Feb 17, 2022 I Nick Redfern

Paranormal Creatures or Unidentified Apes: The Bigfoot Beasts Definitely Live

Those of you who follow my investigations and writings on the Bigfoot phenomenon will know that I firmly believe they are paranormal in nature. Also, supernatural. Maybe, even, bordering on the world of the occult, perhaps. I have pointed out stories of the creatures vanishing - as in becoming invisible. On other occasions the beasts have spoken to the things in a mind-to-mind way. And there are the claims that the Bigfoots can destabilize us by using sound waves. Put all of this together and you'll find that we're talking about a creature that is faraway from being "just" an ape. However, if I was to avoid and ignore the weirder side of Bigfoot, I would say that the probability is that the creatures are Gigantopithecus blacki. It was a massive ape that lived in the distant past and which some Bigfoot researchers are convinced may explain sightings of large, anomalous apes in some of the wilder, desolate, and forested areas of our planet today. There is just one problem with this particular theory: mainstream science, biology, and zoology all assure us that Gigantopithecus became extinct thousands of years ago. Just maybe, however, it didn’t. In terms of what is known about Gigantopithecus, we have to travel back in time to a relatively recent period: the 1930s. The immense beast has the thorny problem of nothing less than male impotence to thank for its discovery. For years, Chinese herbalists and doctors (some accredited and some not) have utilized fossilized teeth to create cocktails that, so they claim, can cure the embarrassing ailment of being unable to “get it up.” Since the Chinese landscape is rich in fossilized bones, people have made significant profits from selling such items to apothecaries all across China.

It turns out that in 1936 a German man named Ralph von Koenigswald came across a huge fossilized tooth – specifically a molar – in a Hong Kong apothecary. It was highly fortuitous that von Koenigswald was the man that made the discovery, since he was a paleontologist, and instantly recognized the significance of what had fallen into his lap. Not only was the molar giant-sized, von Koenigswald was able to determine it came from a primate – and a large one; a very large one. In the immediate years that followed, von Koenigswald found further such examples and coined the term Gigantopithecus blacki – the former word standing for "gigantic ape" and the latter a reference to a deceased friend Davidson Black. Von Koenigswald was temporarily, and disastrously, interrupted at the height of the Second World War when he became a prisoner of war of the Japanese. Nevertheless, he was not deterred, and, when the hostilities were over, he continued his quest to understand the true nature and life of Gigantopithecus. As did several other people. One of them was an anatomist named Franz Weidenreich.

In his 1946 book, Apes, Giants, and Man, Weidenreich made the controversial assertion that Gigantopithecus may have been far more human-like than ape-like. Chinese scientists also got hot on the trail of Gigantopithecus during this same time frame. Then, in 1956, a massive jawbone of the huge ape was unearthed at a cave in Liucheng, China. The result was that, in a relatively short time, a great deal was learned about this previously unheard of hairy giant. Perhaps most amazing and impressive of all were Gigantopithecus’s statistics: estimates suggested that the height for an adult male would have been around ten-feet, while it might have tipped the scales at 1,200 pounds in weight. As for when Gigantopithecus is believed to have become extinct, Ciochon suggests around 200,000 years ago, but after having lived for roughly six million years.  Of course, one could make an extremely valid argument that since people are still claiming to see giant apes in the very areas where we know Gigantopithecus roamed – such as Tibet, Vietnam, China, and India – this is evidence that the mighty, hairy giant is still amongst us, but now known by its far more famous names of Bigfoot. There is, however, one problem: due to its massive size, there is a general consensus among primatologists that Gigantopithecus walked on its knuckles, in very much the same way that today’s baboons move around. Bigfoot, the Yeti, and the rest of the monstrous pack are almost exclusively described as standing and walking in an upright fashion.

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(Nick Redfern) The existence of Bigfoot: Many questions to be asked

Plus, many of the cryptid apes of our world are described as tall: we’re generally talking about creature of seven to eight feet in height. Encounters with man-beasts in excess of ten feet in height are far fewer in number. On top of that, there are even suggestions that Gigantopithecus may have reached – and possibly even surpassed – a height of thirteen feet. This is far in excess of what is generally reported in Bigfoot. Admittedly, however, there are reports from Tibet of a particular type of Yeti referred to as the Nyalmo which, incredibly, is reputed to reach stratospheric heights of twenty feet. Is it possible that Gigantopithecus adapted over millions of years, to the extent that the original, huge, knuckle-walker became a generally smaller, upright beast, one popularly and famously known as Bigfoot? Perhaps, given the sheer number of sightings of anomalous apes in the precise areas where the immense creature lived, we should give some deep consideration to this particular theory.

Nick Redfern

Nick Redfern works full time as a writer, lecturer, and journalist. He writes about a wide range of unsolved mysteries, including Bigfoot, UFOs, the Loch Ness Monster, alien encounters, and government conspiracies. Nick has written 41 books, writes for Mysterious Universe and has appeared on numerous television shows on the The History Channel, National Geographic Channel and SyFy Channel.

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