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Finding Bigfoot: A $10 Million Prize

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#1 Hum

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Posted 27 July 2013 - 00:14

Just as J.D. and Turk sang in that musical episode of "Scrubs," when it comes to proving the existence of the elusive Bigfoot, everything may really all come down to poo.

And that poo may be worth an incredible $10 million, courtesy of Spike TV and the network's upcoming reality series "10 Million Dollar Bigfoot Bounty."

The series, which premieres in January 2014 and will be hosted by "Lois & Clark" star Dean Cain, is challenging nine teams to head out into the Pacific Northwest and find Bigfoot (aka Sasquatch). If they can, via photographic and DNA evidence, they will be handed an eight-figure check, guaranteed by famous British insurance company Lloyd's of London.

"What better way to find out [if Bigfoot really exists] than to throw the latest, cutting-edge science behind this; find the best Bigfoot-hunting teams possible, including big-game hunters, serious hunters, and people who have been looking for Bigfoot for many, many years; and then put a $10 million dollar bounty on finding out the truth. We just thought it was a helluva fun idea," said Chris Rantamaki, the Senior Vice President of Original Series at Spike TV.

And about the multimillion-dollar poo: Rantamaki says one of the coolest pieces of technology the teams will use in their search is a mobile DNA lab that can provide DNA sequencing results in as little as a day.

"When I saw this, it truly blew my mind," he told Yahoo! TV. "It's not my world, but there's all different kinds of DNA, obviously, like hair, fur, saliva, stuff that maybe scraped off onto branches … scat is obviously a very big piece [of evidence] in the woods. And for the scat, it's so crazy that it can be determined, within several hours, what animal it has come from, very specifically, through the DNA sequencing. And even when samples are found, our experts have this knowledge … and in the lab, there's a textbook that is just filled with pictures of various kinds of scat, from every animal. It shows the picture of the animal, the shape of the scat … it's all really crazy, but hearing all these folks talk about it is fascinating."

So, finding Bigfoot really could come down to poo?

"Yes," Rantamaki said, laughing.

The show, which is already in production, is a fun but still serious effort to prove whether or not Bigfoot is real, as the $10 million prize suggests. Last November, a Texas veterinarian purported to have DNA evidence that Bigfoot exists, but her results remain controversial.

Rantamaki promises that there will be no room for questioning the winner if someone does indeed snag the big prize on "10 Million Dollar Bigfoot Bounty," as the substantiation needed to win $10 million includes both photographic evidence and DNA evidence "that has been sequenced and proved to be from an unknown primate."

"A, it's $10 million on the line; B, it's Lloyd's of London, so there's no screwing around on this," Rantamaki said. "No one who isn’t fully credible, and/or vetted by a lot of people, is involved."

As for whether those involved in making the series believe in Bigfoot's existence, Rantamaki said he thinks Cain is open to the possibility, while he said that he himself started off as a "cynical television producer" and is now starting to feel differently. "It really would not surprise me for us to [find out] there's some new kind of primate within the next couple of years, or even sooner. A lot sooner.

"When you first hear about Bigfoot, the gut reaction is, 'Oh, it can't be real, or people would have found Bigfoot by now,' but there's only six percent of nearly two billion acres of land in the [United States] that's considered developed, so there's all kinds of unexplored areas," Rantamaki said. "Every single year, there are more than 15,000 new species discovered, and it wasn't until 150 years ago that gorillas were even scientifically classified. So there's a lot of undiscovered universe."

If one of the show's Bigfoot hunters does discover the big hairy creature, will we find out about it right away, or, in the age of social media, will Spike TV try to keep the discovery under wraps?

"It is an absolute must [that it remains a secret]," he said. "Then, you would find me and several other folks here in Times Square with a very big cage."

The one-hour reality series is set to premiere January 2014 on Spike TV.

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