When it comes to cryptozoology, which is the search for and the study of animals whose existence is disputed or unsubstantiated, Bigfoot is one cryptid that tops the list for most people to have heard about and to believe in. One could say, Bigfoot is the Elvis of cryptozoology. While other former cryptids, such as the giant squid, the okapi and, best known of all, the duck-billed platypus, have left the realm of legends and myths to find firm footing in their status of being a real animal, this gives hope and fuels the belief that there is a chance for Bigfoot to have that chance as well. (Bigfoot is also widely known as Sasquatch)
One of the first news stories about Sasquatch was published in 1884 where a Canadian Train crew noticed a figure, chased and then captured it on a hill. It was described as being like a gorilla, standing five inches less than five feet, weighed 127 pounds and had long black hair and was covered with this hair. However, based on this description, it was more likely that this particular one happened to be a chimpanzee. Another interesting thing is that newspapers back in those days regularly printed made up stories in order to amuse readers, much like certain tabloid papers of today.
There are actually various types of alleged evidence to support the existence of Bigfoot at least according to Bigfoot researchers, for mainstream society not so much. Supposed evidence such as that there have been more than 900 sets of footprints discovered that are consistent in length and width. They are quite similar to bear tracks however much larger and total size. However, since they are all nearly identical then it is more likely that they are false man-made prints at least according to skeptics, though believers would say they all are from the same species. Speaking about disbelievers another thing going against the existence of Bigfoot is the lack of any verified fossil record. However, since no one has been through every square inch of the forest much less dug down in the surface of the forest floor (there are certain requirements in the making of a fossil) they could exist without the proof that they do exist, since forests/woodlands are so dense.
There are a couple of running theories as to what Bigfoot could actually be such as a flesh and blood animal or even the paranormal. There are theories that it could be a species of Paranthropus robustus due to the bipedal nature and the crested skull commonly found in gorillas, although the average height for males was three foot nine and the average height for females was just under three foot three. Another species of large ape that is thought to be what Bigfoot is would be the Gigantopithecus blacki, which is thought to have lived during the Peistocene Epoch in southern China. Measurements of their fossils estimated that their height was about 9.8 feet, which is about as tall as what Bigfoot is supposed to be. Some other possibilities are the Meganthropus, the Homo heidelbergensis or the Homo erectus. Although, if it were the first one, or the last two, they would have a lot of growing to do and a lot of hair to gain over the millions of years they have existed. There are also people in the paranormal community who believe it’s some type of paranormal creature/entity. There are even people who believe Bigfoot has some type of relationship with alien beings. There are reports of Bigfoot being spotted during and after UFO encounters.
Is Bigfoot real or not, does it actually exist? This planet is amazingly diverse in the life it produces and supports. There are egg-laying mammals, such as the platypus and echidna, there are mammals in that live in the water that need to come up for air and there are so many things we have not seen yet. While there are no known fossils for Bigfoot, this lack of proof could just mean that none have been found yet. But it could also mean that Bigfoot does not exist. It would be interesting if there was a small population of our evolutionary cousins that we have not yet discovered, but knowing the nature of some more fearful types of humans, they might be better off not being discovered and proven.