When you go into the woods, there’s a chance that you might see something other than squirrels, or rabbits, or deer – you could find yourself spotting the mysterious Sasquatch. Well, really there’s not much of a chance, because they may not be real, and even the people who say they’ve seen them can’t prove it. Still, the legend of the Sasquatch sends people into the forest with cameras and tracking devices, all hoping to see if the stories are true.
For hundreds of years there have been tales of hairy wild men living in the woods, looking more like tall gorillas than people. The name Sasquatch is taken from the language of the Sts’ailes, a First Nations people in southern British Columbia. There’s even a Sasquatch Provincial Park in BC, where the Sasquatch are said to live.
In the United States, there are stories of Bigfoot, which got its name after really big footprints were claimed to be found in California. Then in 1967, two men announced they had actual footage of a Bigfoot. A lot of people watched the film and thought it looked more like a person wearing a gorilla costume, but it made trying to find these mysterious creatures popular.
Among the First Nations people, especially the Sts’ailes band who gave the Sasquatch its name, the stories are an important part of their history and culture. The Sasquatch is not a monster but a guardian of the forest. Seeing one is a rare and lucky event.
Some have suggested that maybe the Sasquatch was a type of mountain gorilla or bear that lived a long time ago but has since died off. The animal may be extinct but the stories live on, and the modern day sightings may be hoaxes or just wishful thinking.
The stories of Sasquatch aren’t told just in Canada and the United States, there are similar legends all over the world. The Himalayan mountains in Asia are where the Yeti are supposed to live – they’re tall and have white fur and walk in the snow. Writers have called it the Abominable Snowman, though there are no stories of it doing anything so bad as to deserve being called something as harsh as “abominable.”
In Australia, there are Aboriginal legends about the Yowie, a tall ape-like creature, with sightings continuing to this day. Japan has reports of the Hibagon, which looks like a small ape, with dark fur on its body, white hands and feet, and a very stinky smell. China has stories of the Heren, a shy creature with reddish fur. It seems wherever there’s a remote forest or mountain, there’s supposed to be some strange creature hiding in it.
Whether these legends are true, or fake, or just bears having a bad hair day, it does give you something to look for when you visit the forest.