While no one has been able to provide definitive proof of Bigfoot or any other large, hairy, bipedal creatures, even with long running shows like Finding Bigfoot being devoted to proving Bigfoot's existence, the searches for, and fascination with, Bigfoot continue.
Perhaps it is this elusiveness, along with enough tantalizing evidence and video footage, that keeps Bigfoot at the top of the list of mythical, but possibly real, creatures, Bigfoot shaming others in the category such as the Loch Ness Monster or Chupacabra, with his popularity.
But another reason Bigfoot has maintained such a high level of fascination in popular culture is because his existence has been reported all over the world, from swamps and woods across the United States to the high, barely accessible wilds of Canada and Nepal's Himalaya.
These different areas of "Bigfoot" activity also come with their own familiar names for the big, hairy beings, including Yeti, Sasquatch, and Abominable Snowman. But which is which? And when you're out tracking Bigfoot, how do you know if the creature you've caught on camera (which will likely be blurry) isn't actually a Yeti or Sasquatch?
Bigfoot remains a popular enigma in a mysterious world, along with the associated Sasquatch, Yeti, and Abominable Snowman.
Well, look no further than the definitive guide just reported by Newsweek, describing the origins and stories behind the different names of Bigfoot creatures, as excerpted from the recent Newsweek publication of Bigfoot: The Science, Sightings and Search for America's Elusive Legend.
Perhaps the most commonly interchangeable and well-known name for Bigfoot is "Sasquatch."
According to Newsweek, Sasquatch is also the "most universally respected name for the enigmatic primate/person hybrid." This alternative name for Bigfoot comes from the word, "Sésquac," meaning "wild man," a word from the language of the Native British Columbian Coastal Salish peoples. These Native British Columbians lived in what is today called the Fraser Valley in Canada's Pacific Northwest. Along with Vancouver Island, this is a Bigfoot / Sasquatch hot spot with more reported sightings than any other place in the world.
Next up as a common alternative name for Bigfoot is "Yeti." Unlike Sasquatch, however, the Yeti is most often associated with a Bigfoot-like creature that resides in the Himalayan Mountain regions of Nepal, India, Pakistan and other Asian countries. Newsweek also reports that the Yeti is "an entirely different entity" than Sasquatch or Bigfoot, the often snow-white mountain dwelling legend finding its origins in pre-Buddhist Eastern civilizations.
Along with being on the other side of the planet, living high in the mountains, ice, and snow is the major distinction between the Yeti and Bigfoot, or Sasquatch, both of whom are often reportedly spotted in warmer, more hospitable environments, though also in the snowy Canadian wilds. Native Himalayan people believe the Yeti is an "Arctic creature," often described as looking more like a bear than an ape. Native Himalayan people also worshipped the Bigfoot-like creature, once calling the Yeti the "Glacier Being."
As Bigfoot is to Sasquatch, the "Abominable Snowman" is to the Yeti, the Abominable Snowman name reportedly first used in 1921 by Henry Newman who wrote for an Indian English-language newspaper called The Statesman. The British Mount Everest Reconnaissance Expedition was exploring the Himalayan region at the time, and while Newman was interviewing them they reported having seen large footprints in the snow that their guides said were those of a creature called "Metoh-Kangmi."
According to the Newsweek report, "metoh" translates to "man-bear" and "kangmi" translates to "snowman." Newman mistranslated "metoh" to "filthy," however, but then decided to go with "abominable" instead, "filthy snowman" apparently not to Newman's liking, and another name for one in the elusive Bigfoot family was born.
But what about the name for Bigfoot himself? Well, obviously it's pretty literal, but didn't come into being until the late 1950's.
A guy named Gerald Crew from Bluff Creek, which is located in Del Norte County deep in the redwood forests of Northern California, made some casts of some huge footprints that he found near his tractor. The Humboldt Times reported on the inexplicable foot prints and soon Bigfoot was born, Bluff Creek locals tagging whatever was responsible for making the tracks with the Bigfoot name.
The popularity of Bigfoot shows no sign of going away either, with the most recognized groups of researchers, such as the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization hard at work in pursuit of the elusive creature.
Recent films such as Something in the Woods, said to be "inspired by true events," also show that Bigfoot remains a major player in popular culture.[Images and video via YouTube]