Boing Boing 

Is Blinky the bigfoot really Todd Standing?

Comparison of still from footage of purported bigfoot to photo of Todd Standing.


Comparison of still from footage of purported bigfoot to photo of Todd Standing.

The world of Bigfoot is no stranger to shysters and hoaxers. In fact, the entire phenomenon could be nothing more than a mix of chicanery, misidentification and gullibility.

Yet the subject is enormously popular, with internet forums, YouTube channels, numerous television programs, and even conservation groups focusing on the possibility of the existence of an undescribed, bipedal, North American ape (or demon, alien, or interdimensional being, depending on your point of view).

Enter Todd Standing, a self-avowed bigfoot researcher. Standing has purportedly had multiple encounters with these creatures and has even published photos and videos of them. Standing's footage aired during an episode of Les Stroud's Survivorman series, and shows a bigfoot peering through the vegetation. The creature even blinks its eyes in the footage (and has become known as "Blinky" as a result). Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, and in the eyes of many, Standing's is not only insufficient but downright (and laughably) fake.

Phil Poling, photography expert and former law enforcement official, and Daniel Falconer, a special effects expert, have written a paper refuting Standing's evidence. In it they analyze Standing's photos and video footage, and make some pretty compelling points and discoveries using stills from the video and photos of Standing himself.

It's a fascinating read if you're interested in the subject. If you're a believer, it's a good guide to critically thinking about the subject and how to NOT go about trying to convince others that bigfoot is real.

See Poling and Falconer's full report and visual analysis here.

The Best Bigfoot Podcast

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The Bigfoot Show is the best bigfoot podcast you're not listening to.

That's saying a lot, because there are a LOT of bigfoot-themed podcasts out there. Some are good, and some are painful to listen to, but The Bigfoot Show is great. The hosts bring just the right blend of skepticism, science and humor to the oft-ridiculed subject. And yet several of them have had encounters that they can't explain even from a skeptical point of view, which makes for a fascinating discussion. (I know from personal experience; I've been a guest on the show.)

Could there really be an undescribed, upright, bipedal ape wandering the forests of North America? If you're even remotely interested in the subject, you need to check out this show.

Here's the latest episode.

Weird gremlin photographed in China

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What is this mysterious beast photographed by a tourist in the Huairou District valleys in northern Beiking, China?

Read the rest

"Bigfoot of Endor" t-shirt

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My wife says she always thought of Chewbacca as a space sasquatch; I just spotted this delightful "Bigfoot of Endor" t-shirt on Neatorama!

The forest moon was full of furry creatures of all shapes and sizes, and they generally got along just fine thanks to daily parties and plenty of libations, but when the critter they referred to as Bigfoot moved in things got pretty scary. He carried a big bowcaster and a bag full of tiny bones, and when he spoke it sounded like a sheep was being strangled. The little alien bear people now live in fear of the Bigfoot, hoping to one day hire a smuggler to come and take him away...

Hunt for living dinosaurs

Are there living dinosaurs in Cameroon or the Republic of Congo? This group thinks so, and they are headed back later this year to keep looking for the Mokèlé-mbèmbé, the legendary "one who stops the flow of rivers." Watch the video to learn about their quest. (via Daily Grail)

Loch Ness Monster photo on Apple Maps?

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Does this image of Loch Ness from Apple's Maps app depicts Nessie or the wake of a small boat? Unfortunately, I think it's the latter as we all know the Loch Ness Monster more closely resembles a pleiosaur than a giant catfish. (Forbes)

1970 cryptozoology paperback cover painting found at yard sale

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Untitled Above is the original glorious painting, artist unknown, used for the cover of the pseudonymous Warren Smith's 1970 book Strange Abominable Snowmen. Having been lost for decades, it recently turned up at a yard sale. I only wish I was the lucky duck who found it. Loren Coleman has the news along with a gallery of other fantastic cover art from vintage cryptozoology paperbacks of that era.

This time it's real, says Bigfoot hoaxer

O RICKDYERBIGFOOT 570 Rick Dyer claims to have killed a Bigfoot after luring it with some pork ribs he purchased at WalMart. "Every test that you can possibly imagine was performed on this body -- from DNA tests to 3D optical scans to body scans," Dyer says. "It is the real deal. It's Bigfoot and Bigfoot's here, and I shot it and now I'm proving it to the world." If Dyer's name sounds familiar, it's because of his impeccable reputation in the Bigfoot research community! He's one of the perps behind the 2008 Bigfoot hoax involving a rubber suit with freezer burn. Besides, everyone knows that Bigfoot is kosher. (KSAT)

Is the yeti related to an ancient polar bear?

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Is the yeti actually some hybrid of ancient polar bear and brown bear? University of Oxford geneticist Bryan Sykes has analyzed DNA from what's purported to be yeti hair samples.

Read the rest

Snorkeler Drags "Sea Serpent" Carcass to Shore

Photo: Catalina Island Marine Institute

Jasmine Santana, a science instructor with the Catalina Island Marine Institute, was snorkling off the California coast when she made a very strange discovery: the carcass of an 18-foot long oarfish.

These are very odd fish.

Read the rest

The Michigan Dogman

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The Grand Haven Tribune's Kevin Collier reports on the Dogman, a cryptid that apparently rears its ugly head from time to time in West Michigan. "Legendary Dogman seen in Ottawa County?"

Big Data meets Bigfoot

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Big Data meets Bigfoot in Penn State PhD candidate Joshua Stevens's visualization of nearly a century of Sasquatch sighting reports in the US and Canada. Stevens mapped and graphed more than 3,000 sightings included in the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organizations's database of geocoded and timestamped reports. Stevens writes:

Right away you can see that sightings are not evenly distributed. At first glance, it looks a lot like a map of population distribution. After all, you would expect sightings to be the most frequent in areas where there are a lot of people. But a bivariate view of the data shows a very different story. 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.
"‘Squatch Watch: 92 Years of Bigfoot Sightings in the US and Canada" (Thanks, everyone!)

LEGO introduces female scientist minifig! (And Yeti too!)

Legoooo LEGO's new Minifgure Series 11 includes its first female (lab) scientist character and a Yeti. Both are excellent additions to the minifig universe! I also appreciate that the scientist is holding Erlenmeyer flasks while the Yeti is gripping a popsicle.

UPDATE: Maia Weinstock writes that she "she's not the first (LEGO) female scientist... she's the first female LAB scientist." More background in Maia's SciAm piecec, "Breaking Brick Stereotypes: LEGO Unveils a Female Scientist"

Bigfoot by K-tel

The reason you really know this was a seventies TV commercial? Children playing outside.

Jersey Devil or… something else?

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Is this the elusive Jersey Devil as some Redditors have speculated? Perhaps it's the dreaded Chupacabras? Or a bastard cousin of the Montauk Monster? The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation claims it's just a furless squirrel. But then, that's what they'd want us to think. "Mystery Solved" (NJ.com)

Monsters and Legends: kids' monster book now in the USA!


Back in April, I reviewed Monsters and Legends, a wonderful illustrated kids' reference book from London's Flying Eye Books. At the time, it was only available in the UK, but now Americans can get it too! Here's my original review:

Monsters and Legends is part of the fabulous debut lineup of titles from Flying Eye, a kids' imprint spun out of London's NoBrow (they're the publishers of recently reviewed books like Welcome to Your Awesome Robot and Akissi). The book, written by Davide Cali and illustrated by Garbiella Giandelli, is a fascinating reference work for kids 7 and up about the curious origins of the monsters of the popular imagination. The book recounts the odd history of stories of mermaids, chupacabras, cyclopses, dragons, the Loch Ness Monster, and other cryptozoology favorites. It's a great balance between fascination with monsters and lore and a skeptical inquiry into how widespread beliefs can be overturned by evidence and rational inquire -- a real "magic of reality" book.


The illustrations in this book represent a range of engaging styles, and they bring it to life for even younger readers. My five year old and I spent several bedtimes on this, flipping through the pages, and stopping when a picture caught her eye. I had to interpret the text for her -- the language was often over her head -- but the stories absolutely grabbed her and it's become a family favorite.

As a one-time monster kid who's doing his best to raise another one, this one gets my unreserved stamp of approval.

MONSTERS AND LEGENDS [Flying Eye]

Monsters and Legends [Amazon]

Incredible pipe cleaner thylacine and other animals

Artist Lauren Ryan creates incredible animal sculptures entirely from pipe cleaners. My favorite is her palm-sized thylacine, a Tasmanian "tiger." The last confirmed thylacine died in 1936 but some crytpozoologists think they may not be extinct after all. Lauren Ryan's "Chenille Stems" (via The Anomalist)

Why are Britons seeing large, muscular black cats?

Thousands of Britons have reported seeing "beasts" in various places, usually described as a large, muscular black cat -- possibly a melanistic leopard. Some have taken photos and found footprints, as well as animals torn apart on moors. However, the boring science people annoyingly keep pointing out that the photos could be housecats, the footprints come from housecats and domestic dogs, and the animals were torn apart by badgers and crows.

Still, there's something weird and interesting going on here -- the thousands of similar eyewitness reports point to a kind of "beast fever" fuelled by (what else?) the Daily Mail's printing of stories that, for example, described a beast with "great fangs jutted from its huge jaw, gleaming in the afternoon sun" (it was revealed to be a "putrefying seal").

George Monbiot writes about this in his new book Feral, which comes out next week and was excerpted in today's Guardian:

The age of terrestrial exploration and encounters with peoples unknown to us was ending; planet Earth was perhaps a less exciting place than it had been. Aliens and their craft filled a gap, while promising that we too would achieve the mastery of technology we ascribed to extraterrestrials. Today, perhaps because our belief in technological deliverance has declined, we hear less about UFOs.

Could it be that illusory big cats also answer an unmet need? As our lives have become tamer and more predictable, as the abundance and diversity of nature has declined, could these imaginary creatures have brought us something we miss?

Perhaps the beasts many people now believe are lurking in the dark corners of the land inject into our lives a thrill that can otherwise be delivered only by artificial means. Perhaps they reawaken vestigial evolutionary memories of conflict and survival, memories that must incorporate encounters – possibly the most challenging encounters our ancestors faced – with large predatory cats. They hint at an unexpressed wish for lives wilder and fiercer than those we now lead. Our desires stare back at us, yellow-eyed and snarling, from the thickets of the mind.

Big-cat sightings: is Britain suffering from mass hysteria? [George Monbiot/The Guardian]

(Image: 20120413, a Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike (2.0) image from tomascosauce's photostream)

The rogue reptiles of the River Thames

The Fortean Times' Neil Arnold surveys the current monstrous inhabitants of the Thames and its tributaries, and the not-so-cryptozoological creatures that they might turn out to be: "There have even been reports of alligators."

Monsters and Legends: kids' reference book on the origin of monsters


Monsters and Legends is part of the fabulous debut lineup of titles from Flying Eye, a kids' imprint spun out of London's NoBrow (they're the publishers of recently reviewed books like Welcome to Your Awesome Robot and Akissi). The book, written by Davide Cali and illustrated by Garbiella Giandelli, is a fascinating reference work for kids 7 and up about the curious origins of the monsters of the popular imagination. The book recounts the odd history of stories of mermaids, chupacabras, cyclopses, dragons, the Loch Ness Monster, and other cryptozoology favorites. It's a great balance between fascination with monsters and lore and a skeptical inquiry into how widespread beliefs can be overturned by evidence and rational inquiry -- a real "magic of reality" book.


The illustrations in this book represent a range of engaging styles, and they bring it to life for even younger readers. My five year old and I spent several bedtimes on this, flipping through the pages, and stopping when a picture caught her eye. I had to interpret the text for her -- the language was often over her head -- but the stories absolutely grabbed her and it's become a family favorite.

As with other Flying Eye titles, this one is out in the UK right now and coming to the US on June 11 (here's a pre-order link). As a one-time monster kid who's doing his best to raise another one, this one gets my unreserved stamp of approval.

MONSTERS AND LEGENDS [Flying Eye]

Monsters and Legends [Amazon UK]

Travis Louie's monsters in Seattle

NewImageSeattle's legendary Roq La Rue Gallery is moving from its longtime Belltown location to a beautiful new space in Pioneer Square! Congratulations, Kirsten! This month is your last chance to visit the current digs, and there's quite a send-off show opening tonight. Monster keeper Travis Louie has a new solo exhibit of paintings hanging until May 4! "Monsters On Their Day Off" is a series of portraits of Louie's elegant beasts during their down time. The paintings are also viewable online. Above, Baxter:

Baxter worked as a butler for an eccentric oil baron in 1898. His father was a Krampus who emigrated from Bavaria in the 1860's and married a school teacher from Piscataway, New Jersey. Baxter grew up to be erudite and purposeful. he had a fascination with the wonders of the world particularly insects. During the warmer months on his days off he would wander through the town marveling at nature.

Travis Louie "Monsters On Their Day Off"

Red-nosed reindeer are real

It's true! Science proves it!

And it's more than just an effect of infrared imaging. If you duck over to Joseph Stromberg's post at the Surprising Science blog, you'll see a photo of a real, live reindeer with an adorably red nose (and upper lip).

Turns out, it's the result of an evolutionary adaptation. Some (but not all) reindeer have noses full of densely packed blood vessels — a difference that makes those reindeer better at regulating their own body temperatures.

To come to the findings, the scientists examined the noses of two reindeer and five human volunteers with a hand-held video microscope that allowed them to see individual blood vessels and the flow of blood in real time. They discovered that the reindeer had a 25% higher concentration of blood vessels in their noses, on average.

They also put the reindeer on a treadmill and used infrared imaging to measure what parts of their bodies shed the most heat after exercise. The nose, along with the hind legs, reached temperatures as high as 75°F—relatively hot for a reindeer—indicating that one of the main functions of all this blood flow is to help regulate temperature, bringing large volumes of blood close to the surface when the animals are overheated, so its heat can radiate out into the air.

Also: red-nosed reindeer on treadmills, you guys. This is clearly the most adorable science of the holiday season.

Read the full story

Via Bart King

Bigfoot and Yeti Christmas tree ornaments

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These delightful Bigfoot and Yeti glass ornaments are available from the International Cryptozoology Museum. They're $20 each and support the fantastically Fortean museum located in Portland, Maine. International Cryptozoology Museum Holiday Gift Guide

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UPDATE: The ornaments are nearly sold out so perhaps consider gifting a Bigfoot or Yeti footprint cast to your favorite cryptozoologist?

They Might Be Giant's cryptozoology playing cards



They Might Be Giants have released a holiday bundle with lots of cool junk, but the best of the lot is this $15 cryptozoology playing-card deck.

They Might Be Giants’ Paranormal, Cryptid, Myths and Hoaxes playing cards (via Crazy Abalone)

Mexican man captures live fairy

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Jose Maldonado, a 22-year-old bricklayer in Guadalajara, found a live fairy.

“I was picking guavas and I saw a twinkling. I thought it was a firefly. I picked it up and felt that it was moving; when I looked at it I knew that it was a fairy godmother,” Maldonado said.

Sadly, it died, but he pickled it in formaldehyde and allows the curious to take a peek for a fee.

Gentleman captures live fairy

UPDATE: Looky here. (Thanks, Thoma!)