Cryptid Breakdown: Anatomy Of A Sasquatch
For centuries, human beings have reported having encounters with giant man-like ape creatures within the forests of North America. They have been called hundreds of different names throughout history and have been seen in many different locations; dense woodland forests, high up in the mountains, and low within the swamps. Many of these encounters can easily be written off as hoaxes made by people looking for their fifteen minutes of fame, others though cannot as easily be written off. One of the many factors that makes a lot of these encounters and sightings credible is that a large majority of witnesses describe the creatures as possessing the same features. The witnesses reside all over the world, sometimes hundreds of miles from another witness who has had their own encounter (thus minimizing the possibility of a hoax between the two parties). Over time, researchers have collected and documented these features and built a base model of the creature known as Sasquatch.
The Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization compiled the common shared description of the creatures into a list that we have shared below.
- Skin color ranges from the deepest black or charcoal to deep brown, “sunburned” reddish brown, and gray. Some areas, like the nose, appear at times in a shiny, oily black color. The palms are lighter in color, and the soles of the feet quite light, presumably as a result of thick sole pads composed, as in other primates, of fat and connective tissue. A few albino Sasquatch have been seen, whose skin color was pink.
- The Sasquatch is covered with hair, not fur. Fur has guard hairs and an undercoat, while primate hair consists of one type of hair alone. The Sasquatch, being a primate, does not molt its hair, but it is replaced one hair at a time, hence is not found in wooly batches.
- The body can have various patches of different colored hair. Older animals have increasingly grey hair, though color does not appear to change from childhood to adulthood. Hair is variously glossy clean and shiny, fluffy, or dirty, matted and unkempt, probably a function of native curliness, age, or of recent immersion in water or lack thereof. Females have been reported to be cleaner than males.
- Hair length ranges from 3" to around 2’ (15" longest measured in hand, longer observed in the wild). Long hair covers the head and, almost invariably, the ears; very short hair on the face; occasional reports of heavy hairiness in male faces (“mustache” and “beard”) vs. no facial hair in females; long hair across the top of the shoulders; long hair on the forearms; different orientations of hair on back; breasts on females are hair covered; long hair on buttocks, sometimes overhanging them; groin is covered with enough hair to obscure genitalia; and long hair on the calves.
- About 10-15% of close encounters are connected with an intense, disagreeable stench, comparable to the odor of rotten meat. Gorillas, under conditions of distress, exude a gag inducing and overpowering aroma, the origin of which is the axillary organ (i.e., the armpit with its apocrine sweat glands). The same anatomy might also pertain to the Sasquatch.
Head and Neck
- The head, though massive by direct comparison to that of man, has been described as “relatively” small for an animal of that size, indicative of a rather small brain. The head develops a sagittal crest in adult males as well as in females. Some animals, possibly younger, have a round head. Brain volume is probably close to or slightly above that of the gorilla.
- There is a conspicuous brow ridge with a receding forehead, giving the eyes a deep-set look. The face is rather flat with prominent cheekbones, a square jaw, and the mouth region is only slightly protuberant. Deep brown eye color predominates, with a “red” component common (probably a bloodshot sclera). A white Sasquatch was once reported and the witness described it as having blue eyes. Night reflection from eyes varies most commonly between red and yellow and is probably dependent on pupillary size rather than true reflectivity.
- The nose is almost human in shape, though “pug” or flat, sometimes with forward directed nostrils. The mouth is often reported to be thin-lipped, with yellowish, square teeth with a human-like appearance. When larger canines have been seen, they did not project substantially beyond the plane of the other teeth and would be subject to wear with time. Ears are almost invariably hidden under hair and have been reported to be either rounded or pointed.
- Muscles from the back of the head flare out to the shoulders to obscure the neck. A result is that, as in weight lifters, the body is usually turned with the head when a rearward view is desired.
- The trunk is generally carried at a forward angle of about 15° (“hunched over”). This means that the species has not achieved a full upright stance, a difference from human beings, although at times the animals do stand up straight.
- The shoulders are proportionately wider than those of man, measuring about 40% of the height in a Sasquatch compared to 25-30% in man. Large Sasquatches have been described as having four to five foot wide shoulders. They are barrel-chested, with a large respiratory tidal volume.
- Females have breasts, small and conical near puberty, rather heavy and pendulous during reproductive years, and shrunken in old age. They are hair-covered except for the nipples and areola.
- The arms are massive and might exceed human length somewhat, frequently reported as hanging close to their knees, though accentuated by the slouching stance of the animals. They are particularly hairy along the forearms and end in very large and massive hands.
- The hand deviates in slight but significant ways from the human hand. Fingers are generally shorter, especially the thumb, and the latter is carried “farther toward the wrist” as compared to the position in man. The hand largely lacks the thenar pad (the mounded muscle at the base of the thumb), a corollary of the lowest opposability found in the higher primates. The hand is proportionately broader than that of man, palm width in adults measuring up to 8". Both finger and toe nails are deeply colored brownish yellow, presumably a combination of dirt and thick keratin, though fingernails are light colored in some. There are no claws.
- Young males have a V-shaped trunk, tapering from a wide chest to a narrower waist, whereas the female trunk has an overall barrel shape. Female hips seem to be broader than those of the male. Either sex rarely has a protruding abdomen (other than during pregnancy in the female). Genitalia in the female are hidden by hair, as are generally those of the male.
Legs and Feet
- The legs are massive, especially the thighs. The calves are also unusually muscular, the gastrocnemius (calf) muscle being particularly prominent during rear views.
- Feet are most amply recorded by way of innumerable measured footprints. They range in recorded length from barely walking infants at 4"-5" to known female prints and very large presumptive male footprints. The mean length of 702 prints (collected over nearly 50 years) is 15.6” with a range of 4" to 27", and a mean width of about 0.45 times that of the length. This proportion remains about the same with increasing length of the feet. Feet grow in excess of gain in height of the animals to compensate for the exponential increase in weight with linear dimensions. The foot does not have an arch, but retains the primitive primate midsole flexure of apes, called a metatarsal hinge. During running, often only the anterior half of the foot (anterior to the metatarsal hinge) contacts the ground. The toes are capable of substantial splaying in slippery terrain, especially abduction of the big toe. The sole is very thick and indents deeply over uneven terrain without harm to the animal.
Body Size and Weight
- The height average for the sampled population is 7’ 10", derived from a combination of eye witness estimates and scaling from footprints. Babies are small by human standards, but grow rapidly and evidently learn to walk at an early age. Aside from infants being carried, small walking Sasquatches, 3-4’ tall, have been seen. The animals reach maturity at a height of 6’-7’ and the largest, reliably estimated individuals exceed 10’. Males are taller than females, but seemingly by no more than about a foot at the median of the population.
- Weight is difficult to estimate on sight and seems to vary from animal to animal as much as in people, but a tight, established relationship exists in primates between chest circumference and weight. Applying this formula, the average Sasquatch can be estimated to weigh 650 lbs, and the maximum (for a 24" or larger footprint) probably to exceed 1,000 lbs.
With so many people describing the same type of creature (with many reports of encounters taking place long before the internet, the delivery of out of state newspapers, television, or sharing of information outside the confines of a single town), could this mean that they are real? The line is drawn between believers and non-believers, but for the people who have seen something in the woods, only they know the truth.
-The Pine Barrens Institute
*Image Credit: Google