Bet 120

Duration 22 years (02003-02025)

“By 2025 the scientific evidence of a hither-to-unknown large bi-pedal great ape will be sufficient to convince at least 50% of primatologists that a yeti/bigfoot-like creature exists.” Detailed Terms »

Kevin Kelly

Stewart Brand


will go to All Species Foundation if Kelly wins,
or The Long Now Foundation if Brand wins.

Kelly's Argument

Taken as a whole, the evidence of the existence of a big foot in remote parts of the world is quite substantial. However without the existence of a body, this evidence will not be considered scientific. I bet that by 2025 either a body of a big-foot will be found dead or alive, or a collective mass of photographs, DNA samples, scat, and video could convince half of the primatologists. The latter is unlikely; it will most probably require a body. In any case, if one is not found by 2025, it probably won't ever be found. I bet one will be found. I suspect, but won't bet, that when found, this creature will prove to be of much higher intelligence than any other animal outside of humans.

Brand's Argument

As myth, bigfoot has enduring appeal. In the areas of Michigan and Wisconsin where I grew up, he's known as the Wendigo, whose stories have drawn many a young camper closer to the campfire. Enduring myths (King Arthur comes to mind) attract no end of hobbyist and sometimes professional research to establish facts behind the myth. Bigfoot has had half a century of such close attention, with zero persuasive result. I bet that an additional 22 years will add nothing significant to that zero.

Detailed Terms

A survey of working primatologists asking them whether they accept the existance of a large (greater than 2 meters) bi-pedal ape.