The name Sasquatch comes from the Salish word Sasq’ets, meaning “wild man” or “hairy man.” But despite being so huge and intimidating in appearance, the stories rarely indicate that these creatures have violent tendencies. Reports nearly always show that the Sasquatch didn’t want to be seen or cause any trouble. They weren’t out to eat humans. Or to steal their land. In fact, among some Native American tribes, Bigfoot is considered to be well-meaning messenger of warning. Someone who warns people about what they are doing wrong and what will happen if they don’t change their ways.
So is the Sasquatch real, or just a big hoax that many have participated in for decades?
In a 2007 Baylor Religion Survey, 16% of Americans claimed they believe Bigfoot either is real or is probably real. 44% said probably not, and 40% said absolutely not.
What do you believe?
For centuries, rumors of larger-than-life humanoid foot prints and momentary glimpses of ape-men disappearing into the forest shadows have both horrified us and piqued our interest. Were the footprints real? Did that guy really see what he claimed? Is the shadow in that picture more than just a dude in a gorilla suit?
Some of the most famous “evidence” accrued over time includes fuzzy pictures of hairy humanoids, photographs and plaster casts of giant footprints, and “Bigfoot hair” that was often found to be the hair of a bear or other forest-dwelling animal. There was even a short film captured by Roger Patterson and Bob Gimlin of what looked like a hairy humanoid running through the woods.
Has any actual proof ever been found? Sadly for cryptozoology nerds, no.
The closest thing to proof of Sasquatch’s existence is the lack of solid proof against it. Most of those hair samples—and even some blood samples—turned out to belong to forest animals of whom the lab had a sample to compare the sample in question with. But sometimes, every once and a while, a bit of DNA would come back unidentified.
Was that because it did belong to a mysterious humanoid creature? Or because the lab just happened not to have a sample of the animal it really came from?
There are a lot of photos of Bigfoot. Many of them are hoaxes. But does that mean that every single one is fake? Not necessarily. But it does beg the question, why does photo evidence not surface more often and in better quality now that so many more people have better cameras on them at all times?
Most of the photo evidence we have is from many decades ago, before cameras were as effective as they have come to be. But now, everyone has a smartphone with a good quality camera in their back pocket. And lots of people take their phones into the woods with them, so why hasn’t anyone gotten a really clear, convincing image yet?
So say that people weren’t really seeing a Sasquatch, just for the sake of argument. What might they have seen then?
Maybe a bear. Bears can stand up on two legs, and if seen from a great distance, as many Bigfoot accounts claim, perhaps a bear could be mistaken for a Sasquatch. Especially if there was some alcohol involved.
Or maybe a monkey. A gorilla or something similar. He could have escaped from the zoo, or the circus. Or some rich person’s private menagerie. Maybe.
But think about other bear encounters, other wild ape encounters. Do either of these animals just run away any time they are seen? Sometimes, certainly. But always?
The Sasquatch is said to be a fairly chill creature, not interested in attacking or eating humans. So could the Sasquatch really exist? Could there really be some number of near extinct ancient humanoids roaming the world?
But does that mean that Sasquatch hunters are crazy?
I don’t think so.
This brings to mind some of the things we went over in the Werewolf post.
Remember the term hypertrichosis?
That condition is characterized by excessive hair growth, sometimes all over the body. What if there were a few people hiding out in the woods during the prime Sasquatch-sighting decades that had hypertrichosis? Maybe.
But the reports were usually of an abnormally large hairy man, not just an abnormally hairy man.
Acromegaly is a condition of excessive growth, especially of the head, hands, and feet. This is caused by a non-cancerous tumor in the pituitary gland, which is responsible for excreting growth hormone. When the gland emits more growth hormone than it is supposed to, the person in question can grow indefinitely. This is what gave Andre the Giant his name.
So what if someone had hypertrichosis and acromegaly at the same time? They would end up being abnormally large and unusually hairy, while still being completely human. So it would be possible to naturally appear this way without being a mythical, unexplainable being.
So what if someone was born with both of these abnormalities? What if they were rejected by the tribe for being abnormal? What if they left or were kicked out at a very young age, before they had developed socially?
Perhaps you would end up with a big hairy human who avoided people as much as possible, only stumbling upon them by accident. What if this combo of genetic abnormalities happened to a few different people?
Maybe one man carried both genes and had several children, perhaps with different women? Or what if it was nothing like that, but there was something that several pregnant women were exposed to that caused the abnormality to develop in their unborn children? Radiation or a drug of some kind. Say that through some weird situation, a few large hairy humans came into existence. Say that they established a few families of their own, but were always very careful to avoid other humans lest they be treated badly because of their differences.
Maybe the more outgoing ones took more risks, and their genes were then lost from the small gene pool. Perhaps only the cautious individuals survived to pass on their tendencies for caution as well as their excessive hair and size?
This could explain why there have not been any better photos recently, even though there are better cameras. Perhaps there really are hairy people with big feet out there, but they are just as intelligent as we are and got really good at hiding.
In Recent Media
If you google Sasquatch, the first thing to pop up is a popular music festival.
There are also a couple of novels and documentaries, but nothing really interesting that I can find.
How about you? Do you know of any good books or movies about Bigfoot?
What if the a couple kids with abnormal body hair and an abnormal growth rate were born, and rejected by society. They find their way by finding each other, and eventually fall for one another and start their own family. But all out of the public eye. Someone should write this story. These people could be such deep characters.
Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments! Do you believe in Bigfoot? What do you think about the hypertrichosis and acromegaly theory?