Unless you’ve been to Australia you may be forgiven for thinking it is just a vast, sparsely populated desert. But nothing could be further from the truth. Areas the size of small countries remain uninhabited and it has a diverse eco culture with jungles, swamps and dense forest land. And somewhere out in the middle of nowhere something is said to be hiding.
Something that can rip your arm off, weighs 3,000 pounds, leaves reptilian footprints that have been cast for the world to see (below) and yet isn’t supposed to be alive. it is spoken of in Aboriginal legend and skeletal remains have been found up to 10,00 years ago.
Now farmers and locals in out lying towns have come forward to tell that the a huge lizard is walking round Australia in the wilderness and what makes it more frightening is that no-one officially knows it exists.
The Komodo dragon was unknown until 1912 and it’s not exactly a tiny little thing which you wouldn’t notice, so the possibility that a survivor of the Jurassic era is still out there isn’t totally unthinkable. It is called the Megalania, a genuine monster that fed on small marsupials. However, despite their size, these things could move like lightning. They are there in Aboriginal paintings which are also roughly 10,000 years old.
In 1890 in the village of Euroa, Victoria, a thirty foot lizard terrorised the villagers, resulting in a squad of forty men armed to the teeth going out to hunt it down only to find it had disappeared. They called it a monstrous goanna, something that the Aborigines recorded in their history as the horny-skinned bunyip goanna and it goes right back to the Dreamtime.
Now a goanna is a name for a monitor lizard, but nothing the size of these things. Settlers to Australia were warned by the native people to beware of this variety of goanna. These could grow to thirty feet in length and had powerful jaws. To the people these really were dragons come to life and a threat like nothing they had ever faced. Its full name, Megalania prisca, translates as the ancient giant butcher and it is a creature which, unlike the Yowie, the Australian version of Bigfoot, was fact.
believed to be a type of unknown monitor lizard. None can question that fact but the fact of its demise may not be as clear cut as you think. The Megalania in the Aboriginal legend are called the Bungarra and it is recorded fact that the tribes of the North West Cape in the 1800s were afraid if these creatures. Elders reported that such was the power of these animals that they would often be seen rushing into the ocean and dragging out great white sharks for food. It was a scavenger and an expert ambush predator, a trait shared by several monitor species.
However, while these monsters have been reconstructed in museums from their remains, the aborigines said that there was an even larger specimen roaming the land. Seeing the size of this lizard as a mock up is terrifying enough so what must have it been like to actually come face to face with a live one? But the assumption that they had died out was brought into question when, in 1983 and 1986, reptile tracks were found in the Mungaroona Range near Roebourne. it was estimated that the creature that made them was at least fifteen feet in length and there is no species of monitor lizards in recorded science that size in Australia.
Now tracks can be faked but these have undergone scientific analysis that would put the CSI team to shame and they are not fakes. But what makes the story more intriguing and frightening is that previous to this, in 1982, Walter Lake reported seeing one run across the road in front of him which he said was 22 feet in length. he described the skin colour as mottled. In the Kimberley region a cattle farmer scared one off by shooting at it when he spotted it stalking his live stock. There has even been reports that a man was attacked and killed by two of them.
Author and cryptozoologist Alex Gilroy has researched the creature tirelessly. He says it lives in remote areas and is a capable hider. He revealed the tale of Euroa and in Alice Springs Alex says that the Megalania stalked through a camp site and some scouts on the Blue Mountains encountered what they thought was a log. That was until the ‘log’ got up and walked off. It was also Gilroy that took a cast of the creature’s footprint in 1979 when a farmer called him to tell him a large reptile was stalking his farm.
These remain the best evidence of an unknown lizard walking Australia. In January 2008 Gilroy would discover a series of huge lizard footprints on a forest trail some 185 miles from where he cast the other print. It was about 12 inches across, similar to the original tracks and the creature itself was estimated to be about 25 feet in length. Expert animal trackers have confirmed that the tracks are a huge monitor lizard but like nothing they have seen before. And with the ever growing population encroaching into previously unknown territory, human encounters will increase. But the National park in the Blue Mountains is a dense area which is largely unexplored and uncharted and many have disappeared in there.
In 2003 campers reported one moving through the trees. It made no threatening moves towards them and it is possible that the BBQs of campers would attract them as monitors have a highly evolved sense of smell. Gilroy described it as a killing machine; 3,000 pounds of armoured flesh with jaws that could break you in half and moved faster than you can imagine, much like a crocodile. There is absolutely no doubt that if one grabbed you while in the park no one would ever find any trace of you.
These things may be scarce but they are out there. Who would leave fake lizard prints in the swamps and woodlands hoping someone would find them? I think this story is far from over.