What is hairy, 7' tall, weighs 300 pounds, and smells like rotten eggs, moldy cheese, and dung? People around the United States and the world call it Skunk Ape, Nape, Yeti (Dweller among the rocks), Sasquatch (Wild Man), or Bigfoot. They may be the same creature.
The alleged skunk ape is considered a cryptid. It is thought by many to be related to Big Foot, but it is actually a Pongid, or Great Ape. They have also been called Napes. The skunk-ape supposedly hides in muddy, abandoned caves which is thought to create the awful "skunk like" smell. Over the years, there have been numerous sightings of these large mammals throughout the U.S. Reportedly, these "Skunk Apes" live in swamps, caves, forests, open grasslands, and at the edge of your backyard. Thought to be mostly vegetarian, there have been enough occurrences that one would believe they probably indulge in meat, too. The most famous such photographs were taken anonymously and mailed to the Sarasota Sheriff's Department in Florida in the year 2000. These photos are known as the Myakka Skunk-Ape photos. While these photos are arguably the most famous, there have been many more photos taken of the alleged SkunkApe. Some of these are posted on this site. We cannot attest to any of these alleged sightings but we have only been able to disprove one of them as can be seen on our Previous Sightings page of this site.
Skunk Ape sightings tend to occur sporadically and in groups. In 2003, there were numerous sightings around LaFollette, TN. Spotters created a loud enough outcry that researchers from the University of Tennessee, volunteers, and news reporters raced there to search the area for evidence. Fecal and hair samples were collected, but DNA tests proved "inconclusive". It could not be determined exactly what type of animal the samples came from (see Related Articles Page in this site).
Cryptozooligists (hunters of hidden animals) firmly believe in their existence. Austalian Wallabies live in remote England, although few Brits have seen them or believe they live on their island. Mountain lions roam from British Columbia to Patagonia, but few are seen or photographed. Another example is the snow leopard, which was discovered only a short while ago. In all these years, scientists had never found an unexplained patch of fur, any bones, or even a lost tooth from one. Finally, it was proven that the snow leopard does, indeed, exist.
Throughout the centuries, there have been many stories about a man-beast. Whether you believe them or not, the legend continues. Non-believers become believers when they spot a man-ape. Friends become aloof and worry that you really might be crazy, but you know what you saw. One need not stretch their imaginations very far to know that reality really is ... stranger than fiction.
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