Sasquatch, Bigfoot, and the Yeti are all varieties of bipedal human-like primates whose existence has yet to be proven. Reports of the creature known as Sasquatch date back to the ancient legends of Native Americans living on the west coast of the Americas, from northern California to British Columbia. Photographs, eyewitness accounts, film, footprints, and audio recordings have been collected sporadically over the past two centuries. Yeti sightings in the Himalayas date back to 1887, and Bigfoot sightings on the west coast of the Americas have been reported since the early 1800s. None of this evidence, however, has ever conclusively proven the existence of this creature, and in many cases, especially in the latter half of the 20th century, the evidence was proven to be a hoax.
It is possible that such creatures exist, but major doubts have been raised. The biggest obstacle is the lack of a body; no Sasquatch capture (dead or alive) has ever been thoroughly documented and scientifically analyzed. At one point in our history, primates did live in North America, but not during our recent history. No fossil evidence shows the existence of primates in North America later than 22 million years ago. Furthermore, of the primate fossils that were created over 22 million years ago, none of them were ape sized. Also, there exists no fossil evidence of a nonhuman hominoid in the western hemisphere. The Sasquatch phenomena has become wildly popular for a number of reasons; perhaps the biggest is the possibility that this creature represents the missing link in the chain of evolution that Darwin predicted. The problem is that this hypothesis requires a gradual development over time from either a gorilla or another large ape that walks on all fours to a bipedal Sasquatch. There would have to be a series of interconnecting species, for which no fossils have been found. Also, in order to maintain its species, the Sasquatch would have to reproduce, and without a sufficiently large population, there wouldn’t be enough genetic variation to sustain the species. Without sufficient genetic variation, any species becomes more likely to succumb to recessive genetic disorders. As long as the aura of public interest continues to surround the subject, and as long as startling yet unreliable eyewitness accounts and other such evidence appear, it will be impossible to disprove the existence of such a creature. Since disproof is highly improbable, the question of this creature’s existence puts the burden of proof on the advocates of a Sasquatch theory; however, to date no incontrovertible empirical evidence has been found. Such evidence as blood, hair, skin, or droppings would be far more suited to proving the existence of this beast, for such evidence would provide a DNA sample for study and interpretation. Until such evidence is found, the existence of the Sasquatch remains a hypothesis for anthropologists.
- Daegling, D. J. (2004). Bigfoot exposed: An anthropologist examines America’s enduring legend. New York: Altamira Press.