A Bigfoot sighting in Washington state. Sasquatch "evidence" in Pennsylvania. For years the legendary giant, hairy man-like creature has been, apparently, spotted.
And yet, conclusive, scientific evidence has not been able to pin down the elusive character.
Josh Stevens, a geographic information scientist, cartographer and PhD candidate at Pennsylvania State University, said "every now and then a dataset comes along that just has to be mapped."
When it comes to Bigfoot sightings in the United States, "this is one of those times," he continued on his blog.
Using the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization's database of reported Sasquatch sightings since 1921, Stevens mapped and graphed the 3,313 sightings from the past 92 years.
Even if you think Bigfoot talk is ridiculous, you can at least appreciate the following map:
Sasquatch Sightings (Image: Josh Stevens)
Stevens then went about making some observations. First, he pointed out how Sasquatch sightings are not evenly distributed.
"There are distinct regions where sightings are incredibly common, despite a very sparse population. On the other hand, in some of the most densely populated areas Sasquatch sightings are exceedingly rare," he wrote.
Sasquatch Sightings vs Population Density (Image: Josh Stevens)
"I don’t have a really good explanation for this. These are Sasquatch sightings we’re talking about and I’m way out of my area of expertise (do bigfoot experts exist?). But it’s clear that if the legendary biped is real, it’s thriving out west," he continued.
He does think environmental factors -- like a rugged, woody area -- and prevalence of the legend "likely combine to at least put weary outdoorsmen on the lookout."
"Ultimately, I’m not convinced there’s a descendant of Gigantopithecus playing hide and seek in the Pacific Northwest," Stevens concluded. "But if respectable folks like Survivorman Les Stroud and primatologist Jane Goodall believe there’s something more to the myth, I think it’s at least worth putting on the map."
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