The Cryptid Zoo: Bigfoot

"Bigfoot" is a term that is applied in two ways. In its widest sense, it is applied to every type of hairy humanoid from all over the world, regardless of that hairy humanoid's characteristics. In other words, it is a catch-all category that is applied to every variety of legendary ape-man by those who don't know better.
Bigfoot is often imagined to look much like this movie version from 'Harry and the Hendersons'. This screenshot is copyrighted by those who own the copyright to the film.
In its more correct sense, "Bigfoot" applies to a certain type of hairy humanoid that is frequently reported in the Pacific Northwest area of America (roughly the states of Washington, Oregon and the northern part of California) and also found in similar habitats in western Canada, possibly as far north as Alaska. This type has a relatively stable set of characteristics and is often viewed as the standard Bigfoot.

The standard Bigfoot has a rather consistent appearance. Adults are described as six to nine feet tall, heavily built, and muscular, with large feet and a sagittal crest on top of the head, giving the head a somewhat pointed, elongated look, like a bullet. The forehead itself is generally sloping, suggesting a brain that has more in common with apes (or very primitive men) than modern humans. The entire body is covered with thick, shaggy fur of about the same length, without longer hair on the head. The body shape is often compared to a professional football player or a bodybuilder, with large muscles and a solid physique. Footprints measure fifteen inches long on average, with five toes. Behavior towards humans can be aggressive, but is seldom anything worse than a threat display.

The creatures are often sighted in family groups, with arrangements that would suggest they seem to follow the human rule of pair-bonding with one male and one female staying together to raise their young. They seldom use tools more sophisticated than a branch, do not wear clothing, and cannot speak, although they have a wide variety of calls that might count as language to another Bigfoot. They seem to be highly nomadic, occasionally sheltering in caves, but seeming to not stay in one area longer than a night or two. Those who believe in them think that their diet is probably mostly plant food such as tender leaves and acorns, along with some meat sources such as snails, frogs and scavenged deer carcasses.

This standard Bigfoot is not the only hairy humanoid to be reported from the Pacific Northwest of North America. Other beings that do not fit the standard model are also sighted, including true giants, marked hominids and many types of BHMs (big hairy monsters) of a decidedly paranormal character.

In recent years, the efforts of serious cryptozoologists to make the discipline sound more respectable has led many to discard the term "Bigfoot" as unscientific, replacing it with sasquatch. Some other researchers use "Bigfoot" for standard Bigfoot reports from the Pacific Northwest and reserve "sasquatch" for the Canadian Bigfoot. However, in general the two terms can be used interchangably.

You can find out more about Bigfoot from the following sources:

Alley, Robert. Raincoast Sasquatch: Bigfoot & Sasquatch Evidence from Indian Lore

Bartholomew, Paul. Monsters of the North Woods. Utica, New York: North Country Books, 1992.

Baumann, Elwood D. Bigfoot: America's Abominable Snowman. New York: Franklin Watts, 1975.

Bayanov, Dmitri. Bigfoot: To Kill Or To Film? The Problem of Proof.

Benjamin, R.W. Bigfoot

Berry, Alan & Slate, Ann. Bigfoot. New York: Bantam Books, 1976.

BFRO: The Homepage of the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization

BFRO, The. The Bigfoot-Giganto Hypothesis


Bigfoot Museum

Bindernagel, John. Bigfoot Biologist

Blackman, W. Haden. The Field Guide to North American Monsters. New York: Three Rivers Press, 1998. Pages 2-38

Bord, Colin & Bord, Janet. The Bigfoot Casebook. Harrisburg, Pennsylvania: Stackpole Books, 1982.

Bord, Colin & Bord, Janet. The Evidence for Bigfoot and Other Man-Beasts. New York: Sterling Publications, 1984.

Botkin, B. A. A Treasury of American Folklore: Stories, Ballads and Traditions of the People. New York: Crown Publishers, 1944. Pages 682-687

Brookesmith, Peter, ed. Creatures from Elsewhere. London, Chartwell Books, 1989. Pages 8-19

Clark, Jerome and Coleman, Loren. Cryptozoology A-Z. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1999. Pages 39-43, 55-56, 100-101, 171-172, 197-200, 215, 242

Clark, Jerome. Unexplained!. Detroit: Visible Ink Press, 1999. Pages 332-346, 429-439(Hairy Bipeds), 484-486(More Hairy Bipeds), 559-561, 569-572

Coleman, Jerry D. Strange Highways: A Guidebook to American Mysteries & the Unexplained. Alton, Illinois: Whitechapel Productions Press, 2003. Pages 18-20, 37, 55-64, 71, 101-103, 181

Coleman, Loren. Bigfoot! : The True Story of Apes in America

Coleman, Loren. The Field Guide to Bigfoot, Yeti and Other Mystery Primates Worldwide

Coleman, Loren. Mysterious America: The Revised Edition. New York: Paraview Press, 2001. Pages 13-14, 26, 29, 37-38, 89, 97, 165, 190, 200-204, 219, 221-230, 235, 243

Cox, Wyatt. Ufo And Bigfoot Sightings In Alabama: A Listing And Examination Of Selected Sightings.

Dahinden, Rene & Hunter, Don. Sasquatch/Bigfoot: The Search for North America's Incredible Creature. Buffalo: Firefly Books, 1993.

Daegling, David D. Bigfoot Exposed: An Anthropologist Examines America's Enduring Legend

Dennett, Preston E. Supernatural California: A Golden State Guide to UFOs, Extraterrestrials, Ghosts, Hauntings, Cryptozoological Creatures, Psychics, Mediums, Miracles, Mystical Spots, Buried Treasures, Gravity Hills, Local Legends, Ancient Civilizations, and Other Strange Mysteries. Atglen, PA: Schiffer Pub., 2006.

Farnsworth, Susan A. The Mogollon Monster, Arizona's Bigfoot.

Freitas, John. Operation Nightscream: Sasquatch and Bigfoot Researchers

Gale, Thomson. Apelike Monsters

The Geographic Database of Bigfoot Sightings & Reports - maintained by the BFRO, this extensive archive contains hundreds of sightings.

Giganto: The Real King Kong

Godfrey, Linda S., Hendricks, Richard D., Moran, Mark, ed. & Sceurman, Mark, ed. Weird Wisconsin: Your Travel Guide to Wisconsin's Local Legends and Best Kept Secrets. New York: Sterling, 2005. Pages 106, 119-121

Green, John. The Best of Sasquatch Bigfoot

Gulf Coast Bigfoot Research Organization. Canadian Bigfoot Sightings

Hall, Jamie. Bigfoot & Pals

Hall, Mark A. The Yeti, Bigfoot & True Giants.

Halpin, Marjorie, ed. Manlike Monsters on Trial. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 1980.

Innes, Brian. Giant Humanlike Beasts

Juliano, Dave. The Shadowlands Bigfoot Page

Keel, John A. The Complete Guide to Mysterious Beings. New York: Doubleday, 1994. Pages 62-64, 84-97, 101-119, 125-132

Klement, Jan. The Creature: Personal Experiences With Bigfoot.

Krantz, Grover. Bigfoot Sasquatch: Evidence

Lapseritis, Jack. The Psychic Sasquatch: And Their UFO Connection.

Legend of Boggy Creek

Long, Greg. The Making of Bigfoot: The Inside Story

Meldrum, D. Jeffrey. Evaluation of Alleged Sasquatch Footprints and their Inferred Functional Morphology

Meldrum, D. Jeffrey. Hominoid Bipedalism & Cryptozoology

Messner, Reinhold. My Quest for the Yeti: Confronting the Himalayas' Deepest Mystery.

Moore, Robin. When the Moon is Full: Supernatural Stories from the Old Pennsylvania Mountains. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1994. Pages 107-130
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Moran, Mark & Sceurman, Mark. Weird N.J.: Your Travel Guide to New Jersey's Local Legends and Best Kept Secrets. New York: Barnes & Noble, 2004. Pages 98-101

Morgan, Robert W. The Bigfoot Pocket Field Manual.

Morgan, Robert W. Bigfoot: The Ultimate Adventure.

Napier, John. Bigfoot: The Yeti and Sasquatch in Myth and Reality.

Newton, Michael. Encyclopedia of Cryptozoology: A Global Guide to Hidden Animals and Their Pursuers. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, 2005. Pages 12-13, 20, 25-29, 37-40, 43-44, 55, 57-65, 69-72, 75, 79-82, 84, 89, 91, 93-94, 98-99, 102, 107, 110, 113, 120-122, 124-126, 135, 141, 145, 150-151, 157, 159, 162-163, 171-172, 177-179, 181-183, 186, 188, 190-191, 195-199, 201, 207-208, 212, 214, 218, 220-222, 225-226, 232, 236, 246, 253, 255-256, 278, 284, 286, 289-291, 295-300, 303, 307-308, 310, 315, 322-325, 328, 332, 340-341, 344, 349-351, 354-356, 359-360, 366-368, 370-371, 373, 377-378, 381, 393, 397, 410, 412, 424, 428-430, 433, 436-437, 448, 454, 462, 464-465, 473-476, 481-484, 487-488, 490, 492, 496, 499, 501

Ohio Bigfoot Research and Study Group

Opsasnick, Mark. The Maryland Bigfoot Digest.

Perez, Daniel Edward. Big Footnotes: A Comprehensive Bibliography Concerning Bigfoot, the Abominable Snowmen and Related Beings. Los Angeles: D. Perez Publishing, 1988.

Powell, Thom. The Locals: A Contemporary Investigation of the Bigfoot/Sasquatch Phenomenon

Pyle, Robert Michael. Where Bigfoot Walks : Crossing the Dark Divide

Rife, Philip. Bigfoot Across America

Rocky Mountain Bigfoot

Rose, Carol. Giants, Monsters and Dragons: An Encyclopedia of Folklore, Legend and Myth. Santa Barbara, California: ABC-CLIO, 2000. Page 49

Rudley, Stephen. The Abominable Snowcreature.


Sasquatch Odyssey: The Hunt for Bigfoot

Short, Bobbie. Bigfoot Encounters

Short, Bobbie. Bigfoot Films

Southern Oregon Bigfoot Society

Steenburg, Thomas. In Search of Giants: Bigfoot Sasquatch Encounters

Steenburg, Thomas. Sasquatch Bigfoot: The Continuing Mystery

Steiger, Brad. Out of the Dark: The Complete Guide to Beings from Beyond. New York: Kensington Books, 2001. Pages 53-58

Texas Bigfoot Research Center

Thomas, Roger. State by State Bigfoot Sightings

Thomas, Roger. Bigfoot: Fact or Fantasy?

Thompson, Clay. The Mogollon Monster: A Hairy Tale

Virginia Bigfoot Research

Walker, P. Bigfoot and Other Legendary Creatures. San Diego: Harcourt Brace, 1992.

Weidensaul, Scott. The Ghost with Trembling Wings: Science, Wishful Thinking and the Search for Lost Species. New York: North Point Press, 2002. Pages 12, 151, 171-176

Wikipedia, The. Bigfoot

Wikipedia, The. Gigantopithecus

Wilson, T.A. In Pursuit of a Legend: 72 Days in California Bigfoot Country.

Wolf, Adam. The Shadowlands Bigfoot Page

Woodyard, Chris. Haunted Ohio II: More Ghostly Tales from the Buckeye State. Beavercreek, Ohio: Kestrel Publications, 1992. Pages 94, 109-114

Wylie, Kenneth. Bigfoot: A Personal Inquiry into a Phenomenon. New York: Viking, 1980.

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The text on this page is copyright 2007 by Jamie Hall. Please use proper citation if you are using this website for research.