Saturday, October 15, 2011
Monsterfest 2011: The Yowie
The yowie is one of my favourite types of monsters: one of the ones that maybe, if you hold your head at the right angle and squint into the sun, you just might see in real life. The yowie is another Australian monster, or, more precisely, a cryptid -- a creature that like Bigfoot, or Nessie, or the Yeti probably isn't real, but there are just too many eyewitness accounts to write them off as imaginary quite yet.
Wikipedia tells me that the yowie legend is sometimes interchangeable with that of the bunyip, but I've always understood them to be two very different creatures. Yowies are a sort of Australian Bigfoot, a hairy ape-like creature that lives in heavy bush and is shy and fast. Bunyips are shape-changing howling monsters that live in billabongs and drown people. Also, bunyips don't get caught on blurry home video:
The above footage is probably the most famous yowie footage, but I don't like it much. It's a little derivative. It's got a real Bigfoot vibe to it. An ape lopes through some trees -- we've seen it a hundred times before, and we've stopped caring. If you're going to fake yowie footage (and let's face it, they probably did) you should do it in a cool, unexpected way:
I'm a sceptic. Really, I want to believe in strange and fantastical beasts, but I just can't. Well, maybe ones under the ocean because that goes down for miles, you know, but not ones that are just hanging around in the bush and popping up randomly to scare picnickers. Because we've had video cameras and phone cameras for a really long time now, but I've yet to see any footage of any cryptid that someone with an ounce of technical knowledge can't debunk. I'm like that poster in Fox Mulder's office. I want to believe. Really, I do, because the world needs mystery and imagination, and undiscovered corners, but you've got to give me something a little more substantial than the sort of video my four year old niece accidentally makes when she's looking for Angry Birds on my phone.
In the meantime I'll keep watching fuzzy Youtube videos of monster sightings and alien autopsies, and I'll keep squinting into the sun, because the world needs things that go bump in the night. I do, anyway.
What do you want to believe in?
This post was brought to you by Sommer Leigh's MonsterFest2011.
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