KSNF/KODE — A burly figure emerges from the shadows of a forest, only to disappear into the cover of trees once again. It’s a scene that has been caught from the corner of a thousand human eyes, however many in the science community argue that no one is any closer to looking a Bigfoot or a Sasquatch square in the face.

A data scientist by the name of Floe Foxon has shown that most Bigfoot sightings in the United States and Canada are probably black bears, “walking” upright on their hind legs.

According to the U.S. Forest Service, American black bears usually walk on all fours, but will stand on their hind legs if it means they get a clearer view or a stronger whiff of something interesting. And from this position, they can appear almost human-like (only much hairier).

Artist rendering of a Bigfoot sighting (Getty Images)

This isn’t the first time that scientists have suggested black bears as the explanation for the Bigfoot phenomenon.

Back in 2005, one scientist compared black bear populations with reported sasquatch sightings in the northwest corner of the United States. However, that scientist concluded that a species of animal other than the American black bear is responsible for sightings of this alleged mythical creature.

In 2009, another paper from the same region of the country showed a high degree of overlap between black bear populations and Sasquatch sightings.

In areas with high numbers of black bears and humans, more people report seeing Bigfoot, and this is especially true in the Pacific Northwest. On the other hand, in Texas and Florida, black bears are not nearly as common despite the fact that sasquatch sightings in these two states are common.

“Notably, sasquatch sightings have been reported in states with no known breeding black bear populations. Although this may be interpreted as evidence for the existence of an unknown hominid in North America. It is also explained by misidentification of other animals (including humans), among other possibilities,” Foxon stated.

“In conclusion… if bigfoot is there, it may be many bears,” said Foxon.

His entire study can be found here.