Astounding Bigfoot Facts That Delve Into The Legend Of The Notorious Ape-Man

Published January 22, 2016
Updated April 27, 2021

From its 3,000-year-old origin story to its putrid stench, these Bigfoot facts might make a believer out of you.

British Explorer David Thompson
Blurry Bigfoot Photo
Surfing With Sasquatch
Jane Goodall With Chimp
Astounding Bigfoot Facts That Delve Into The Legend Of The Notorious Ape-Man
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While deeply embedded in modern American culture, the legend of Bigfoot originates long before the 21st century. Indigenous tribes across Northwestern America have spoken for centuries of a furry, bipedal beast that stole from fishermen and lived in isolation.

But Bigfoot as modern Americans have come to know the creature first took newspapers by storm in the early 1900s, though the actual name "Bigfoot" was only coined decades later in a 1958 Humboldt Times article concerning 17-inch-long footprints found in Bluff Creek, California.

Then, in 1967, documentarians Bob Gimlin and Roger Patterson released a short film that seemed to feature the beast itself. Though often brushed off as a hoax, the iconic film nonetheless spawned a collective quest to find Bigfoot.

Ever since, scholars, anthropologists, and self-described Bigfoot experts claim to have learned everything there is to know about the creature, from its diet and hunting habits to its paranormal abilities. Explore some surprising ⏤ though unverifiable ⏤ Bigfoot facts in the gallery above.

Facts About Bigfoot's History

Before it was called "Bigfoot," the mysterious beast was referred to as Sasquatch. This term was an Anglicization of sasq'ets, or sésquac, a word from the Halq-emeylem language of the First Nations peoples in parts of southwestern British Columbia.

Patterson Gimlin Film Still

TwitterA still of Bigfoot's gait from the infamous 1967 Patterson-Gimlin video.

According to Idaho University professor Jeffrey Meldrum, Sasquatch generally referred to the various behaviors of the creature, like shaking trees or eating clams.

Meanwhile, several tribes across the North American continent have their own name for the beast, with most of them describing the creature as a "wildman of the woods."

One of the first documented Bigfoot sightings was reported in California's Antioch Ledger in 1870, concerning a terrified hunter. He alleged that he had returned to his campsite one night to find it in tatters — with enormous footprints nearby.

He hid within viewing distance of the site, hoping that the perpetrator would return. When it did, the man was horrified to see that it was a bipedal ape-man.

Then, there was that shocking Humboldt Times article. Years later, however, the children of the man who'd spotted the massive prints admitted that their father told him he'd made the whole story up. No matter, the legend of Bigfoot was already cemented in common knowledge, and the name nonetheless stuck.

The notorious Patterson-Gimlin film of Bigfoot, stabilized for clearer viewing.

Besides, loggers, hunters, and unsuspecting campers continued to report seeing the elusive beast in forests across the country. Perhaps the most famous sighting remains the Patterson-Gimlin film of 1967.

It spans less than a minute and shows an ape-like man walking on two legs along the banks of a remote riverbed in Washington state. Although the video is considered a clear hoax to most, numerous experts have deemed the musculature and limb ratios of the beast too precise to be forged.

While some experts scoff at the idea of Bigfoot and gesture to hoaxes like the one from 1958, primatologists as renowned as Jane Goodall are open to its existence. Even the FBI once waded into the subject of Bigfoot when it received a small piece of skin with 15 hairs on it that an obsessive researcher wanted them to identify.

The results were finally declassified in 2019 and showed that "the hairs are of deer family origin."

Ultimately, Bigfoot continues to live in a netherworld between debunked conspiracy and yet-unproven fact.

Common Beliefs On The Behemoth

Bigfoot Facts

Oregon Historical SocietyA cast, allegedly of a Sasquatch foot, that was taken on Mount Saint Helens in 1974.

Over the last several decades, many reported sightings of Bigfoot have come with visceral descriptions of his stench. Witnesses claimed that the beast emitted a foul odor comparable to that of a skunk.

Others have reported tree trunks ripped from the ground or broken in half at heights too tall for a person to reach. Based on this information, it's estimated that Bigfoot averages around six to nine feet tall. Its footprints have been rumored to measure as long as 24 inches.

Some believe Bigfoot is a singular creature, while others are confident that there are thousands of Sasquatches roaming America and even the Himalayas. The Yeti, for instance, is considered by some to be a snowy version of Bigfoot — although others insist that they're different beasts. In Floria, the "Skunk Ape" also bears a resemblance to Bigfoot.

Still, others have claimed that Bigfoot is actually a species of early modern human that has thus far gone largely unknown to us.

To that last point, witnesses claim to have captured recordings of unnerving whooping sounds in the dead of night, as well as unidentifiable languages. However, none of these recordings have been conclusively tied to a creature like Bigfoot.

Yet, the intrigue continues. "Interest in the existence of the creature is at an all-time high," said paleontologist Darren Naish, even though "there's nothing even close to compelling as goes the evidence."

Today, there's no shortage of Bigfoot merchandise, podcasts, and reality television empires. Animal Planet's Finding Bigfoot spanned 11 seasons without actually making good on its title and on April 20, 2021, Hulu will release the documentary series Sasquatch, which will follow one investigative journalist's quest to find the elusive beast.

Though many have tried to attach science and reason to the study of Bigfoot, any information on the creature remains speculative. But we can enjoy some of the most intriguing Bigfoot facts, unverifiable as they might be, in the gallery above.

After learning about 23 Bigfoot facts that capture the imagination, read about 10 terrifying prehistoric creatures that weren't dinosaurs. Next, discover seven cryptids way cooler than Bigfoot.

Marco Margaritoff
A former staff writer for All That’s Interesting, Marco Margaritoff holds dual Bachelor's degrees from Pace University and a Master's in journalism from New York University. He has published work at People, VICE, Complex, and serves as a staff reporter at HuffPost.
Austin Harvey
A staff writer for All That's Interesting, Austin Harvey has also had work published with Discover Magazine, Giddy, and Lucid covering topics on mental health, sexual health, history, and sociology. He holds a Bachelor's degree from Point Park University.
Cite This Article
Margaritoff, Marco. "Astounding Bigfoot Facts That Delve Into The Legend Of The Notorious Ape-Man.", January 22, 2016, Accessed April 24, 2024.