Want to Find Bigfoot? Now There’s a Map for That

And it charts sightings reported over the past 92 years

  • Share
  • Read Later
Joshua Stevens / joshstevens.net

Have you personally seen a Sasquatch? You know, a giant fur-carpeted man-thing striding through the forest like, oh, some guy in a Harry and the Hendersons suit? No? Ever wanted to know where others have reported seeing the mythical creature? Well now there’s a map for that.

(MORE: Snake on a Plane: Unwelcome Passenger Cancels Tokyo-Bound Flight)

Belief in Bigfoot may rank right up there with ghosts, UFOs, the chupacabra and other bits of folkloric moonshine, but if you’ve ever wanted a way to visualize all the public misidentification in one place, dataset guru Joshua Stevens, a Ph.D. candidate at Penn State, has you covered with a stylish new map that pinpoints Bigfoot sightings over the past 92 years.

Why take over 3,000 sightings reported between 1921 and 2013 and turn them into a map? For the fun of it, in so many words, and because Stevens says the data was just sitting there, waiting to be geo-articulated.

Through archival work and reports submitted directly to their website, the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization has amassed a database of thousands of sasquatch sightings. Each report is geocoded and timestamped. Occasionally, even photos and videos of the alleged evidence are included. I’m not quite sure how I stumbled across this, but I’m glad I did.

At first blush, the sightings seem to correspond to populated areas. But wait! says Stevens, if you take a something something [insert fancy geographical information systems jargon] view, you discover “distinct regions where sightings are incredibly common, despite a very sparse population,” whereas “in some of the most densely populated areas sasquatch sightings are exceedingly rare.”

The takeaway: Bigfoot seems to be doing its (her? his?) thing mostly out west.

MORE: Breaking Bad Forever: Show Memorabilia Goes Up for Auction

3 comments
BigfootGifts1
BigfootGifts1

When did they start finding a map where the Bigfoot is located?

AlanHall
AlanHall

The study failed to list the Sasquatch sightings made by Native Americans throughout their history on the continent and sightings made by Caucasians before 1921. The chart, therefore, gives the false impression that such sightings are a newer phenomenon. They are not.

The oral history of Coastal Salish tribes in the Pacific NW is rich with reports of them struggling to coexist with large hairy primates, and they even knew of two species: the smaller, somewhat malevolent Squanicum, and the larger, wiser, and friendlier Sasquatch. Before the ancient forests were mostly cut down, both species were quite common.

JasonStevens
JasonStevens

@AlanHall Thats because the map he made is of the last 92 years.. Not one of the last 150-200 years.