Whether or not Bigfoot lives, his legend is immortal. Here’s why.
Since the beginning of recorded human history, people who spend a lot of time in the outdoors (and, not so long ago, that was almost all of us) have reported seeing supersized and hairy humanoids. From the giants of the Bible, to the Himalayan yeti, to the Native American Sasquatch legends, Bigfoot’s enormous footprints track right alongside the smaller, softer, but infinitely more numerous ones of Homo sapiens sapiens. Skeptics can roll their eyes all they like, but regardless of whether there’s any real scientific evidence of Bigfoot, his legend is immortal. Here’s why.
1) We’ve all seen weird stuff in the woods, and some of it defies explanation.
There are several universal truths among dedicated outdoorsmen, and one of them is that if you spend enough time away from civilization, sooner or later you will see something strange, alarming, or creepy. (If you click on either of the links in that previous sentence, you’ll get to see some spine-tingling examples from your fellow readers.) Of course, none of it is “supernatural.” After all, if you saw it out in Nature, it’s natural–it just may be something humanity doesn’t understand yet.
The crux of all of the above is that although most of the weird stuff we see in the woods has a simple scientific explanation, not all of it does. And any time you have a real phenomenon without an explanation, legends grow.
2) We’re used to having Fish & Game services deny the existence of animals we know are there.
Another terrific way to ensure that a legend will never die is to have an unreliable source declare that there’s absolutely no truth to that legend (and then insult the people who believe it). And here’s another fact: When it comes to cryptids, our nation’s fish & game services are absolutely an unreliable source.
Here’s an example. For about 15 years now, sportsmen have been reporting seeing mountain lions and their spoor in the Adirondack mountains. Also, for about 15 years now, the fish and game services of those states have vehemently denied that the lions are there. When presented with something undeniable–say, for example, the corpse of a lion that was hit by a car–they simply announce that the cat must have been someone’s escaped pet.
Why do they do this? Why is it so anathema to them that an animal that used to be widespread in that area but was extirpated by hunting could come back? Obviously, the Adirondacks offer enough space and game to support a population of mountain lions. That’s not what their problem is. Their problem is that admitting the animals are there would mean bureaucratic headaches for them.
3: Because mystery and legend are built in to the human condition, and that’s how we like it.
The biggest reason that the Bigfoot legend will never die, of course, is that we as a species need it (and things like it). Mystery and legend are part of the human condition, and that will never change. We outdoorsmen are also very aware of the fact that Nature is so vast and complicated that we will never understand every corner of it. And what fun would a campfire be if you couldn’t whisper tales around it about the mysteries that caper just beyond its light?
Do you believe that it’s possible that Sasquatch is real? Tell us in the comments!
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