How Old Is Bigfoot?

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Legends of a cryptid ape-like "Bigfoot" creature began circulating in North American nearly 100 years ago. In the 1920s, a Canadian newspaper printed a compilation by J.W. Burns of local legends surrounding the creature. The term "Sasquatch," a Native American word meaning "wild man," was first coined at that time.

As explained by Emily Upton, stories of a "wild man" circulated amongst Native Americans of the Pacific Northwest region long before white colonists settled there. In 1958, stories of Bigfoot took off in the United States when a set of large footprints were found at a construction site in California. Locals first referred to the unknown track-maker as "Bigfoot," and this term was printed in the Humboldt Times. The story was picked up by the Associated Press, and "Bigfoot" received international attention. In 1967, the "Patterson-Gimlin Film" was recorded in California, capturing images of a possible "Bigfoot" creature. Many scientists consider Bigfoot to be a combination of folklore, misidentification and hoax activity.