Bigfoot, also commonly referred to as Sasquatch, is a large and hairy human-like mythical creature purported to inhabit forests in North America, particularly in the Pacific Northwest.
Tales of wild, hair-covered humanoids exist throughout the world, and such creatures appear in the folklore of North America, including the mythologies of indigenous people.
Folklorists trace the phenomenon of Bigfoot to a combination of factors and sources, including indigenous cultures, the European wild man figure, and folk tales.
Other creatures of relatively similar descriptions are alleged to inhabit various regions throughout the world, such as the Skunk ape of the southeastern United States, the Almas, Yeren, and Yeti in Asia, and the Australian Yowie, all of which are also engrained in the cultures of their regions.
Bigfoot is often described as a large, muscular, and bipedal ape or human-like creature covered in black, dark brown, or dark reddish hair. Anecdotal descriptions estimate a height of roughly 6–9 feet (1.8–2.7 m), with some descriptions having the creatures standing as tall as 10–15 feet (3.0–4.6 m). Some alleged observations describe Bigfoot as more human than ape, particularly in regards to the face.
The enormous footprints for which the creature is named are claimed to be as large as 24 inches (610 mm) long and 8 inches (200 mm) wide.
In 1958, Jerry Crew, bulldozer operator for a logging company in Humboldt County, California, discovered a set of large, 16 inches (410 mm) human-like footprints sunk deep within the mud in the Six Rivers National Forest. Upon informing his coworkers, many claimed to have seen similar tracks on previous job sites as well as telling of odd incidents such as an oil drum weighing 450 pounds (200 kg) having been moved without explanation. The logging company men soon began utilizing "Bigfoot" to describe the apparent culprit. Crew initially believed someone was playing a prank on them. After observing more of these massive footprints, he contacted reporter Andrew Genzoli of the Humboldt Times newspaper. Genzoli interviewed lumber workers and wrote articles about the mysterious footprints, introducing the name "Bigfoot" in relation to the tracks and the local tales of large, hairy wild men. A plaster cast was made of the footprints and Crew appeared, holding one of the casts, on the front page of the newspaper on October 6, 1958. The story spread rapidly as Genzoli began to receive correspondence from major media outlets including the New York Times and Los Angeles Times. As a result, the term Bigfoot became widespread as a reference to an apparently large, unknown creature leaving massive footprints in Northern California. As a result, Willow Creek and Humboldt County are considered by some to be the "Bigfoot Capital of the World".