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The Bunyip. An undiscovered species?

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posted on Jan, 11 2009 @ 01:07 PM
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from wikipedia

The bunyip (usually translated as "devil" or "spirit"[1]) is a mythical creature from Australian folklore. Various accounts and explanations of bunyips have been given across Australia since the early days of the colonies. It has also been identified as an animal recorded in Aboriginal mythology, similar to known extinct animals.

Characteristics

Descriptions of bunyips vary widely. It is usually given as a sort of lake monster. Common features in Aboriginal descriptions include a dog-like face, dark fur, a horse-like tail, flippers, and walrus-like tusks or horns. According to legend, they are said to lurk in swamps, billabongs, creeks, riverbeds, and waterholes.

Early accounts

During the early settlement of Australia by Europeans, the notion that the bunyip was an actual unknown animal that awaited discovery became common. Early European settlers, unfamiliar with the sights and sounds of the island continent's peculiar fauna, regarded the bunyip as one more strange Australian animal and sometimes attributed unfamiliar animal calls or cries to it. At one point, the discovery of a strange skull in an isolated area associated with these 'bunyip calls' seemed to provide physical evidence of the bunyip's existence.

In 1846, a peculiar skull was taken from the banks of Murrumbidgee River in New South Wales. In the first flush of excitement, several experts concluded that it was the skull of something unknown to science. In 1847 the so-called bunyip skull was put on exhibition in the Australian Museum (Sydney) for two days. Visitors flocked to see it and The Sydney Morning Herald said that it prompted many people to speak out about their 'bunyip sightings'. "Almost everyone became immediately aware that he had heard 'strange sounds' from the lagoons at night, or had seen 'something black' in the water." It was eventually concluded that it was a 'freak of nature' and not a new species. The 'bunyip skull' disappeared from the museum soon afterwards, and its present location is unknown.[2]

As European exploration of Australia proceeded, the bunyip increasingly began to be regarded as nonexistent. The mysterious skull was later identified as that of a disfigured horse or calf. The idiom 'why search for the bunyip?' emerged from repeated attempts by Australian adventurers to capture or sight the bunyip, the phrase indicating that a proposed course of action is fruitless or impossible.

The Greta Bunyip was a bunyip which was believed to have lived in the swamps of the Greta area, in Victoria, Australia. Locals often heard a loud booming sound which emitted mysteriously from the swamps, yet none of the frequent search parties were able to locate the source of the sound. Once the swamps were drained, the sound subsided. Some Greta locals believed that the bunyip moved on to another area, while others believed it had died once its habitat was gone


Although no documented physical evidence of bunyips has been found, it has been suggested by cryptozoologists that tales of bunyips could be connected to the Diprotodon, a pre-historic animal.




posted on Jan, 11 2009 @ 01:47 PM
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Growing up in the Australian bush fifty years back, we didn't have much entertainment other than the swimming hole, catching yabbies, the weekly footy game and the monthly dance.

- And making fun of "city slickers" . . .

We thought city people were utterly stupid, and never missed a chance to have fun at their expense.

One game was to direct them to the creek or the swimming hole, take a shortcut ourselves and hide in the water amongst the reeds. We'd paint our faces with clay, cover ourselves with vines and leap out at them, screeching and growling.

The local oldies said they'd done the same in their day, having been given the idea by local aboriginals, who claimed to have seen their parents doing that to scare white men away from their camps.





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