Bigfoot. A giant, ape-like creature that has been seen all throughout the world in forests and mountains, even in China. He got his name from leaving behind huge footprints in the dirt and snow where he traveled, that is, before his footprints were revealed as fakes. The only evidence left for the big ape-man are first hand sightings which highlight pseudoscience's best friend- the burden of proof. There is no evidence of Bigfoot or any scientific reason why a 500 pound gorilla-looking creature would be wondering the world and not wanting to be seen, but people believe he exists. There are TV shows about him on Discovery Channel and Destination America that all rely on the evidence of the "smell of wet deer in the woods" or night vision cameras that could easily mistake a fly for a bear. Bigfoot isn't real and never will be, regardless of how many people swear to see him.
The popular media and self-help industry is rife with extraordinary claims. Alien experimentation, psychic detectives, mediums, ESP, extreme therapies and miracle products are all examples of how pseudoscience and the paranormal have become prevalent, popular and even an extremely lucrative enterprise. The majority of these examples defy the basic laws of science, logic and common sense yet they appeal to a large number of people. Here we will use science, specifically a psychological perspective to explore these popular theories and claims, and learn to think critically in order to be able to constructively evaluate them.