Today’s Wonder of the Day was inspired by Lynn from WI. Lynn Wonders, “Is there any proof that Bigfoot is real?” Thanks for WONDERing with us, Lynn!

Do you like to play in the woods? Many kids enjoy hiking off the beaten path. You never know what you’ll run across. There could be tall trees, serene ponds, curious deer, and maybe even a turtle or two!

Of course, you also need to be on the lookout for danger. Itchy poison ivy, slithering snakes, and angry bees can all make a trek to the woods a bit unpleasant. And if you live in certain areas, there’s another creature you may need to watch out for.

Do you live in the Pacific Northwest? How about Kentucky? Maybe the hills of West Virginia? These places—and many more—are said to hide a fearsome creature. It’s one of the most unique animals you could ever come across in the deep woods. What are we talking about? Bigfoot, of course!

Have you ever seen Bigfoot in the wild? Many people swear that they’ve seen the tall, hairy, ape-like creature walking about in the deep woods. Bigfoot is said to be a huge, hairy mixture of ape and human. Also called “Sasquatch,” Bigfoot supposedly walks on two legs like a human.

Some believe that Bigfoot is part of an entire species. That would mean that there are Bigfeet hiding in the forests of the world. Certain areas seem to accumulate more Bigfoot sightings than others.

In the U.S., the Pacific Northwest, Kentucky, and West Virginia are fertile grounds for Bigfoot sightings. Some people also claim to have seen an Arctic version of Bigfoot. This creature is often called the Yeti or Abominable Snowman. It’s been reported in the Himalayan areas of India, Nepal, and Tibet. Sightings have also come from the Arctic parts of Alaska and Canada.

But are any of the stories true? Is there actually any proof that Bigfoot is real? Most scientists will tell you that Bigfoot does not exist. They think Bigfoot is nothing more than a myth. They cite lack of evidence to support this conclusion. People have claimed to find physical proof of Bigfoot. But such “evidence” has always failed to prove anything. In these cases, experts often find that hoax or misidentification has taken place.

Scientists also note the many locations of Bigfoot sightings. In order for them to be true, there would have to be a significant number of Bigfeet. They claim that, in today’s world, such a large number of creatures simply could not go undiscovered.

Bigfoot enthusiasts, though, will point to “mounds” of evidence. They claim eyewitness accounts, photographs, videos, and even DNA evidence prove that Bigfoot is real. To date, though, none of this has proved to be trustworthy, according to most scientists.

Eyewitness accounts have often turned out to be hoaxes. Others are outright lies told by people seeking a few moments of fame. Some accounts are also simple mistakes, such as believing a bear was Bigfoot. Photographs and videos of Bigfoot have also been inconclusive. Some have been found to be footage of a person in an ape costume.

Recently, Rick Dyer, a Bigfoot hunter, claimed to have killed a Bigfoot. He said he had conclusive DNA tests run on the body. He took his find on tour and charged people money to see it. Eventually, though, he admitted it was all a hoax. This was the second time Dyer perpetrated a Bigfoot fraud on the public.

Without any real proof that Bigfoot exists, why does the legend of Bigfoot continue to grow? The answer is probably a simple one. It’s because so many people want it to be true. People are excited by the idea that there might be a hairy, ape-like creature hiding in the forests of the world. And there is really no way to prove that something like Bigfoot does not exist. So the legend and myth will probably continue as long as people are alive to tell the tale. Long live Bigfoot!

Standards: CCRA.L.3, CCRA.L.6, CCRA.R.1, CCRA.R.2, CCRA.R.4, CCRA.R.10, CCRA.SL.1, CCRA.W.2, CCRA.L.1, CCRA.L.2

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