Drop bears are carnivorous, tree-dwelling marsupials found throughout Australia. Their preferred dwelling is eucalyptus trees or gum trees. They are related to koala bears, though larger and equipped with sharp teeth and razor-like claws. Sometimes people refer to them as the koala bear's evil twin.
Drop bears prefer to feed at night. They wait in trees and then drop down on top of their prey, usually instantly knocking it unconscious. They will then proceed to devour it. They will quite readily attack creatures larger than themselves, including humans.
The only known way to deter a drop bear is to spread toothpaste or vegemite behind your ears and on your neck. It also makes sense not to pitch your tent beneath a tree that contains a drop bear. A good way to find out if a drop bear is in a tree is to lie down beneath the tree and spit upwards. If a drop bear is sleeping up there, it will wake up and spit back.
Australians are known for going to great lengths to make sure that backpacking tourists are aware of the dangers posed by drop bears. Young children attending camp are also frequently warned of this threat to their safety.
http://www.museumofhoaxes.com/comments/images/dropbear.jpgI bought your book over the weekend and loved it! Very amusing tales of human gullibility, ignorance and intelligence.
I thought you might be interested in a tale that did the rounds in my youth. No doubt there are similar stories out there. I attended many camps, and a popular story to keep the kids in their beds at night was the threat of the 'drop bears'.
According to camp leaders (and I confess to perpetuating this in later years!), there lurked in Australian gum trees fierce koala bear type creatures called drop bears. They slept during the day, and only came out at night to feed. You could tell if there was a drop bear in a tree by upturning your face and spitting up into the tree. If there was a drop bear, it would spit back (think about it...). They were also said to be attracted to Vegemite, the staple Aussie condiment, which the kids then started to avoid at breakfast. To ward off an attack by drop bears, campers were advised to put toothpaste behind their ears. I am sure there were a few parents who wondered why they had to wash toothpaste out of pillowcases.
I am pretty sure there were more tall tales associated with this mysterious creature, but I can't remember more at present.
I have also attached a picture you might be interested in, similar to the photo on your Jackalope page. I work at quarantine, and occasionally these unusual creatures make their way into Australia in the luggage of tourists with a penchance for unusual souvenirs.
Keep up the great work!
Re: Drop Bears in Australia
In my experience, the drop bear story is related to girl guide and boy scout camps. I have not heard about the spitting idea to tell if there is a bear in the tree, but i was informed that they lived in eucalyptus trees and had very long arms and sharp claws (I always pictured them a bit loke a small sloth) and they would drop from the tree, land on your shoulders and rip out and eat your neck.
is that a drop bear it is like cant be
About the Australian Drop Bear, hah! That's funny! Cause if you lye down on your back and spit, the only spit you'll be getting in return is your's! :+P That's funny! Who ever thought of that? And if so, when?
i enjoyed looking at your web page but i do not believe in drop bears
That sounds like an urban legend around here, the "Johnson Monster"
The drop bear is just another term for the Yowie, which many people in Australia believe exists. The story of the Yowie has been retold in Aboriginal communities for generations.
The only way to get rid of a Drop Bear is to run around in a circle 3 times very quickly. This disorients the Drop Bear and it falls to the ground paralized. Otherwise, if you have a Trip-Snake handy it will sufice as it is the Drop Bears only natural preditor. This story is not just told to guides, scouts and foreign armies, but to all backpacking tourists upon arrival on a tour in Australia.
And if you happen to see a Trip-Snake lying crippled on a bush track, give its shoulders a gentle rub, it normally just has a pinched nerve and will slither away quickly once it recovers.
my friend got attacked by a drop bear a year ago
But there was another creature that lived in the Australian bush that likewise frightened younger Scouts: "Ombilie-Gombilies". According to the senior scouts, an Ombilie-Gombilie was a small non-descript creature known to attack enmasse and gnaw off any protruding toes and fingers that slipped from a tent or sleeping bag at night. One scout was found screaming and running around the forest covered with blood one night and when I backtracked his footsteps, it seems he had tripped over a fresh deer carcass and has landed in the chest cavity which had been opened by foxed or wild dogs. Of course, all the other kids thought the Obilie-Gombilie stories were true after that and refused to believe my explaination.
As for Yowies (an Aussie version of Bigfoot), I was present when a Park Ranger came by to ask us one night if we'd seen anything since he was investigating a legitimate sighting by elderly campers upriver. Of course, two scouts had been running about with one atop the other's shoulders and a ground-sheet over them so it was hard to take the report seriously. Until we discovered giant footprints and a forensic team had been taking moulds of them a week before we arrived.
Nowdays I'm one of the premier visual effects artist for the film industry and get to design and make my own mosters every week.
1. lie under a tree in australia
2. spit up into the air and not realise that gravity is against you and ur spit will fall back onto your face.........is anyone dumb enough to try it out???
When a koala (-bear) up in the tree dies, it naturally falls out of the tree onto the ground. So one has to look out so as not to get hit on the head by a dead koala.
This version is usually believed by all non-Aussies. Try it out!
Drop bears actually refers to the Marsupial Lion-Thylacoleo carnifex, which dropped down onto its prey killing it by the sheer weight of the beast.
Another possibility of course is the Yowie or the Junjardee. The Yowie is a big hairy fella, kind of like the Sasquatch oe Wendigo. The Junjardee is a little hairy fella, kind of like the Sumatran Orang Pendek or Flores Ebu Gogo. They both have one thing in common, they like bunya nuts and thus tend to climb trees. You see a young Yowie or a Junjardee drop out of a Bunya pine and you'd think you'd seen a drop bear. With over 10,000 sightings through out Australia of these cryptids over the past 200 years, there's a good chance they exist.
The stupid creature looked a bit groggy after the experience and only took a few seconds to come to.
But I can tell you.... you wouldn't have wanted the fat little bastard to land on your head!
and that red back spiders use heat seeking sensors to find you at night to bite you in your sleep.(i dont know how many sleepless nights he had) and he also asked what our equivelant of a cowboy was and we told him it was a phwar (it took him a while to realise we were crapping him(so i admitted that was the sound an aussie girl made when she saw a tight bunned cowboy).
we have so many yukky bitey creatures here that its easy to toy with people.
when i visited my uncle in the mountains here he told me of the mountain people that livet here that were hairy all over and had been seen hiding in peoples wood piles(i nearly shat meself)as he had a gleaming woodpile and i was a knowing 28 year old.
I was born and raised in Australia and was first told about Drop Bears during a Grade 2 sleepover.
Infact we were taken out into the school yard after dark with flash lights to search for the elussive little monsters. It was definately a fun, if somewhat terrifying experience at the time.
Even if Drop Bears are a hoax it is a great nodd to our love of a good lark. What other country would use a National pest (Cane Toads) as a way to improve their golf swing or offroad vechicle manuvering capabilities.
PS: what is the "johnson monster" ?