Does Florida’s Bigfoot really exist?

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Florida Skunk Ape Headquarters | @katielated

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In honor of tomorrow’s Bigfoot Conference, we thought we’d break down one of our favorite Florida legends. Located deep in the southernmost forests of FL, stinky hominid cryptids lurk under the shadow of the sun, according to legend. The creatures’ name? Florida Skunk Apes.

Florida Skunk Ape | Photo by @wfmpod

The elusive 7-ft. tall, 450-lb beast-like species (similar to Yetis or Sasquatch) is said to reside primarily in the Everglades, although there have been several sightings as far north as Sarasota.

Named after their smell – which is akin to swamp gas + animal cadavers, according to experts – the creature is said not to be too different from the legend of Bigfoot, as they’re both thought to roam in packs + are said to be peaceful and kind.

Though the first reported sightings occurred in the 1950s, the story of the Skunk Ape potentially dates back to the early Muscogee + Seminole tribes that lived in the Everglades. The tribes claimed they saw “esti capcaki” meaning “tall man” + revered them as the protector of the forests.

Since then, many people have claimed to catch the Skunk Apes on camera through both photos and videos. Some of the most compelling evidence can be found at the official Skunk Ape Research Headquarters in Ochopee. Founder Dave Sheally (the Jane Goodall of the Skunk Apes) has even been documenting the beasts since he was 10.

On the other side of the swamp, the National Park Service feels as though the evidence that’s been gathered on the Skunk Ape is too weak, as the information is based on eyewitness testimony

As for whether the creature exists, you can be the judge of that. Who knows? Maybe there are giant smelly hominids gallivanting throughout the Sunshine State, awaiting discovery.

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– LALtoday team (Jessica and Kaylee)