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A fierce creature found in Australia. The Aboriginal People told of the Bunyip in their oral folklore. In the Aboriginal language Bunyip means spirit or devil. However, in today's language it means bogey.
Perhaps this is an early version of the bogeyman. Either way, the Bunyip is a featured creature in Children's Literature in Australia.
It is hard to describe the creature as the Aboriginal People gave different descriptions of the creature. It has been described as a large, hairy, semi-aquatic creature with the head of a horse; as a creature with a hippo size body and the features of a dog; and as having long jet-black hair, shiny, without a tail and large ears. While other reports indicate that only the head has been seen because it's only been spotted in the water.
The Oxford Companion to Australian Literature defines a Bunyip as "a monster of Aboriginal mythology with a huge body covered with fur . said to live in swamps, lagoons, and billabongs from which it emerges on moonlit nights to prey on humans, especially women and children."
We know the Bunyip has been around for at least 200 years based on the time period of the oral folklore. It is commonly agreed that the creatures live in lagoons, swamps, and billabongs and often heard by its loud piercing screams. Also, it is said that women are their favorite prey. The disagreements surround the description and the behavior of the creatures. It is also implied that the Bunyip searches out their human prey, however, in the folklore, Bunyip only takes human prey if their water habitat is disturbed (it needs calm water to survive) or if their food chain is interrupted.
Most would agree that the Bunyip is a myth or story told just to frighten young children and women mostly because no one has a clear -description of the creature. But think for a minute. Science has
proven repeatedly that animals and insects as well as humans adapt to their surroundings. If the surroundings of a moth go from colorful to all black or gray because of pollution, their physical being
adapts to it's surrounding so that it can hide from its hunters. Perhaps this is why there is not a clear description of the Bunyip.
When a mystery is too overpowering, one dare not disobey
Oct/1/2007, 2:19 am
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