bigfoot was thought to have occurred in 986 AD by Leaf Erikson and his men. During their first landing in America, they wrote of a monster that was ugly, hairy and with great black eyes. Stories of Bigfoot were abundant during the 1800’s by White pioneers heading west. In 1840, E. Walker, a missionary to the Spokane Indians, wrote a fascinating letter after his journey to the America’s. He described a race of giants that lived in the mountains. He reported that they hunt, do all their work at night, and have a strong smell that is most intolerable. Even President Teddy Roosevelt, an avid hunter, reported seeing such a creature in the woods that walked on two feet and uttered “sinister sounds”. In 1884, in the town of Yale, British Columbia, a strange creature was captured that some believed was a young Bigfoot. It stood about 4’7” in height, and slightly resembled a gorilla in appearance. Mysteriously, the creature disappeared while being transported by train. Despite such early stories, Bigfoot’s worldwide recognition and name did not appear until 1958. That summer, a road crew working in Northwestern California, discovered huge, human-like tracks and 300lb fuel drums tossed around several feet from where they were placed. One of the workers casted tracks of the creature, and made the newspaper. The workers nick-named the creature, “Bigfoot”.
Bigfoot’s new worldwide popularity after the worker’s discovery attracted many researchers and inspired many expeditions, including the famous Patterson-Gimlin sighting. However, sightings of the creature actually date back hundreds of years, and have reported by Native tribes all across the world. The Pacific Northwest has been home to Native Americans for thousands of years, even before the European settlers arrived. A large, hairy beast known to many natives as, “Hairy Man” is described as being covered in coarse, dark hair, is massive in size, is similar in proportion to humans, and has immense strength. They have often been seen throwing large, heavy rocks at anyone posing a threat. Many native tribe members tell stories handed down through many generations. David Severns, a member of the Yurok tribe, describes a time when animals and humans lived in harmony, until humans began feeling superior and became destructive. David’s elders refer to the Hairy Man as the “ancient people”, and describe them as ancestors rather than inferior animals. Native Americans from the Yurok tribe tell of somewhat peaceful beings that inhabit the forest. Tribe members are told not to stare the creature in the eyes, as it will kill if truly threatened. This advice carries through many tribes, and the description of Bigfoot remains the same: a bipedal, hairy, ape-like creature.
While tribal stories of Bigfoot carry from generation to generation, archeological proof has possibly validated them. Kathy Moskowitz Strain, an archeologist and anthropologist who works closely with artifacts from different tribes, has examined such artifacts. One of the earliest record of Bigfoot comes from the Tuley River tribe, who drew the Hairy Man in a family-like group. A father, a mother, and a child are seen clear as day in their most striking 500-year-old pictograph located near the Tuley River in California. These pictographs also include drawings of known animals next to the hairy man, indicating that perhaps such a creature was not made up, but something they actually saw. The images are life-sized and range from 4 feet to 8 feet tall. Stick man, Basket woman, and Sasquatch are just some of the many names assigned to the creature by different tribes- whose distances are so great, that information about such a creature could not have possibly been exchanged. The Zelus Indian tribe in Northern California call the creature, Sasquatch, meaning “wild man of the woods”. The Hoopa Valley Indians call it, “Oma”, meaning, “boss of the woods”. Jimmy Jackson, a Hoopa elder, speaks of a creature that protects the mountains, similar to the Sasquatch of the Zelus tribe. A common physical description and behavior is reported by many tribes, but, how could these reports be so similar with no contact to each other? Similarly, the Columbia River in Oregon has offered artifacts that have baffled scientists. Native American carvings were uncovered near the river’s edge, representing an ape-like face. These Oregon Natives had to have had an understanding of the way an Ape’s face appears, which remains a mystery in modern science, as there are no apes existing in Oregon...or so we think. Dr. Roderick Sprague reflects on the mystery: “Why would people be interested in making a carving of something they’ve never seen?” He continues to explain that many beliefs and artwork from natives is inspired by things they actually saw. How is it that this creature shares the same ape-like characteristics throughout every tribe, without having any known apes discovered in these regions?
Many skeptics of Bigfoot believe that there is no DNA evidence supporting its existence. On the contrary, decades of hair samples have been collected, and extracting DNA is beginning to become easier in the world of science. In 1968, hairs collected in central Idaho were sent to an instructor of police science at the California State College in LA. Ray Pinker determined that the hair samples did not match any known animal, and in fact demonstrated characteristics from both humans and nonhuman primates. The hairs showed many characteristics of apes like the changing of thickness and tint along their length however their scale pattern was eerily similar to humans. In 1993, another analysis of suspected Bigfoot hair (this time found in northern California) was done by Dr,Sterling Bunnel, M.D, of the California Academy of Sciences. He examined the hairs of humans, chimpanzees, gorillas, orangutan, and pygathrix to compare and contrast the specimen. He concluded that the assumed Bigfoot hair sample was closely related to the human-chimpanzee-gorilla group, but was also clearly different than each of these apes in its pigmentation. These other apes show medullary streaks while the Bigfoot sample showed no observable medullary structure. In most all studies, the DNA from the hairs was not able to be sequenced due to damage. Although hair samples may not completely point to a Bigfoot, many do rule out the possibility of them being from a human or ape. Samples show a common pattern of relating to human and ape, but are not identified as one or the other due to slight differences.
Aside from hair samples, scat (otherwise known as poop) has provided a “large” source of evidence. A very quiet analysis done by a medical lab in Oregon proved to contain some intriguing evidence. The assumed Bigfoot scat analyzed was said to have contained the eggs of a parasitic nematode worm whose size of their eggs depends on the species they feed on (the larger the animal, the larger the eggs). The largest eggs found in the suspected Bigfoot scat were far beyond the size of human parasites, but have been reported in many primates. Dr. Vaughn Bryant, an anthropologist at Texas A&M University, was on the case for two scat samples originating in the Pacific Northwest of America. After microscopic examination, he determined that the cells present in the scat were able to rule out the possibility of it being from human, moose, elk, deer, and bear. After all this evidence, why have scientists not concluded the existence of Bigfoot? Good question. Even though the samples can rule out human and ape, they do not point directly to a Bigfoot. In order to compare human and primate hair to that of a Bigfoot, we must have Bigfoot DNA sequences. How do you think we will we obtain them? Comment below and lookout for my next post!
Meldrum, Jeff. Sasquatch: Legend Meets Science. New York: Forge, 2006. Print.
Make sure to check out Jeff Meldrum's book all about Bigfoot theories, DNA, evidence, and much more!
how closely related are humans, apes, and bigfoot?
Humans relate to apes in more ways than you may think. Chimpanzees and bonobos are the closest relatives of humans DNA wise, however gorillas resemble us more (physically) when it comes to hands and feet. Gorillas spend more time on the ground than other apes, resulting in adapted walking feet, especially prominent in mountain gorillas. Differences between apes and humans are especially small when referencing the nuclear DNA. Some genes found in chimpanzees and humans differ by only 1.2% and recent evidence suggests that humans are more closely related to chimpanzees than any other ape. According to the American Museum of Natural History, humans and chimps share 98.8% of their DNA however they use their genes in different ways. A gene's activity can be expressed on a higher level or a lower level depending on the animal, even though the same genes are expressed in the same brain regions in humans, chimps, and gorillas. Small differences such as the level at which the gene is active can affect brain development and function, resulting in the human brain being much larger and more intelligent than the apes. This may be true, however apes are still extremely intelligent animals, and aside from their abilities to fend for themselves in the wild, they demonstrate very advanced forms of communication. Recently, chimpanzees and gorillas in captivity have been taught American sign language. In a specific case, Koko the gorilla was taught by Dr.Penny Patterson, an American animal psychologist. Within just a few weeks, Koko the gorilla was using American sign combinations. Observations made by other researchers at several zoos actually pointed out that gorillas seem to have their own form of language using their own hand gestures to communicate with each other. The same genes shared by humans, gorillas, and chimpanzees may be the reason why they are able to pick up sign language so quickly. Apes' intelligence and ability to learn so quickly can play a part in the research of Bigfoot. If Bigfoot is not a species of human, but rather an ape, they may