What is a Skunk ape?
The Skunk ape, also known as the swamp ape and Florida Bigfoot, in American folklore, is an ape-like creature that is purported to inhabit the forests and swamps of some southeastern United States, most notably in Florida where sightings have been reported from as far north as the Georgian state border.
The majority of mainstream scientists have historically discounted the existence of the Skunk ape, considering it to be the result of a combination of folklore, misidentification, and hoax, rather than a living animal.
Reports of the Skunk ape were particularly common in the 1950s into the 1970s. By 1974, sightings of a large, foul-smelling, hairy, ape-like creature, which ran upright on two legs were reported in suburban neighborhoods of Dade County, Florida that bordered large wilderness expanses such as the Everglades and Big Cypress National Preserve. Even today there are still reports of people seeing it.
The Skunk ape is said to resemble Bigfoot of the Pacific Northwest, often reported as a bipedal ape-like creature, approximately 1.5–2.1 metres (5–7 ft) tall. It is named for its foul odor, often described as being similar to a skunk.
The Skunk ape has been widely adopted across South and Central Florida as a mascot for the Florida wilderness and rural culture. During the COVID-19 pandemic, several Florida businesses have used the Skunk ape's reported foul smell giving incentive to remain at a distance an evasive nature to promote social distancing.