I've always loved stories about Bigfoot. If I look back at my collection of juvenile books, I find several volumes about that elusive teddy bear. I'm kind of conflicted, though. On an emotional level I really want to believe the stories and the sightings, but intellectually, Bigfoot's existence just doesn't make sense.

Consider these problems:

Bigfoot is a very large primate, estimated at 10-12 ft and possibly 800 pounds, yet other than dubious footprints and sketchy eyewitness accounts, he's somehow remained undiscovered. Undisputed evidence, such as a pelt, skeleton, or even DNA, have never been found. Now perhaps Bigfoot is just smarter than the average bear (or telepathic) and hides better than most animals -- maybe he's even learned to bury his dead, which might partly explain the lack of physical evidence.

Here's the catch…

We can assume Bigfoot didn't first appear during the 1950's when the craze initially started about him, so like most mammals he's probably been here tens of thousands of years. What's the minimum population needed to keep Bigfoot living for that long? We know that if the population number gets too low, the genetic variation isn't high enough to adapt to changing environments, and the species winks out. That means Bigfoot represents a fairly large group that's existed for thousands of years (or if compared to a gorilla, millions), and even if they bury their dead, a group that size would have surely left some physical remains. We don't even have fossil records. Nothing.

Another puzzlement is what do these primates eat? Big-bodied primates need a lot of food. A 5-6 foot, 4-500 pound gorilla, for example, consumes around 9000 calories a day. A 10 foot, 8-900 pound Bigfoot would easily double that expenditure. Where does a Yeti find 18,000 calories to eat on the snowy Himalayan mountains? Even if he bags a couple yaks, the food supply in the area wouldn't support him. The science doesn't work.

The Pacific Northwest might provide a better harvest for Bigfoot, but where's the evidence? If Bigfoot is a herbivore, samples of that activity should be readily apparent. If he's a scavenger or predator, there would be kill patterns, like we see with bears, wolves, cougars, etc. We haven't even found Bigfoot's poop. We can locate the feces of every other mammal on the planet, but apparently Bigfoot shit doesn't stink.

As mentioned earlier, a large primate would need to sustain a breeding population in order to survive for thousands of years, but where are the mating calls, the offspring, the nesting areas, or the caves they use. Evidence like this is widely apparent with other mammals, but non-existent with Bigfoot. It's not enough just to say Bigfoot is elusive. His very existence for thousands of years would have created an environmental footprint that couldn't be concealed, but he's largely invisible.

Bigfoot could still exist, of course, but I think the evidence shows that his existence is unlikely. Sad to say.

Dave Gregg

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