Bigfoot Eye Shine

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Do Bigfoots’ Have “Night Eyes”?

owl perched on branch
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A fairly common component of nighttime Bigfoot sightings is eye shine. I’m not sure it’s a majority, but if not it’s still a large percentage. Plenty of animals do exhibit eye shine, so why couldn’t Bigfoots? There are skeptics of this, even in the Bigfoot believer community. So what causes eye shine, and could Sasquatches exhibit this trait?

What makes eyes shine?

“Eye shine” in animals describes the reflection of a creature’s eyes when illuminated by a light source, particularly at night. The light source can be artificial, or even the moon. It can be a creepy feeling to look out into the woods and see nothing but a pair of glowing eyes looking back.

But the eyes aren’t glowing. As I said they are reflecting, and not all animals have this trait.

black cat lying on gray surface
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The tapetum lucidum is the secret of animals that have this trait. It is a layer of tissue behind the retina that acts as a retroreflector. This amplifies the available light, allowing the animal see more clearly in low light conditions.

It is the reflection from this tissue that also causes the eyes to appear to glow.

Could Bigfoots have a tapetum lucidum?

Maybe. That’s the thing about an animal without a holotype, it’s unproven. But is it a likely trait? Probably not.

None of the great apes have a tapetum lucidum, nor do humans. They are all diurnal, and have less use for a trait like that. Only one known class of primates has this “night vision” – Strepsirrhine primates. Think Aye ayes, slow loris, and tarsiers. If Sasquatches are a type of ape or a type of human, then they probably do not have this feature. Note “if” and “probably”.

What else can cause eye shine?

RexDog23 – Own work

You might be thinking about those photos from your birthday party where cousin Eddie has scary red shining eyes. This is caused by reflection, but not from a tapetum lucidum. Human eye shine is a reflection of the choroid. It’s is usually seen only in photos using an intense flash, or in IR illumination on video. Seeing human eye shine with the naked eye is very rare.

Bigfoots would almost definitely have a choroid reflection, though, and the size of their eyes might make it more visible and pronounced.


translucent jellyfish in dark background
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What about truly glowing eyes, caused by bioluminescence? This is highly doubtful, given the way we know eyes to work.

If the eyes were self illuminating, vision would be severely impaired. Putting a light source so close to your reflectors causes a wash-out if it’s intense enough. For comparison, think about when you look at the sky under a street lamp. You can’t see the stars, because the more intense light source is drowning it out. (The same reason you can’t see stars during the day, really.)

So do they have eye shine or not?

There is certainly something going on, as there are too many reports of it to ignore. So my current thought is that what we are seeing is indeed a reflection of the eyes, however it is not from “night vision” (a tapetum lucidum). It is most likely an effect of the large eyes of the Bigfoots having larger choroid structures.

What do you think? I’d love to know your opinions on the eye shine of Bigfoots in the comments below.

P.S. I know it’s been a long time since I posted, I have had a lot going on recently, but am getting back on track slowly. The book is still in the works and I’m excited to dig into the research of this topic even further and with more fervor.

Chad Gatlin

I have been a Firefighter, a Radio Personality, a Writer, and an Insurance Agent. Now I am adding Author to that list! I have had a long interest in the weird and unexplained, and love to discuss and debate these subjects.

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