Bigfoot’s Extended Family: The World of Man-Ape Mythology

If you believe in Sasquatch, you’re cer­tain­ly not alone. Although there is lit­tle sci­en­tif­ic evi­dence that sup­ports the exis­tence of the alleged for­est-dweller, the pres­ence of ‘man-apes’ have been report­ed across the globe. Here are a few of ‘Squatch’s inter­na­tion­al coun­ter­parts ― or for­eign cousins, if you will.

Sight­ings of this fur­ry hominid (whose name is Mon­go­lian for ‘wild man’) have been report­ed through­out Rus­sia and Cen­tral Asia as far back as the 15th cen­tu­ry. In 1850, a woman named Zana ― believed to be an Almas ― was cap­tured in what is now the Repub­lic of Abk­hazia and held cap­tive for sev­er­al years; accounts revealed that she was lat­er “domes­ti­cat­ed”. Anoth­er alleged Almas was seized in the Cau­cus­es by the Russ­ian Red Army in 1941, and lat­er met an unfor­tu­nate end when he was shot as a Ger­man spy.

This men­ac­ing crea­ture has been known to ter­ror­ize the vil­lage com­mu­ni­ties near Mount Kan­laon in the Philip­pines. On  con­sec­u­tive nights in June 2008, two men were attacked by an ape-like “hairy crea­ture with long nails”. Amomon­go has also been blamed for numer­ous chick­en and goat slaugh­ter­ings in the area. Local author­i­ties have advised res­i­dents to be on the look-out for this beast, adding that they should remain extra vig­i­lant when the sun goes down.

This crea­ture has been spot­ted in forests and wood­lands through­out Japan, par­tic­u­lar­ly the remote, moun­tain­ous areas out­side Hiroshi­ma. Hibagon is thought to reach a height of rough­ly five feet and weigh between 180 and 200 pounds. Accord­ing to leg­end, it also smells like “rot­ting bod­ies” ― but since a ‘pho­to­graph’ of the ani­mal has­n’t been snapped since the 1970s, it’s pos­si­ble that its per­son­al hygiene has improved since then.

Arguably the most elu­sive of the world’s man apes, the only sight­ings of this crea­ture were report­ed in the North­west Ter­ri­to­ries of Cana­da between April and June 1964. Sev­er­al eye­wit­ness­es described the Nuk-Luk as a tall, brawny crea­ture with a long beard ― which, for the record, sounds like a lot of men who live in the North­west Ter­ri­to­ries. One of the wit­ness­es claimed Nuk-Luk was bran­dish­ing a large club, sug­gest­ing the crea­ture was prone to vio­lence; some researchers believe the beast may have been respon­si­ble for a hand­ful of gold prospec­tors whose head­less bod­ies were dis­cov­ered in the region between 1906 and 1915.

Orang Pen­dek & Orang Mawas
Report­ed in Indone­sia and Malaysia, respec­tive­ly, the Orang Pen­dek and Orang Mawas are quite like­ly the same crea­ture. Both have been sight­ed numer­ous times in the last 100 years, and eye­wit­ness accounts of each ani­mal have gen­er­at­ed sim­i­lar descrip­tions: tall, fur­ry, and bipedal, with an appetite for fresh fish and a strong resem­blance to the sun bear. Skele­tal remains have been recov­ered, though sub­se­quent dat­ing has revealed that the spec­i­mens are thou­sands of years old, sug­gest­ing the bones belonged to one of our Hominid ancestors.

Skunk Ape
Also known as the Flori­da Big­foot, the Skunk Ape is the Amer­i­can South’s equiv­a­lent of Sasquatch ― which is to say, a lot of peo­ple think he (or she) is out there but sub­stan­tial proof has thus far elud­ed the sci­en­tif­ic com­mu­ni­ty. The crea­ture is said to emit a foul odor, which has led some to refer to it as the ‘Stink Ape’. Numer­ous sight­ings have been report­ed since the 1970s, but the only pho­to­graph­ic evi­dence was snapped in 2000 when a woman in Sara­so­ta Coun­ty report­ed a large, ape-like crea­ture in her back­yard (she lat­er admit­ted the ani­mal was prob­a­bly an escaped orang­utan). In 2006, a mys­te­ri­ous crea­ture (which may or may not have been a Skunk Ape) was blamed for the deaths of sev­er­al pets in Ten­nessee’s Camp­bell County.

Also known as the ‘Chi­nese Wild­man’, the Yeren is believed to inhab­it the forests of Hubei Province. Most sight­ings indi­cate the crea­ture is cov­ered with red fur, although ‘white Yeren’ have also been report­ed, and wit­ness accounts place the ani­mal’s height any­where from six to 10 feet. Unlike oth­er man apes, the Yeren is said to be peace­ful in nature, and typ­i­cal­ly ignores humans it encoun­ters in the woods.

The Yeti (or ‘Abom­inable Snow­man’) is thought to inhab­it the icy Himalayan range of Nepal and Tibet. Sight­ings of a “tall, bipedal crea­ture” have been report­ed in the region since the 1830s. Pho­tog­ra­ph­er N.A. Tombazi and The Long Walk author Sła­womir Raw­icz are among those who claim to have spot­ted the Yeti with their own eyes, while Sir Edmund Hillary and Ten­zig Nor­gay found some rather large foot­prints dur­ing their famous climb of Mount Ever­est. In 2012, three sep­a­rate Yeti sight­ings were report­ed in Siberia.

The Aus­tralian Out­back is one of the unin­hab­it­able regions of the world, but appar­ent­ly it’s not too harsh for the Yowie. A sta­ple of Abo­rig­i­nal folk­lore, the crea­ture is said to be some­what shy, yet also prone to out­bursts of sav­age rage when threat­ened. Numer­ous sight­ings have been report­ed over the years, and not always in the Out­back; in 2010, a Can­ber­ra home­own­er named Matthew Jones told police he spot­ted a Yowie in his garage.

The truth is out there, peo­ple. Nev­er for­get that.