It’s one of the world’s most famous legends: a huge primate species that lives in the mountainous region of the northwestern United States and parts of western Canada. A similar creature has also been sighted in other remote areas of the world.

Many names, one mystery

The name of the mysterious beast is Bigfoot, or Sasquatch, as it is also referred to. The nickname ‘Bigfoot’ was first used in a newspaper column in California in the late 1950s, which reported that giant footprints had been discovered at a local construction site. The name Sasquatch means ‘wild men’ in the language of the Salish peoples, indigenous to the area. The elusive beast is comparable to the Yeti, an ape-like creature, also known as the Abominable Snowman, that allegedly inhabits the Himalayan mountain range in Asia. Similar creatures appear in the folklore of many other cultures around the globe, and their presence has persisted in popular culture.      


a massive creature

Bigfoot is most commonly described as a massive creature, 2 to 4.5 metres tall, that walks on two legs and that is covered in long bristly hair that helps it adapt to its hostile environment. Its face has been described as similar to that of a gorilla. Some say it moves silently, others claim it emits high-pitched cries. Reportedly, it gives off a foul smell. According to alleged eyewitness accounts, the beast’s footprints are about sixty centimetres in length and twenty centimetres in width.

Bigfoot encounters

A British explorer is credited with the first discovery of such footprints in Canada in 1811. Since then there have been innumerable sightings, most notably in 1967, when two Americans, Roger Patterson and Bob Gimlin, out looking for the creature, captured it on film stalking through a Californian forest. The video is grainy, but it remains the most iconic evidence that Bigfoot exists. Recently, footage of an animal resembling Bigfoot, captured by a Colorado couple from a train, has been circulating the internet. It apparently shows a mysterious beast roaming the foothills of a mountain range

Evidence of its existence

A 2020 poll found that 11 percent of adult Americans believe Bigfoot exists. However, most scientists are sceptical when it comes to hard evidence. Many reports of sightings were found to be fraudulent or mistaken. In 2014, a genetic analysis of hair samples was conducted by an international group of researchers in an attempt to shed some light on the identities of these legendary creatures. It revealed that they actually originated from a variety of common animals, including bears, canids, cows, horses and other known mammals. However, discoveries of new species do still happen and scientists do not discount Bigfoot’s existence altogether. Surprising as it may seem, some parts of our world remain unexplored, so why not keep an open mind?