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Bunyip


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Netherworld
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« on: May 13, 2009, 01:23:52 pm »

Bunyip

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. Some claim that aborigines invented the Bunyip tale to frighten settlers from expanding their presence.[2]

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Netherworld
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« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2009, 01:24:36 pm »



Bunyip in 1890 from Illustrated Australian News
Creature
Grouping Cryptid
Sub grouping Lake monster
Data
First reported Early 1800s
Country Australia
Region Throughout Australia
Habitat Water
Status Unsubstantiated
« Last Edit: May 13, 2009, 01:24:55 pm by Netherworld » Report Spam   Logged
Netherworld
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« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2009, 01:26:13 pm »

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 or a duck like bill. According to legend, they are said to lurk in swamps, billabongs, creeks, riverbeds, and waterholes.

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« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2009, 01:26:46 pm »



Bunyip (1935) Artist Unknown, from the
National Library of Australia digital collections demonstrates the variety in descriptions of the mythical creature.
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« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2009, 01:27:08 pm »

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.

One of the earliest accounts of the bunyip was in 1821 when Hamilton Hume recovered some large unusual bones from Lake Bathurst in New South Wales. He wrote about the monster that was very much like a hippopotamus and which he and the Philosophical Society of Australasia believed to be evidence of the existence of the Bunyip.

A large number of bunyip sightings occurred between 1840s and 1850s, particularly in the southeastern colonies of Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia, as European settlers extended their reach.

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« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2009, 01:27:35 pm »



An 1882 sketch of an aborigine telling the story of the Bunyip to some children.
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« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2009, 01:27:58 pm »

Victorian Sightings

Geelong Region

Another early written account is attributed to escaped convict William Buckley in his 1852 biography. His 1852 account records "in.. Lake Moodewarri [now Lake Modewarre] as well as in most of the others inland...is a...very extraordinary amphibious animal, which the natives call Bunyip." Buckley's account suggests he saw such a creature on several occasions. He adds "I could never see any part, except the back, which appeared to be covered with feathers of a dusky grey colour. It seemed to be about the size of a full grown calf... I could never learn from any of the natives that they had seen either the head or tail." [3]

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« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2009, 01:28:13 pm »

Greta Bunyip
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.[4]

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« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2009, 01:28:37 pm »

New South Wales Accounts
In 1846, a peculiar skull was taken from the banks of Murrumbidgee River in New South Wales which initial reports 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.[5]

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« Reply #9 on: May 13, 2009, 01:29:01 pm »

South Australian sightings

Between 1852 and 1895, several sightings of bunyips in South Australia were recorded and documented in the South Australian Register. A "12 to 14 foot long" creature was sighted on 30 December 1852 in a Mount Gambier lagoon.[6]. On 28 November 1853, a similar sighting was made at a lagoon near Melrose, South Australia quoting that the creature "like that of a horse with thick bristly hair... Its actual length would be from 15 to 18 feet."[7] On 20 August 1881 a similar creature was sighted in a salt water lake between Robe and Beachport, South Australia. Another sighting occurred on 21 February 1883 in a Koolunga waterhole.[8] On 19 August 1884, it was reported that Mr W.H. Cornish of Dublin, South Australia had captured a bunyip.[9] A report of a bunyip at Warra Warra Waterhole, Crystal Brook by more than six people over ten days was made on 31 January 1889.[10][11] The last documented report in the register was at Umpherston Cave, Mount Gambier in 1895.[12]

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« Reply #10 on: May 13, 2009, 01:29:24 pm »

Explanations

No documented physical evidence of bunyips has been found.

However some cryptozoologists have claimed that Bunyips may be Aboriginal folk memory of one or more extinct Australian megafauna.

Karl Shuker links the bunyip to the extinct Diprotodon, as do many others including Tim Flannery and Michael Archer[14
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« Reply #11 on: May 13, 2009, 01:29:52 pm »



Diprotodon australis, which became extinct 40,000 years ago is thought by some to be linked to tales of bunyip.
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« Reply #12 on: May 13, 2009, 01:30:26 pm »



Palorchestes azael, a horse sized herbivore which became extinct 40,000 years ago has been suggested by some writers as an explanation for the bunyip legend.[13]
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« Reply #13 on: May 13, 2009, 01:30:40 pm »

The Bunyip River flows into Westernport Bay in southern Victoria and the town of Bunyip, Victoria is named for the legendary creature.
The Bunyip is the banner of a local weekly newspaper published in the town of Gawler, South Australia. First published as a pamphlet by the Gawler Humbug Society in 1863, the name was chosen because, "the Bunyip is the true type of Australian Humbug!" [15]
There is a coin operated Bunyip in Murray Bridge, South Australia at Sturt Reserve on the town's river front. [16]
The Bunyip of Berkeley's Creek [17] is a Australian children's picture book about a bunyip
The title inspired the House of the Gentle Bunyip, [18] was a community house established in the 1970s
A tale of a bunyip is included in Andrew Lang's The Brown Fairy Book (1904).
During the 1950s and 1960s, "Bertie the Bunyip" was a children's show in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, created by Lee Dexter, an Australian.[19]
Another depiction of a bunyip in the 1989 illustrated children's book A Kangaroo Court [20].
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« Reply #14 on: May 13, 2009, 01:30:51 pm »

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bunyip
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