Roosevelt student investigates Bigfoot

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Roosevelt student investigates Bigfoot
Bigfoot statueAfter several weeks of diligent research, Roosevelt Elementary School fourth grader Harper Jurss can tell you Bigfoot’s preferred habitat, its eating preferences, what it looks like and when it was first sighted. But she’s still not sure if it exists.

Harper began researching cryptid creatures as part of an “Inspiration Project” assigned in teacher Spencer Olmsted’s class at RES. Cryptid is defined as an animal that has been claimed to exist but never proven to exist. Students were told to pick their own research topic and then present their findings to the class in the format they preferred. Many students did slideshows, some made videos and some did artwork.

Harper created a sculpture rendition of Bigfoot. Her research showed that the first reported sighting of Bigfoot was in the early 1900s. Bigfoot was said to live in dense forests that are near water, preferring a habitat similar to the Pacific Northwest. It is most often spotted running or walking upright on two legs and is said to eat both meat and plants.

If Bigfoot does exist, there is likely more than one of them, Harper said. Bigfoot would be one of a small species of similar cryptid creatures.

Harper’s rendition, named Fhil, shows a Bigfoot in its teenage years, she said. Full grown, Bigfoot is believed to measure somewhere between seven and eight feet tall. Historical photos show that it has a prominent nose, no visible neck and broad shoulders.

Harper used a variety of materials in her sculpture including sticks, leaves, moss, lichen, clay and fake fur, which she burned to look more natural. Her Bigfoot looks rugged, strong and very human-like.

“I think it's so cool that some people think this creature exists and others don't,” Harper said. “That's why I decided to do this project in the first place. The goal of this project for me was to show my interpretation of how Sasquatch looks and lives.”

The project was Harper’s first experimentation with clay. Although she ran into some challenges along the way, she persisted. “It was a really fun project but also very difficult,” she said. “When I first made his face it all fell off because it was too dry and cracked.”

After completing her project, Harper isn’t any closer to deciding whether Bigfoot exists or not. She’s open to the possibility, she said, but is waiting for evidence.

“If people came up to me and said researchers found out that there really is evidence this creature exists, then I would believe them,” she said. “There are so many animals out there that we’ve barely researched or that haven’t yet been discovered.”