Cryptids,  Monsters

A Look at Ape-Like Cryptids by Region

Ape-like cryptids are a popular component of paranormal phenomena. There are legends of a kind of ape-like cryptid on every continent but Antarctica. No matter what region they come from there are many aspects of these cryptids that remain the same. However, some have made adaptions to their regional environment with unique characteristics.

The general profile of the ape-like cryptid is as the name sounds. Most sightings include a large, bipedal creature that has the features of an ape. Some reports include strange howls or strong scents. Many sightings include activities that point to potential human-like intelligence.

Related: Our Top 10 Favorite Flying Cryptids from Around the World  

ape-like cryptids by region

What is the Ape-Like Cryptid Known as Bigfoot?

Although it goes by many regional names the ape-like cryptid is often known as Bigfoot. Another common name that is interchangeable is the Sasquatch. The name Bigfoot comes from the common large footprints that are often found near a sighting.
But what is Bigfoot? There have been many different interpretations and legends surrounding the creature throughout history. Some go as far back as ancient Native American and Aboriginal legends. Others come from more modern times and link the creature to other paranormal creatures.
Neanderthal Skeleton
Neanderthal Skeleton via Claire Houck on Wikimedia

A Leftover from Ancient History

Some believe that the creature known as Bigfoot is a remnant of prehistory. The Gigantopithicus from the early Pleistocene era is a common candidate. These ancient creatures were bipedal ape-like beasts that weighed up to 600 lbs.

The teeth of Gigantopithicus appeared to be flat. This leads researchers to believe that despite its large size it was most likely an herbivore.

The remains of Gigantopithicus appear only in regions around China. However, some theorize that the creature spread much farther than that. Some believe that small groups of this beast remain to become the elusive Bigfoot.

A theory from the late 1930’s links Gigantopithicus to early human ancestors such as Australopithecus. However, it was later found that they were more closely related to the orangutan than to early man. Despite this, Gigantopithicus still holds the spot of a possible missing link between ape and man. This leads some to question whether Bigfoot himself is an early branch from the hominid tree.
The Paranthopithicus is another possible leftover from prehistoric times. Unlike Gigantopithicus where the link is unclear, there is no doubt that Paranthopithicus is a part of the early human timeline. Living around the early Pliocene era, the Paranthopithicus went extinct around 0.6 million years ago.
The final possible link to early man comes from the Neanderthals. This subspecies of hominid went extinct around 40,000 years ago. Many researchers believe that the Neanderthal lived and co-mingled with other early hominids. This includes the Denisovans and even modern humans.

An Inter-Dimensional Being

More modern theory supposes that Bigfoot is an inter-dimensional shape-shifter. The belief is that these beings travel through portals or “window sites” in the fabric of our world. Some feel that this explains the absence of bodies or solid evidence of the creature’s existence.

Many who subscribe to the inter-dimensional theory point to the fact that there are often overlapping phenomena. For example, bigfoot sightings often occur where there have been alien sightings. In some cases, poltergeists or other ghostly phenomena coincide with Bigfoot sightings.

One perfect example of this overlapping phenomena is the Skinwalker Ranch. This remote location in southern Utah is said to be home to various phenomena. There have been reports of UFOs, Bigfoots, shapeshifters, and even ghosts.

Those who have investigated the ranch believe that there is some kind of portal in the location. Some believe that the activity is related to the magnetic resonance of the area. Most agree that something is drawing these creatures there, or that something about the area allows them to more easily enter our dimension.

Hoaxes and Misidentifications

As with any paranormal phenomena, many will attempt to claim that they have experienced a sighting as a joke or hoax. Some go to great lengths, even creating suits, to make fake videos or images of cryptids such as bigfoot.

Some believe that even the most well-known film of a supposed Bigfoot is nothing more than a man in a suit. The Patterson-Gimlin sighting has long faced scrutiny.

Many have gone over the film frame by frame to compare the creature’s movements to those of a man. They have measured gait, body size, stride, and many other aspects of the creature. As is often the case in the paranormal world, there are individuals on both sides of the argument. To date, there is no definitive conclusion on its validity.

Many use the idea of misidentification to explain Bigfoot sightings. Attempts to explain away sightings include everything from bears to disheveled “mountain men”. Some go as far as to say that there could be previously undiscovered apes living in remote areas of the world.

travel into the woods to find ape-like cryptids

Ape-Like Cryptids by Continent

Many different forms of ape-like cryptids exist around the world. Some are more suited to colder climates while others find arboreal homes in the jungle.

As with many other species, these ape-like cryptids have adapted to their surroundings. This includes subtle differences in appearance and behavior as you move from one region to another.

north american ape-like cryptids

North American Ape-Like Cryptids

For those of us living in the United States, the North American Bigfoot ( also known as Sasquatch) is possibly one of the best known ape-like cryptids. Some areas of North America have a more regional version of the ape-like cryptid such as the Skunk Ape of Florida or the Grassman of Ohio.

Some believe that the Wendigo of eastern Canada falls into the ape-like cryptid category. However, I am more of the camp that the Wendigo is more akin to a werewolf or dogman- like cryptid.

Pike's Peak Bigfoot Sign
image via Gnashes30 on Wikimedia


The creature most commonly thought of when looking at ape-like cryptids is the Sasquatch or Bigfoot. These creatures are believed to be most prevalent in the mountainous regions of the Pacific Northwest, but sightings have been made across the United States and Canada.

Most often, the Sasquatch is described as being between 6 and 9 feet in height with a muscular build and brown or greyish shaggy hair. Many reports of interactions with the Sasquatch include activities that show near human-like intelligence.

Quite possibly one of the most well-known ape-like cryptid sightings is the Patterson-Gimlin sighting that occurred in northern California in 1967. The sighting included a short film of what is believed to be a sasquatch walking into the woods away from the camera. Many have tried to debunk this sighting as a misinterpretation or even a man in a suit. However, evidence remains inconclusive as to the validity of this sighting.

believed image of the florida skunk ape

Florida Skunk Ape:

Also known as the Swamp Ape, this creature is believed to live in the swampy areas of Florida, Louisianna, and Arkansas. There have also been a few sightings in North Carolina, but for the most part, the creature is believed to stick to the lower southeastern states.

The Skunk Ape gets its name from the unusually bad smell that is said to accompany its appearance. This ape-like cryptid is believed to have long shaggy hair and glowing red eyes. Like many other ape-like cryptids the Skunk Ape is said to walk bipedally, or on two feet.

The majority of the sightings of this creature were during a period of the late 1960s and early 1970s, but reports do pop up here and there throughout the years. Many have attempted to debunk the sightings by stating that they were misidentified wildlife such as a black bear.

Momo the Missouri Monster
Image via Lost in Transit on Flickr

Momo ( The Missouri Monster)

Also stemming from sightings in the 1970s is the Missouri Monster, known as Momo ( no, not that MoMo). This ape-like cryptid was first sighted in a small town in northeast Missouri just off the Mississippi River.

This creature is said to have dark black hair that completely covers glowing eyes. While still considered ape-like in appearance and posture, the MoMo is unique as it is reported to have a giant head in comparison to its body.

Like many other ape-like cryptids the Momo is believed to be over 7 feet tall and reported to have a terrible aroma.

Fouke Monster
image via WP:NFCC#4 on Wikimedia

The Fouke Monster

Perhaps one of the best-known regional ape-like cryptids of the United States is the Fouke Monster. This version of bigfoot found in southwestern Arkansas was the focus of the movie The Legend of Boggy Creek and the sequel Boggy Creek II: The Legend Continues.

Many accounts of the Fouke monster claim that the pungent ape-like creature was seen attacking homes, taking livestock, and stalking the swamps of the Boggy Creek area throughout the early 1970s. While much tamer, sightings of the creature or a similar ape-like beast continue across Arkansas today.

ape-like cryptids of South America

South American Ape-Like Cryptids

The South American ape-like cryptids share many similarities with their North American counterparts. Many are said to be hairy bipedal creatures with a pungent aroma that are around 7 to 9 feet in height.

Mapinguari statue
image via WP:NFCC#4 on Wikimedia


The Mapinguari is a large ape-like cryptid believed to live in the Amazon rainforest area of Brazil. Some describe the Mapinguari as a cyclops while others give it two eyes.

The most interesting aspect of this South American version of bigfoot is the addition of a gaping mouth sitting near the bottom of its abdomen. The mouth is said to emit a terrible smell that repels those who come across it in the Amazon.


Also said to live in the Amazon jungle are a tribe of “hairy wildmen” known as the Maricoxi. The Amazon explorer, Lt. Colonel Percy Harrison Fawcett, is said to have encountered a group of Maricoxi during an expedition in 1914.

He stated that the individuals were nearly 12-feet tall and “hairy like a dog”. However, there is evidence that this statement may be racist rather than a description of an ape-like creature.

ape-like cryptids of Asia

Asian Ape-Like Cryptids

Nearly everyone, whether a fan of cryptids or not, has heard of the cold-weather version of Bigfoot known as the Yeti. Asia is also home to some of the smaller versions of ape-like cryptids that represent a more human-like form than the giant apes of North and South America.

Nguoi Rung

Nguoi Rung

The Nguoi Rung is a six to seven feet tall ape-like cryptid that is believed to live in the jungles of Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos. Many describe the creature as having reddish or black hair covering most of its body except for the face.

The Nguoi are seen as a menace to jungle villages as they are reported to break into homes, attack villagers, and cause havoc when they come upon humans.

Many reports of Nguoi Rung sightings were made by soldiers during the Vietnam War. In one instance, soldiers claimed that they had shot one of the creatures, but that it escaped before they were able to get any evidence.


The Yeren, also known as the wildman of China, is believed to live in the mountainous regions of the Hubei province in central China. They are believed to be a cave-dwelling ape-like bipedal creature much like the North American Bigfoot. However, they are generally slightly smaller in stature, measuring between six and eight feet in height.

The Yeren generally is said to have a reddish-brown coat similar to that of the orangutan. There have been a few instances of a white Yeren, perhaps an albino or another version of the creature entirely.


The Hibagon, or Hinagon, is an ape-like cryptid that is believed to live in the area of Mount Hiba region of Hiroshima Prefecture in Japan. Sightings of the creature began in the early 1970s but continue to this day.

Much smaller than other ape-like cryptids, the Hibagon stands just around five feet tall. It is said to have white hands, a large nose, and black fur.

ape-like cryptids of Australia

Ape-Like Cryptids of Australia

The Yowie

The large ape-like cryptid believed to wander the Australian Outback is known by many different names including the Jurrawarra, the Doolaga, and the Noocoonah. However, many commonly know this creature as the Yowie.

This beast, believed to originate from the Aboriginal legend is very similar to the ape-like cryptids of other continents but has a few adaptions that make it more acclimated to the Australian environment.

The Yowie is often described as up to nearly 12 feet tall with ape-like features, massive feet, and shaggy reddish fur. Many have described a pungent aroma that accompanies sightings of the beast. There are also a wide variety of reports of the strange howling call of the beast.

ape-like cryptids of Africa

Ape-Like Cryptids of Africa


This large ape-like cryptid, also known as the Nandi Bear, is most often found in the areas of eastern Africa near Kenya. It is said to be almost blond or reddish and just slightly larger than a man. Unlike the ape-like cryptids of other regions, the Chimiset is said to have a small flat tail.

While most bigfoot sightings describe a creature that moves in a bipedal fashion ( on two feet) the Chimiset is said to be able to walk either upright on two legs or all four limbs.

Some reports of this cryptid claim that it is nearly baboon-like in its appearance and mannerisms as it can be incredibly violent with those who happen upon it while out hunting or walking alone. There are also numerous reports from farmers local to the area of livestock that has been killed or mutilated by the beast.

still of the patterson bigfoot film

No matter where you stand on the true identity of these ape-like cryptids there is no doubt that they have made an impact on the paranormal field and popular culture throughout the world.

Nearly every day a new sighting is reported to the BFRO ( Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization) Geographical Database proving that despite its elusive nature, Bigfoot is very much a part of modern society.

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From Bigfoot to the Yeti there are ape-like cryptids on nearly every continent. We look at the possible explanations, regional differences and more. #cryptids #bigfoot #apelikecryptid #paranormal

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Ghastly is a kitchen witch, mom, and paranormal researcher. On this blog, she discusses everything from the odd to the every day in her life chasing spirits, raising children, and finding balance.