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Bigfoot, the Truth Behind the Myth

Ricky Rodson is an experienced cryptozoologist with several published books on the subjects of zoology, cryptozoology, and mythical beasts.

Bigfoot has been a topic of conversion for Cryptozoologist for many years. To date, there have been over 10,000 reported sightings in the continental United States alone. And while many of these sightings have been proven to be hoaxes, even more of them still remain a mystery. Because of this, the legend of the fearsome Bigfoot continues to grow year by year. And as it grows the story changes and details of the creature begin to get embellished. Find out what is really true and what isn't.

Most people that have seen Bigfoot claim it to have a familiar appearance.

Most people that have seen Bigfoot claim it to have a familiar appearance.

What Does Bigfoot Look Like?

With Bigfoot being one of the most sighted cryptids in the world it is relatively easy to get an idea of what this mysterious creature actually looks like. It is commonly accepted that Bigfoot is a bipedal ape-like animal with long arms that stands to be 8 - 10 feet tall. It is almost always said to have broad shoulders and to be covered from head to toe with thick hair but, depending on the story, its hair can be either dark red or black. One of the strangest parts of Bigfoot's description is that it is said to have a human-like face, capable of expressing emotion on a scale unknown to other apes.

Bigfoot has been sighted more often than most cryptids.

Bigfoot has been sighted more often than most cryptids.

Documented Bigfoot Sightings

As previously stated, Bigfoot has been sighted many many times over the years. Because of that, it would be nearly impossible to list all of his documented sightings. Below are just a few of the most well-known Bigfoot sightings to help give you an idea of how the creature operates. As you will see from the following stories, Bigfoot typically stays as far away from humans as possible and is usually seen moving, unsuspecting of being watched, in the distance.

Patterson/Gimlin Bigfoot Sighting

The Patterson/Gimlin sighting is probably the most well-known Bigfoot sighting of all time. This is because the sighting was also caught on camera and has still not been proven to be a hoax. The rare footage was captured in 1967 across Bluff Creek in Northern California. The video shows a tall ape-like creature walking at a brisk pace as it turns back and looks at the camera for a brief second. This short clip is probably responsible for at least 50% of all Bigfoot believers.

Illinois Bigfoot Sighting

In 2019, An Illinois man claims to have spotted the hairy creature near Chandlerville while driving down Illinois 78. The man claims the large animal was standing along the side of the road when it looked directly at his car. The man's story eventually made its way into several newspapers gaining traction and notoriety.

North Carolina Bigfoot Sighting

In August 2017 a group of people claim to have sighted and chased Bigfoot while hiking in the woods. The animal was said to be extremely large with a hairless black face. The group claims to have seen the creature run into the woods and gave a short chase before losing it. They later attempted to lure it back with glow sticks but had no such luck.

Stabilized Footage of The Patterson/Gimlin Bigfoot Sighting

Bigfoot has been known by many different names over the years.

Bigfoot has been known by many different names over the years.

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Where Did Bigfoot Get Its Name?

While the creature that is Bigfoot may have been around for hundreds of years, the name is relatively new. In 1958, a reporter for the Humboldt Times newspaper named Andrew Genzoli was contacted by a local lumber worker about some strange footprints. The man, named Jerry Crew, claimed that he and several of his coworkers saw massive 16-inch human-like footprints in the mud while working in the Six Rivers National Forest. After interviewing several of the men of the logging company, Genzoli learned that the loggers typically referred to the unknown creature as "Bigfoot". Once the reports were published the story quickly spread to major media outlets across the country, along with the name.

Other Names of Bigfoot

Like most animals around the world, different regions have different names for the Bigfoot. Some names are more closely linked to creatures believed to be related to Bigfoot, while others are simply other nicknames given to the same creature. The names listed below are believed to be known names of the Bigfoot.

Other popular names for Bigfoot.


Skunk Ape


Honey Island Swamp Monster




The Old Men of the Mountain

West Virginia

Fouke Monster


Wood Booger


Mogollon Monster


Monster of Whitehall

New York



Dewey Lake Monster


There are a lot of possible explanations for Bigfoot.

There are a lot of possible explanations for Bigfoot.

Possible Explanations

Over the years there have been several proposed explanations as to what the Bigfoot actually is. Most scientists believe that sightings of the animal can be attributed to either elaborately constructed hoaxes or simple misidentifications of known animals like bears or apes.

Misidentification of Other Animals

Many mainstream scientists believe that a large amount of purposed Bigfoot sightings are nothing more than a case of mistaken identity due to the creature being seen from far away and in poor conditions. Most of these misidentifications are thought to be either Black Bears, because of the habit and location, or escaped monkeys from local zoos. Injured bears are known to walk on their hind legs, adding further credibility to this belief.


Another widely accepted theory is that all Bigfoot sightings have just been faked. And unfortunately for cryptozoologists, a large number of the sightings have been confirmed to be hoaxes, including the sighting that gave Bigfoot its name. With most known Bigfoot sightings being hoaxes, its no question as to why so many people are unable to believe it.

Extinct Hominidae

Other groups of scientists believe Bigfoot to be a type of Hominidae thought to be extinct. When comparing Bigfoot's described head shape to that of extinct Hominidae, experts noticed that there were similarities with the skulls of the Gigantopithecus and Meganthropus. But others still believe the beast to be the last remaining member of the Neanderthal, Homo Erectus, or Homo Heidelbergensis classifications.

Over the years, Bigfoot's fame has led to it becoming a pop culture icon.

Over the years, Bigfoot's fame has led to it becoming a pop culture icon.

Bigfoot in Pop Culture

Bigfoot has had a significant impact on popular culture over the years. It has been the inspiration for movies, music festivals, sports mascots, companies, superheroes, and more. The creature has also been included as a character in various cartoons, reality shows, and advertisements leading to it being known by people who have not even heard the stories. The Smithsonian magazine said that interest in Bigfoot was at an all-time high in 2018.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2022 Ricky Rodson

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