Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Ask Bigfoot Elsie: Eye Shine

We are always experimenting with new ways to entertain and inform Bigfooters, while remaining fresh and topical. Today we are happy to announce "Ask Bigfoot Elsie." We have two reasons for this new feature.

Reason one: Since we have added, believe it or not, people are feeding back--or is the proper term "feed backing"? Either way, we are starting to get Bigfoot questions.

Reason two:Last year we created a mascot and we've been trying to figure out how to use her.

Without further ado here is our first email question.

B. Elsie,
Almost everyone agrees that Bigfoot must be a nocturnal animal to remain undetected and not yet proven to exist by man. As such you would assume that they have to be able to see in the dark and every animal that I am familiar with that roams the woods in the dark has reflective eye shine.

What am I missing here? Or are those scientific people not doing their homework?

Thanks in Advance,
Reflecting on Bigfoot


Thanks for your question. Let's go to the chalkboard to explain what eye shine is. As you can see below most nocturnal animals are equipped with a feature designed to amplify the amount of light that reaches the retina. Called the tapetum lucidum (pronounced ta-pee-tum and colored yellow) this mirror-like membrane reflects light that has already passed through the retina back through the retina a second time. Whatever light is not absorbed on this return trip passes out of the eye the same way it came in—through the pupil, causing eye-shine.

In most nocturnal mammals the tapetum is yellow. This yellow color produces the often seen yellow eye-shine. Interestingly, different animals have different color tapetum, a fact that can aid in nighttime animal identification; white in many fish; blue in horses; and red occurs in rodents, opossums and birds. We shouldn't confuse this with "red eye" in photos. Red eye is a reflection of the red blood vessels on the retina.

Wrapping this up and connecting this to Bigfoot? There are no known great apes with the night vision enhancing tapetum, although some smaller primates do have this membrane. Bigfoot encounters with eye shine would either support that Bigfoot has tapetum in her eyes, or in some cases she is being misidentified. If Bigfoot could produce eye shine, it would most likely be yellow. Black bears are known to produce red eye shine.

BigfootEncounters has a great article on Eye-shine
Wikipedia page on Tapetum lucidum

Sneak Peak for Washington State History Museum Sasquatch

As we reported earlier, the Washington State Historical Society has an upcoming exhibit, "Giants in the Mountains: The Search for Sasquatch" January 23 through June 27.

This exploration of the Sasquatch story here in the Pacific Northwest focuses on why the geography and heritage found in this area of the globe feeds into the Bigfoot legend. The exhibit studies all aspects of the legend and draws no conclusions.

It opens Saturday, Jan. 23 at 10 a.m. A special "sneak peek" at the exhibit will happen during Third Thursday ArtWalk. Beginning at 6:30 p.m., co-curators Gwen Perkins and Susan Rohrer will lead a tour through the hairy show.

[Washington State History Museum, Thursday, Jan. 21, 6:30 p.m., free, 1911 Pacific Ave., Tacoma 1.888.238.4373]

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Washington State Historical Society's Bigfoot Exhibit

Washington State Historical Society has an upcoming exhibit January 23 through June 27. The exhibit is titled "Giants in the Mountains: The Search for Sasquatch"

The Washington State History Museum is where fascination and FUN come together! People of all ages can explore and be entertained in an environment where characters from Washington's past speak about their lives. Through interactive exhibits, theatrical storytelling, high-tech displays and dramatic artifacts, learn about our state's unique people and places, as well as their impact on the country and the world.

Explore the Sasquatch mystery, set in the Pacific Northwest region said to be home to these ape-like creatures. The exhibit examines how scientists attempt to explain and investigate the Sasquatch phenomenon. It also looks at hoaxes and popular cultural interpretations of Bigfoot. A look at tribal legends and masks provide yet another insight into this elusive being.

This exploration of Sasquatch stories looks at the Pacific Northwest environment, which provides a rich setting for the folklore surrounding these unexplained creatures.

Physical evidence collected by anthropologist and famed Bigfoot researcher, Dr. Grover Krantz, and Discovery Channel expert and professor Dr. Jeffrey Meldrum of Idaho State University, will be on display.

Organized by the Washington State History Museum.
1911 Pacific Avenue
Tacoma, WA 98402
(253) 272-3500
1-888-BE THERE
(253) 272-9518 Fax

Washington State History Museum Home Page
Giants in the Mountains: The Search for Sasquatch

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