Friday, November 4, 2022

The Mysterious Bunyip: Real or Fake?

 Author: Cole Grice

Down in the swamps and lagoons of Australia, a creature called a Bunyip prowls the land and water hunting for human prey, especially women and children. Although there are many stories about this terrifying creature, does it actually exist or is it just a hoax?  

As described by Bernadette Giacomazzo in “Meet The Bunyip, The Monstrous Cryptid Said To Inhabit Australia’s Swamps," the Bunyip has black fur, a round head, a long neck, sharp teeth, and a body type that is similar to an ox, hippopotamus, or seal. This creature is allegedly between five and fifteen feet long in size. The Bunyip supposedly made load, roaring noises while waiting to devour human beings. Its roars can echo across all of Australia. The article also states that the first sighting of the creature occurred in New South Wales in the year of 1818, when two explorers named Hamilton Hume and James Meehan discovered a large set of strange bones by a lakeshore. Most people believed the bones were from a deceased hippopotamus.

Although the Bunyip’s appearance has not been reported in current time, it began to become popular in the nineteenth century. According to an article called, "18 Facts About The Bunyip, A Cryptic From The Swamps Of Australia," by January Nelson, the most frequent reports of the mythical creature happened throughout the years of the 1840s and 1850s. During these years, the actual term, “The Bunyip,” was given to the creature. The word, “Bunyip,” stands for ‘devil’ or ‘evil spirit’ (Fae). It was given this name as it attacked people which caused a lot of fear among the communities in Australia. 

The Bunyip still plays a large role in Australia’s culture today. The creature may just be a myth in a folktale, but it continues to thrive in modern time Australia. As talked about by Gabriel Berreteaga in “A Fantastic Rendition and Jubilee of the Bunyip in Australia,” the Bunyip is seen in many children’s books and films. It is also displayed around the country as statues. This article also acknowledge the Bunyip Park, which is located in southern Australia. The park includes the Button Grass Nature Trail and educates children about the Bunyip through interactive story books. 

Overall, it is only up to you whether you want to believe in this man-eating creature. Does it wait through the night for people or was it made up to scare us? Will we ever truly know if it is real or fake?

Works cited: 

Berreteaga, Gabriel. “A Fantastic Rendition and Jubilee of the Bunyip in Australia.” YOAIR Blog. October 3, 2022,

Fae, Kota. “Aboriginal Lore: The Bunyip (Devil Spirit of Australia).” Amino. June, 19, 2018, 

Giacomazzo, Bernadette. “Meet The Bunyip, The Monstrous Cryptid Said To Inhabit Australia’s Swamps." ATI. January 25, 2022,

Macfarlane, J. Bunyip. 1890. Photograph. “The Bunyip,” Wikipedia.

Nelson, January.  “18 Facts About The Bunyip, A Cryptic From The Swamps Of Australia." Thought Catalog. March 27, 2021,

 Links for further research:

       New Idea Magazine’s Aussie Woman Tells: My Yowie Terror 

This article by Danielle K. presents a phone interview with a woman who had a personal encounter with a creature in which she thinks is the Yowie (also known as the Bunyip).

    The Age: Rediscovered Rock Art Reveals an Ancient Monster

 This article by Joe Hinchliffe, tells the readers about a Bunyip drawing in a cave that can be dated back to many years ago.

      Project Gutenberg License: The Brown Fairy Book

This book, written by a Scottish novelist named Andrew Lang, tells a story about young men who had an interaction with a Bunyip while on a camping trip.


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