Speculative Fiction Dept: Staff at Idaho State University guess at the origins of Bigfoot with a 3D printed skeleton that’s 8 feet tall.
A documentary from the History Channel titled “Bigfoot Captured” was aired in the US earlier this week, delving into the legend of Bigfoot and searching for scientific evidence to prove its existence.
They didn’t try very hard, though. Instead, they asked a group of obliging academics at Idaho State University to just go ahead and fabricate the evidence: a 3D printed skeleton of Bigfoot, constructed from far-fetched speculation about the beast’s anatomy.
The result is a chimera of anthropological body parts, taken from diverse sources like Neanderthal man and the ancient ape Gigantopithecus blacki. Really, the whole thing seems like a prank for eager conspiracy theorists.
Idaho State Universtiy anthropology and anatomy professor Jeff Meldrum was a consultant for the program. Meldum is something of an “expert” on Bigfoot, and has written many books on the subject.
How was Bigfoot Reconstructed?
Working with the ISU Robotics and Communication Systems Engineering Technology program, Meldrum designed his own Bigfoot and had it constructed using a series of 3D printers. Of course, this was no easy task. The printing took 1,600 hours to print.
As no single university had enough printers to create the Bigfoot alone, the team enlisted other schools for help. Using printers all over the state, and even one in Washington, different groups printed Bigfoot in pieces and shipped them off to be assembled.
The resulting 8-foot tall Bigfoot was quite the sight and made a great impression on Meldrum and the team.
“To actually stand next to it was really, really quite amazing. Even this was a bit of an academic exercise because obviously everything is just inferential, but what it conveys is that otherwise difficult-to-imagine sensation or impression of standing next to a skeleton that’s 8 feet tall. I mean it’s huge — massive.”
While this is all a tad unusual for a university program, Meldrum did have a few positive words to add to the experience:
“I’m delighted these departments were not only interested, but willing to participate in an exercise that I hope will be insightful and informative, and in pursuing this fascinating question of the potential of the existence of a relic hominoid species.”
Amazing what passes for history on The History Channel, isn’t? Unfortunately, images of the skeleton are not available to share. You’ll just have to tune into the program to find out!
(Via: Idaho State Journal)
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