legend or myth?

We are often asked, “what is a Drop Bear and why did you name your tour company Drop Bear Adventures?” Our name is, in fact, a tribute to one of the most legendary Australian marsupials, so we have put together the essential information on this rarest of creatures and some other Australian mythical legends.

DROP BEARS AND KOALAS

Most visitors to Australia are familiar with the cute Koala Bear. They seek it out in Eucalypt forests, are thrilled to spot it chillin’ in a tree, and they even pay to cuddle it in Koala sanctuaries. However, few know of its deadly relative, the Drop Bear. We feel it is our duty to inform the public of the dangers posed to visitors by Drop Bears. We also aim to educate all our guests about the simple and effective Drop Bear repellents readily available to prevent dangerous attacks by these rare yet dangerous creatures.

The Thylarctos Plummetus is commonly known as Drop Bear, because the little-known predator takes its victims by surprise by dropping from trees to attack. Drop Bears look a lot like Koalas, albeit larger, heavier and with a carnivore’s choppers. It is widely assumed that Drop Bears start out as Koalas and become infected by a disease similar to rabies. This makes them extremely territorial and aggressive and will attack unwary bush walkers wandering under their tree. However, the beasts are so elusive, no specimen has ever been captured, alive or dead.

ARE DROP BEARS DANGEROUS?

If all this talk about the danger of Drop Bears has you worried, fear not: Australians who have studied the Drop Bear in the wild recommend a range of proven Drop Bear repellents. The most effective of all is DropBear-o-Guard, commonly known as Vegemite wiped behind the ears. If you are in a known Drop Bear area you should probably smear it all over your face to avoid an attack. Due to the fact that no Drop Bear attacks on an Australian has ever been reported, it is sometimes suggested that speaking with an Australian accent may also be helpful. Using words like ‘crikey’, ‘Gday mate’ and ‘bonza’ may also help keep them in their trees, in case you don’t have any Vegemite handy.

Verified Drop Bear sightings are few and far between, so many visitors refuse to believe Drop Bears exist. We can’t provide you with any substantial proof of the existence of Drop Bears, but we do suggest you are always on the side of caution and carry a supply of Vegemite!

CHECK OUT DROPBEAR’S MYTHICAL MATES

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The Australian vampire:

Yara-ma-yha-who

Found in Australian Aboriginal mythology: A short, red, uh, man with a complicated name resembling a demon. He has no fangs, which is unusual for a bloodsucking vampire. Whenever he feels a little hungry he waits in a tree for a victim to stop beneath, then jumps on him and sucks blood out through the octopus-like suckers he has on his hands and feet. This procedure is very tiring, so afterwards he will take a nap and then vomit the meal back up. Surprise, the victim may still be alive! However, if this creepy dude eats the same person too many times, he will himself become a Yara-ma-yha-who.

Rivermonster

Nessie’s cousin:

The Hawkesbury River Monster

Remember the Scottish Loch Ness Monster? Well, this monster may as well be Nessie’s long lost cousin. The Hawkesbury River in New South Wales, Australia, is a very deep river, and the monster it accommodates is described as up to 24 meters long. Aboriginal paintings thousands of years old hint at sightings of the monster, which resembles a prehistoric plesiosaur. Although there are quite a few modern sightings, this creature seems to be quite camera shy as no one has been able to get a picture of him as of yet.

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A weird looking water creature:

The Muldjewangk

These ones are monsters (or maybe just one monster) that inhabits the Murray River and Lake Alexandrina into which it flows in South Australia. The tales of the monster are told to keep children away from the dangerous water. One story tells of a European steamboat captain that shot a Muldjewangk, and was rewarded with a slow lingering death from creeping red blisters that covered his body. The Muldjewangk is also blamed for boat wrecks. Beware the seaweed growing in the lake -that’s where the Muldjewangk hide!

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The life-sized cat:

The Gippsland Phantom Cat

This one’s been spotted! In fact this kitty cat (more like a deadly cat) lived in the Grampians region since the 1970s. The consensus among experts is that there have been sightings of large cats, probably feral descendants of house cats. U.S. soldiers stationed in Victoria during World War II had a pair of pumas as mascots, and some think the two animals may have been set free and then reproduced in the wild, possibly mating with feral house cats over the years. There is no conclusive evidence for this, though we sure think it’s still out there somewhere.

Bunyip 2

Aboriginal spirit monster:

The Bunyip

This monster is a real night owl as it sleeps in rivers, swamps, and billabongs during the day, but prowls the land as soon as it gets dark, looking for food aka people and animals. Its screams can be heard for long distances. Some Aboriginals claim to have seen a Bunyip, but descriptions vary. Does it resemble a snake, a wild human, or a furry mammal? Some theorize that while the Bunyip may be legendary, the tales have been passed down for thousands of years, from back in the days when now-extinct large predators prowled Australia. 

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