Monday, October 3, 2011

MonsterFest2011: The Bunyip

We need monsters. 

Monsters teach us not to stray from the group.
Monsters teach us not to go into the woods.
Monsters teach us to sleep with one eye open.
Monsters teach us to stay away from dangerous places.

The bunyip is an Australian water monster.
The bunyip lives in waterholes, and creeks and billabongs. Like the Celtic kelpie, the bunyip drags its victims into the water and devours them.
The bunyip is an evil spirit. 

Descriptions of the bunyip are as varied as the indigenous tribal groups who tell the bunyip's story. The bunyip is not a dreamtime creature. The bunyip is still here. 

Source: National Library of Australia

Source: State Library of Victoria

Don't go near the water, or the bunyip will get you. 

This clip is taken from a old cartoon called Dot and the Kangaroo. An otherwise charming show, it was responsible for freaking out an entire generation of Aussie kids. 

This post was about authentic bunyips. Next time, cuddly! 


This post was brought to you by Sommer Leigh's MonsterFest2011. Check it out here: MonsterFest


  1. I've never heard of this monster, can't wait to see what you come up with next :)

  2. Woah. That first image is really freaky.

  3. Hi JA! Not many people have heard of the bunyip outside Australia, so I thought I'd give them a bit of exposure!

    @ Sarah, the more I look at the first one the more I think it's kind of cute! The second one was obviously drawn by someone who'd been reading about Scottish kelpies. And the video is the reason that the bush at night scared the heck out of me as a kid. I thought for sure the bunyip was coming. The bunyip, and ghosts, and werewolves, and aliens... there was nothing I didn't believe in!

  4. A bunyip in a billabong sounds as fuzzy-wuzzy as a wabbit, but geesh, kids aren’t the only one freaked out by that video.

    Run, doggy, run!

  5. OH MY. I forgot about Dot and the Kangaroo. I loooved that show, and I was seriously, deeply scarred by the bunyip song, and those scary cave drawing animations- and I saw it growing up in New York, so any context that might have helped (if any) was completely lost. It probably also contributed to a fierce adoration of The Birthday Party once I hit 16, so it all equals out. Thanks for reminding me of it!

  6. I totally imagined a cuddly little bunny with nasty, big, pointy teeth.

  7. Omg its like a possum and a rat had babies. I would never have gotten in the water if I'd heard about that thing growing up (sharks were such a simpler thing to get over being afraid of).

  8. Oooooh, creepy! I love it, especially the clip haha! Great post. Also love your blog - yay for new blogs to follow :)

  9. @ MC, bunyips do sound like they should be cute and cuddly...I'm actually doing a follow-up on this post that will feature some cute and cuddly bunyips. You know, the sort that won't drag you down, drown you, and then devour you!

    @ Magpie, I didn't know Dot and the Kangaroo was shown anywhere else! It was a great show little show, from what I remember, apart from that damn bunyip song!

    @ Cookie, that's what a bunyip ought to be!

  10. @ Steph, you got over being afraid of sharks? I'm still afraid of sharks, thanks to Jaws!

    @ Hi, SL, thanks for following!

  11. Very cool - really like the Bunyip... and a very good reason to sleep with one eye open:)

  12. And American! My brother and I LOVED Dot!! I have no idea how we were exposed to it, though. I don't remember it being traumatic, and loved the peppy theme song.

  13. I may never go swimming again O_o

  14. I enjoyed learning of the bunyip. Neat cartoon, but I can see why it would freak kids out.

  15. I had no clue what a bunyip was until I read this.

  16. Bunyips....never heard of them. Too bad the creature's evil and not all cute & fluffy. :)

  17. Oh, dear. Not sure I should have read this at close to midnight. Wow. Cool, though. (This coming from a guy who has to close his eyes sometimes during a horror movie.)

    Thank you so much for your kind comment on my blog. Please consider me a follower, and count another vote for your entry in the contest! You have a great command of language.

  18. Oh so ghoulish! I wanted to let you know that I've got a blog award for you at my blog:

    Just your pic inspires me! ; )

  19. Hi Bruce, thanks for following!

    Hi Sheri, thanks! :)

    @ Michael and Mina, I'm not surprised you haven't heard of the bunyip. I tried to pick a monster that isn't well-known!

  20. @ M Pax, thanks!

    @ Maggie, I had no idea you got Dot and the Kangaroo in the US! I think the Bunyip song was the only really scary thing in it...although wasn't some sort of scary animal chasing Dot? Or am I thinking of Mowgli in The Jungle Book?

  21. It's too bad though - the Bunyip is such a cute name! :-) Like a little puppy.

    Who eats your face off. But still. Cute little monster name.

    Loved the post Jen :-)

  22. I'd never heard of the Bunyip before. Thank you for teaching me something new.


  23. Hi Sommer ! It's a very cute name, isn't it? Shame about the whole killing thing.

    @ Aaron, hi! I chose the bunyip because I knew hardly anyone would have heard of it, and new monsters are always fun!

  24. This is the first time I've read about this monster. And that video...I'm glad I didn't see it when I was a child. It would have scared the heck out of me.

    Have a great weekend.

  25. Hi Medeia! That video still scares the heck out of me -- a lot of childhood fears start bubbling to the seurface as soon as I hear the music.

  26. I love the video! It's delightfully creepy!

  27. Thanks, ME! I'm not allowed to show it to my niece anymore. Apparently she was up last night screaming that the bunyip was going to get her.


    (In my defence, she's not afraid of vampires, and I figures bunyips were less scary!)



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