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The Bunyip

Listed under Monster Hunting in New South Wales, Australia.

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When settlers first arrived in Australia and saw the kangaroos and platypuses, the idea of a very large, carnivorous, semi-aquatic animal with tusks, flippers or paddle-like feet, and the hairy body of a bear or a lion did not seem so strange. However, while all the other commonly-sighted creatures seemed eventually to have been classified, the Bunyip remained elusive. In 1846, a large, unidentifiable skull was found by a river, and though the discovery encouraged many to report their own experiences, no further investigation was carried out into the skull’s origin.

Though the majority of Australians are highly sceptical of the Bunyip’s existence, there have been a huge number of very definite claims of sightings, particularly in the 1920s and 30s in New South Wales, for example near Lake Bathurst South, where one Mr. Hall claimed to have seen a black, furry one lumbering across a patch of marshland. The visual descriptions vary a great deal, but they are always set in a swamp, by a river or lake, or at a water hole. Many also describe having heard a booming roar from the animal, and disappearances of humans and livestock have often been attributed to it.

The most commonly held theory is that the Bunyip is a species which has survived and possibly evolved somewhat since the Pleistocene era – the Diprotodon. A hippopotamus-sized, hairy beast, it was the largest marsupial ever to roam the planet, and its fossilised bones have often been identified as those of bunyips. If the species has survived in some form, this would explain the widespread distribution of the sightings across Australia, as there would be more than one.

Written by  larapiegeler.

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