20 October 2008, JellyBean @ 10:49 am

In the eastern states of Australia there could live a creature of myth and legend. People call it the ‘Yowie’. This elusive homonid is often also called ‘The Australian Bigfoot’.

The Aboriginal tribes of eastern Australia have longed told stories of a creature that was fearsome and hairy, up to or over 2.6 metres in height, with strong muscular bodies, powerful arms and large hands longer than a human’s. They walked upright upon two legs with a stooped gait. Their heads were sunk into their shoulders, giving them the stooped appearance.

Their heads are described as having a skull dome, receding forehead and having thick, protruding eyebrow ridges overshadowing their large deeply-set eyes. Their feet are said to be larger than a humans and they possessed an opposable toe.

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These descriptions match those given by modern eye-witnesses.

The first accounts from westerners appeared in 1835 when one Mr. Holman wrote about his trip to Australia. He write “The natives are greatly terrified by the sight of a person in a mask calling him ‘devil’ or Yah-hoo, which signifies evil spirit.”

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Just 5 years later, scientists were already starting to debate whether or not it could be a real species, or just a character from legend. European settlers in the 1880’s began reporting sightings of a strange creature often said to resemble a large monkey. Somewhere along the way the “yahoo” become known as the “yowie”.

Rather confusingly, Yowie (or “Yowie-Whowie”) is also the name of a completely different mythological character in native Australian Aboriginal folklore. This version of the Yowie is said to be a bizarre, hybrid beast resembling a cross between a lizard and an ant with big red eyes on the side of his head, big canine teeth and large fangs. It emerges from the ground at night to eat whatever it can find, including humans. This creature’s characteristics and legend are sometimes interchangeable with those of the bunyip. Some presume that the modern usage of the word “Yowie” simply arose through confusion with the aforementioned Aboriginal legend.

In the 1970’s an Australian Air Force surveying team on Sentinel Mountain reported seeing some large humanlike tracks. Since then there have been over 3000 reported sightings of the Yowie.

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The fossil record does hold some clues as to the authenticity of the Yowie. There have been over the years numerous fossil finds of large footprints of an apelike creature. Some scientists speculate that these fossilised footprints are relatives of the Asian Gigantopithecus. Some speculate further that it could be possible that a relative of these creatures still roams the mountains and forests of Eastern Australia.

According to the Murri and Koori Aboriginal tribes of eastern Australia, legends exist about an ancient battle between their ancestors and a race of hairy apemen. The aboriginals won the battle quite decisively. This is attributed to their weapons including the spear and war boomerang. The apemen fought bare handed. The surviving creatures ran off to the mountains from which they occasionally invaded the forests to steal human babies.

One argument against the possibility of a Yowie existing is that Australia has no naturally occurring primates other than humans. However one researcher has claimed that it is possible that it could be a bear-like marsupial.

References:

Australian Yowie Research Centre
Yowie Hunters

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