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Beyond the Footprints

Written by Kai Sanchez

In the expansive list of folklore and mysterious creatures that pepper human history, few captivate my imagination quite like Bigfoot. This elusive being has left an undeniable mark on popular culture, creating a rich tapestry of legends that appear all throughout the annals of time. As the first cryptid I was ever introduced to by my father, Bigfoot has grown to embody my love for the unknown and inspired my love of cryptozoology.

The origins of the Bigfoot myth can be traced back to different Native American communities, where stories of a towering, hairy wildman were painted into rocks. Different versions of the same story were passed on orally as well, most commonly warnings of large hairy creatures that scream and steal livestock. As European settlers arrived on the continent, they too began to encounter this mysterious being, fanning the flames of fascination that would endure for centuries.

One of the most compelling aspects of Bigfoot lore to me is its adaptability over time. As the world transitioned from an age of oral storytelling to a written one, Bigfoot seamlessly traversed the mediums, finding a new home in newspapers, books, television, and online. Far from fading into obscurity, Bigfoot has morphed into a global phenomenon, transcending cultural boundaries and becoming a beloved figure in the hearts of enthusiasts worldwide.

The allure of Bigfoot is not merely confined to its status as a cryptid; it extends to the dedicated community of researchers, enthusiasts, and skeptics who pursue the truth. Documentaries, podcasts, and conventions dedicated to the study of Bigfoot provide a platform for people to share stories, exchange theories, and review evidence. The camaraderie fostered within this community is a testament to the enduring appeal of the creature, transforming it from a mere legend into a cultural touchstone.

My father is actually a frequent attendant of such events, and is an avid believer of Bigfoot. He married a skeptic who refuses to indulge his belief, so I ended up watching Bigfoot documentaries with him as a child instead. This kickstarted my love of all things folklore related as I continued growing up, and has resulted in my love of the Mothman of West Virginia. In conclusion, Bigfoot’s persistent mythos has made its mark on humanities collective, and my specific, consciousness.