In the news recently, there’s been a spate of Yowie sightings in Queensland. Even the Bush Tucker Man, Les Hiddins, has had some thoughts on the matter.
Cryptozoology is the study of beasts from folklore. From sea monsters to serpents of the lakes – and, in Australia, a few other unique creatures of legend …
Most of us have probably heard of the Yowie … the big hairy ape like man-beast. In Queensland, Kilcoy even has a statue of one in its town park. But have you heard of the ‘Junjudee’? It’s the name for Australia’s “little hairy man”. At only 3-4 foot tall, some have likened this mythical creature to the “Hobbit” or Homo floresiensis. In fact, there are plenty of Aboriginal stories talking of smaller humans or little men of the bush.
Meanwhile, since 1871, there have been reports along the Sunshine Coast of the ‘Beast of Buderim’. Some believe that this beast is either the last of the Marsupial Lions (Tiger Thylacoleo) or that it could even be an example of the Tasmanian Tiger, here living on the big island where it roamed before the introduction of the dingo. Don’t forget too about the Black Panther of south-east NSW. Sightings occur around Lithgow, Hunter and Blue Mountains regions and some claim these animals may be leftover mascots from the US Army in the Second World War.
With reports of mythical creatures inhabiting areas near built-up locations surely, in this age of technological gadgets, someone would have managed a Selfie with one by now. And some mega rich superstar would have created a Trust Fund and become its Ambassador. Alas – no such luck …
But there’s still magic out there and things to discover. They simply might not be as large and fearsome as most of the legendary beasts we may read about. For example, in March this year, it was announced that three new species of spider were recorded and studied in WA: Maratus aquilus, Maratus felinus, and Maratus combustus. Meanwhile in South Australia, scientists have recently discovered twenty-six new species of native bees from outback Australia. That should get the nation – buzzing. There have even been new species of fish found in our rivers and seas in the last year alone.
And just when you thought there were enough things in Australia that could kill you, last year a new species of bandy-bandy snake was found in the Top-End, near the mining town of Weipa in QLD.
Let’s not forget too the ‘new’ dinosaur finds out there. This year has seen the naming of Galleonosaurus dorisae and Fostoria dhimbangunmal .
So, while we may not have the definitive answer on the Yowie, there are still many glorious reasons to go bush and discover something new. With 8.7 million species estimated to inhabit the earth - but only 1.64 million yet named – that leaves 81 per cent out there left to find!
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