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:
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.
“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.”
Archive for the ‘Cryptozoology’ Category
Posted by Xeno on September 20, 2013
Posted by Xeno on August 22, 2013
The Spanish Villaricos: a week ago a strange creature washed up on the beach. It is about four meters long. …
Messages about the nature surfaced quickly in Spanish media, where it was called a sea dragon, a kind of Loch Ness monster or a mutated fish.
Posted by Xeno on July 9, 2013
Rebecca Helm received an email a week ago asking about a mysterious giant pink blob that was found off the coast of Cuba. What is this bizarre-looking sea creature?
Since Helm is a Ph.D. student at Brown University and studies the evolutionary development biology of jellyfish, the email sender figured she was the person who might know.
But Helm was puzzled, as she was when she first saw a photo of the alien-like mass.
“Truthfully, this is a mystery that has haunted me for years,” she told GrindTV Outdoor in an email. “I first saw a pink blob photograph a few years ago, and despite searching all over, wasn’t able to identify it. When I received an email about another sighting off Cuba, I decided it was time once and for all to figure this out.” …
The tiny dots in the jelly mass reminded her of frog eggs.
“Could this be an egg mass?” Helm wondered. “I started looking in this direction.”
As she wrote for Deep Sea News and told us, Helm scoured “roughly” 247 aquarium forums, journal articles, blogs and “poorly translated Japanese websites” until discovering the Tree of Life website. It was an ah-ha! moment.
“There, I found my smoking gun, a perfect post on the diamondback squid, with a picture of a huge pink egg mass,” she told GrindTV Outdoor. …
Posted by Xeno on July 2, 2013
Man Believes He Found Fossilized Bigfoot Head Standard-Examiner
This story has given us the most amusing quote we’ve heard all week and yes, we realize it’s only Monday. From Kenneth Carpenter, director of paleontology at Utah State University: “I’ll admit that it is the most head-like rock I have seen.” This statement was in response to the claims of a man who approached the Standard-Examiner offices with what he said was the petrified head of Sasquatch. He’d even brought it along to show them and displayed it proudly in the trunk of his car. The guy seems so honestly convinced and earnest (he also reports encountered a real, live Bigfoot) that it seems almost cruel when paleontologists point out that the “head shaped rock” is missing a few “key features” of a normal head, including eyes, nose and teeth. It’s an amazing example of pareidolia for sure, but nothing more than that
Posted by Xeno on June 13, 2013
If you wonder what hairless raccoon would look like, here’s the answer. This poor raccoon has lost its hair over the course of a few months, and now looks like a new species.
Redditor Oafah says he was spotted in Toronto and had lost his hair over the winter:
“A friend of a friend took pictures periodically every time she’d spot this little creature from her Toronto apartment complex. It went from being a furry ginger to being smooth as a baby’s ass, largely over the winter.”
Some say it “has acquired non-inflammatory alopecia” ..
Posted by Xeno on April 18, 2013
Scientists have unraveled the genome of the coelacanth, a rare and primitive fish once thought to be extinct, shedding light on how closely it’s related to the first creatures to emerge from the sea. The coelacanth, a fish that can reach up to 5 feet long and lives in deep ocean caves, had only been seen in fossils and was thought to have gone extinct some 70 million years ago. That was until 1938, when fishermen from the Comoros islands off the coast of Africa captured one in a net. A second coelacanth species was discovered off the Indonesian island of Sulewesi in 1997.
The coelacanth’s genome shows “that the lungfish, and not the coelacanth, is the closest living relative to the ,” according to an abstract of a study published in the journal .”The lungfish-coelacanth question has gone back and forth over the years; the lungfish answer is not new, but this is a much better, bigger data set so it does tip the balance a bit,” researcher John Hutchinson, professor of evolutionary biomechanics from the Royal Veterinary College, “The most striking feature of this ‘living fossil’ is its paired lobe fins that extend away from its body like legs and move in an alternating pattern, like a trotting horse.
Other unique characteristics include a hinged joint in the skull which allows the fish to widen its mouth for large prey; an oil-filled tube, called a notochord, which serves as a backbone; thick scales common only to extinct fish, and an electrosensory rostral organ in its snout likely used to detect prey.
“The analysis of the genome also shows that the coelacanth’s genes evolved very slowly, an apparent confirmation of what paleontologists have long believed — that the fish has changed little in the past 400 million years.
“If you think about it, this might be correlated to the fact that the coelacanth lives in a rather extreme and stable environment,” Professor Kerstin Lindblad-Toh, from the University of Uppsala in Sweden and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, told the BBC.
“It lives several hundred meters down in the ocean, and it may also be in an environment where it doesn’t have a lot of competitors. So maybe it adapted to that environment a long time ago and it doesn’t have a huge need for change,” he said. …
Posted by Xeno on March 28, 2013
A Thai man was caught in an airport trying to pick up 54 ploughshare tortoises. There are perhaps 400 ploughshare tortoises in the wild.
It’s tough enough for a species to fend off extinction without having smugglers as natural predators. In Thailand, a species-selling hub, it’s even tougher, especially when someone is trying to sell off MORE THAN 10 PERCENT OF ALL OF YOU.
Last week, a Thai man was caught trying to pick up luggage at an airport. That luggage was filled with 54 ploughshare tortoises, orAstrochelys yniphora. Since there are estimated to be as few as 400 wild ploughshare tortoises in the wild, that means the operation was an attempt to move more than 10 percent of the species. On top of that, 21 radiated tortoises, another endangered species, were being smuggled, too. A woman who the luggage was registered to was also arrested.
The tortoises were probably supposed to be sold as (really, really) exotic pets, the animal trafficking watchdog site Traffic says. That’s actually more common than you’d even think. The same day, Thai airport authorities made an arrest in an attempt to smuggle 300 Indian star tortoises and 10 black pond turtles.
In the last three years, according to Traffic, Thai authorities have found 4300 tortoises and turtles being smuggled like this. Just get a normal pet, guys.
Posted by Xeno on March 20, 2013
Ocean explorers have finally achieved one of their most alluring but elusive goals: video footage of the legendary giant squid (Architeuthis dux)in its natural deep-sea habitat. Scientists say that the spectacular film, captured during an expedition off Japan’s Ogasawara archipelago, answers enduring questions about the enigmatic invertebrate.
The 6-week mission was funded by the Japan Broadcasting Commission (NHK) and the US Discovery Channel, and took place in July. It is only now being discussed publicly, as the two companies prepare to broadcast documentaries that include the footage later this month.
The squid was first glimpsed using a specialised camera system, called Medusa, which the team deployed from a ship and left suspended about 700 metres down in the water. Later, researchers came face-to-face with one while in a submersible. “It was so beautiful that I have no words to explain it,” says zoologist Tsunemi Kubodera of Japan’s National Museum of Nature and Science, who was in the submersible.
… The camera system was developed by Edith Widder, a deep-sea explorer and founder of the Ocean Research and Conservation Association in Fort Pierce, Florida. She thinks that the key to its success was a focus on the squid’s sense of sight. To avoid bright lights that might scare the squid away, the system uses a low-light camera with a dim red light, because few deep-sea animals see light with such a long wavelength.
In hopes of drawing the animals in, Widder used a different sort of light. Although very little sunlight penetrates to the deep sea, many deep dwellers produce a bioluminescent light. Past research by Widder suggests that the bioluminescence can act as a sort of burglar alarm, among other functions1. The idea is that the bioluminescence produced by some prey when they are attacked may serve to attract larger predators — such a giant squid — that will then eat the attacker.
Widder and her colleagues therefore fitted Medusa with an electronic device that mimicked the bioluminescence that jellyfish produce when attacked to serve as a lure. It worked: Medusa first encountered a squid during its second deployment, igniting jubilation on the ship. “I just was blown away,” says Widder,” I couldn’t have been happier.”
Medusa ended up encountering a squid five times, culminating with a full view of one apparently attacking the camera system in a manner consistent with the alarm hypothesis. The squid was about 4 metres long, although giant squid can grow as large as 10 metres or more.
During a dive about a week after the first Medusa success in their Triton submersible, Kubodera and pilot Jim Harris had a face-to-face encounter. Once they had taken enough low-light footage, they turned on the sub’s bright main lights, expecting to spook the squid. Instead, the animal continued to feed on bait tied to the sub. For 18 mesmerising minutes the pair watched as the huge animal’s skin shifted between unexpected gold and silver metallic hues….
Posted by Xeno on March 17, 2013
It’s been gone since 1983, but the Lazarus Project has brought it back to life.In 1983, the world lost one of its weirdest frogs. The gastric-brooding frog, native to tiny portions of Queensland, Australia, gave birth through its mouth, the only frog to do so (in fact, very few other animals in the entire animal kingdom do this–it’s mostly this frog and a few fish). It succumbed to extinction due to mostly non-human-related causes–parasites, loss of habitat, invasive weeds, a particular kind of fungus. There were two subspecies, the northern and souther gastric-brooding frog, and they both became extinct in the mid-80s sometime.
Except–what if they didn’t?
Taking place at the University of Newcastle, the quest to revive the gastric-brooding frog became known as the Lazarus Project. Using somatic-cell nuclear transfer (SCNT), a method for cloning, the project has achieved the major step forward of creating an early embryo of the extinct frog. Essentially, they found a related frog–the great barred frog, which also lives in Queensland and has cool eye markings, like it’s wearing sunglasses–deactivated its eggs, and replaced them with eggs taken from the extinct frog.
Even though the gastric-brooding frog has been extinct for decades, it’s possible to do this because individual specimens were kept preserved in, believe it or not, everyday deep freezers. When going through somatic-cell nuclear transfer, the eggs began to divide and form into the early embryo stage.
The embryos didn’t survive much longer than that, but it was confirmed that these embryos contain genetic information from the gastric-brooding frog–that yes, in fact, they have brought it back to life. The researchers are confident that this is a “technical, not biological” problem at this stage to breed gastric-brooding frogs to adulthood. This is a big step forward for the worldwide attempts to revive extinct animals–the Lazarus Project researchers will soon meet with those working to revive the woolly mammoth, dodo, and other extinct beasties to share what they’ve learned.
Oh, and in case you were wondering: the gastric-brooding frog lays eggs, which are coated in a substance called prostaglandin. This substance causes the frog to stop producing gastric acid in its stomach, thus making the frog’s stomach a very nice place for eggs to be. So the frog swallows the eggs, incubates them in her gut, and when they hatch, the baby frogs crawl out her mouth. … Read more
Posted by Xeno on March 12, 2013
The three-year-old tortoiseshell has her own Facebook page and a YouTube video that’s been viewed over a million times, and appeared on the Today Show last week. (Watch National Geographic cat videos.)
One look at this cat and you can understand why: One half is solid black with a green eye—the other half has typical orange tabby stripes and a blue eye.
How does a cat end up looking like that? Leslie Lyons, a professor at the University of California, Davis, who studies the genetics of domestic cats said she’s never seen a cat exactly like Venus.
“She is extremely, extremely rare,” Lyons said. “But you can explain it and you can understand it.”
Is Venus a Chimera?
Many reports about Venus refer to the cat as a “chimera.” In mythology, a chimera is a mishmash monster made up of parts of different animals. A feline chimera is a cat whose cells contain two types of DNA, caused when two embryos fuse together.
Among cats, “chimeras are really not all that rare,” Lyons said. In fact, most male tortoiseshell cats are chimeras. The distinctively mottled orange and black coat is a sign that the cat has an extra X chromosome.
But female cats, said Lyons, already have two X chromosomes so they can sport that coat without the extra X. That means Venus is not necessarily a chimera.
To find out would require genetic testing, said Lyons. With samples of skin from each side of the cat, “we can do a DNA fingerprint—just like on CSI—and the DNA from one side of the body should be different than the other.”
Cat’s Blue Eye Another Mystery
If Venus isn’t actually a chimera, then what would explain her amazing face?
“Absolute luck,” Lyons said. One theory: perhaps the black coloration was randomly activated in all the cells on one side of her face, while the orange coloration was activated on the other, and the two patches met at the midline of her body as she developed.
Cat fanciers who are transfixed by Venus’s split face may be missing the real story: her single blue eye. Cat eyes are typically green or yellow, not blue. (Take a cat quiz.)
A blue-eyed cat is typically a Siamese or else a cat with “a lot of white on them,” she explained.
Venus appears to have only a white patch on her chest, which to Lyons is not enough to explain the blue eye.
“She is a bit of a mystery.” …