When we consider cryptozoology, we think about the array of creatures and animals that we have yet to be discovered. Even decades after the first Bigfoot sighting, we have yet to clarify whether or not this hominid is legitimate. Thanks to the Internet and the [wonderful] invention of computer-generated imagery, it’s tougher than ever to distinguish whether photo and video evidence is legitimate. Scientists can’t even agree to what Bigfoot is, which is essential before clarifying what species it is. Similarly, we also have the case of the Loch Ness Monster, with only trace evidence existing to give us all just enough hope that the sea creature is alive and well.
This article is not about Bigfoot, or Nessie, which are both cases based on sightings and witness testimony. What about cryptid cases where it was verified that the creature isn’t real, but people refuse to believe it? Do situations such as this exist?
Allow me to introduce the case of the Drop Bear. The Drop Bear is a terrifying koala-monster hybrids that will attack tourists. They are about 16 feet tall and weigh about 260 pounds. They are carnivorous, and attack people by dropping on their heads from the trees. Truthfully, the drop bear is a joke that all Australians are in on, and was created to fool tourists. When I say that the entire country of Australia is in on the joke, it’s a legitimate claim. For example, Australian Geographic published an April Fools article claiming that drop bears were more likely to attack tourists than people with Australian accents. The Australian Museum, the oldest museum in the country, had an entry for the drop bear in their catalog with the scientific name, Thylarctos plummetus. However, that was also a joke.
Remedies to sway the drop bear from attacking you include putting toothpaste of Vegemite behind your ears and in your armpits, urinating on yourself, and putting forks in your hair. These poor tourists have fallen for this joke, much to the delight of locals.
But, of course, you have a select group of gullible people who truly believe in the drop bear’s existence, regardless of telling them the whole thing is a hoax. Perhaps, we must wonder how many other animals in the cryptozoology world started out as a joke, but the progression of time soon molded the joke into legend and lore. Perhaps we are actually on a wild goose chase with many of these mysterious animals that originally started out as a laugh at the expense of others. Perhaps we need to be more worried about gullibility becoming an academic thanks to the sands of time.