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Geelong bunyip

A bizarre, vaguely dinosaurian cryptid reported only once in the 1840s

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Geelong bunyip

Reptile

Taxonomy
Geography

Australian cryptid

Habitat

Grassland-dwelling, Savannah-dwelling

Descriptors

Ultra-mysterious-beast, Carnivore, Featured in Native folklore, Presumably extinct

A large reptilian creature was reported from Geelong in southern Australia. In July of 1845 an unfossilised bone forming the knee joint of a gigantic animal was discovered. Aboriginals identified it as a "bunyip bone", and gave detailed and consistent accounts of people they knew encountering and even being killed by the animal. The animal was said to be amphibious, lay eggs, and combine the characteristics of a bird and an alligator. The Geelong Advertiser recounted the Aboriginal’s description, claiming it was twice the height of a man on its front legs, with a long, bony snout, sharp claws and a crocodilian body with muscular hind legs and longer front legs. It was described as being semi-aquatic, and killed its prey by “hugging” it to death, reminiscent of a snake or crocodile. The creature was said to be capable of standing on its hind legs. One Wathaurong man, named Mumbowran, showed several deep wounds on his chest said to be made by the claws of the animal. There are no known modern accounts of this animal. This particular cryptid hasn’t been seen again, but is notable for being the first known written use of the word “bunyip.”