Bunyip

From Academic Kids

A bunyip ("devil" or "spirit") is a mythical creature from Australian Aboriginal mythology. According to this legend, bunyips are said to lurk in swamps, billabongs, creeks, riverbeds, and waterholes. At night their blood-curdling cries can be heard as they devour any animal or human that venture near their abodes. Their favourite prey is human women. They also bring diseases.

Descriptions of bunyips vary wildly. Common features in Aboriginal drawings include a horse-like tail, flippers, and walrus-like tusks.

Although no documented physical evidence of bunyips has been found, it has been suggested that tales of bunyips could be Aboriginal memories of the diprotodon, which became extinct some 50,000 years ago. The cries of the possum or koala could likely be mistaken for the bunyip, as most people are surprised to find koalas or possums are capable of such loud roars.

Also used as a nickname for rabbits due to the obvious similarity to the word 'bunny'.

During the 1980s, Australian children's television and literature featured a more friendly version of the bunyip - "Alexander Bunyip" created by Michael Salmon.

During the 1950s and 1960s, "Bertie the Bunyip" was a children's show in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, created by Lee Dexter, an Australian. [1] (http://www.tvparty.com/lostbertie.html)

In the videogame Ty:The Tasmanian Tiger, Bunyips are important characters along with a cast of other Australian creatures. A bunyip is also an armored creature in the "Final fantasy" series.

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