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drop bear

A mythical creature, like a koala but they drop out of trees onto people. A tale told to New Zealanders in Victoria: Australian to Kiwi, 'Hey mate, watch out for drop bears.' Compare hoop snake.

Contributor's comments: Yep, this one's in Tassie too!

Contributor's comments: I first heard about them in Year 11. A fellow student made them the subject of her public speaking assignment. The Dropbears were a great NZ band in the mid-eighties. Their most successful single was "Shall we go".

Contributor's comments: Heard in Sydney, spoken to US servicemen on R&R, especially walking under power cables. "Aw, mate. These drop bears fall on you and will tear you to shreds. Always look up as you cross the street".

Contributor's comments: We definitely talked about drop bears when I grew up in Campbelltown, NSW. There were supposed to be heaps of them in the bush at Wedderburn :-)

Contributor's comments: I thought this was an Australia-wide joke aimed at tourists. We certainly warned our British guest about 'drop bears' back in the 1980s in Sydney for a bit of fun.

Contributor's comments: The Drop Bear story is often used in QLD, to bait any unsuspecting foreigner.

Contributor's comments: Yep, I remember my Dad (a Victorian) telling me to watch out for drop bears. But my WA friends have never heard of them!

Contributor's comments: I grew up knowing about drop bears (Brisbane). Stories have long been told to yank soldiers in particular. My old man (Newcastle) recalls the army in the 60s doing the same thing.

Contributor's comments: Born and raised in SA, I had never heard of a "drop bear" until I saw it in a display at the Aust National Museum in Canberra in June. It was the only one I hadn't heard of!

Contributor's comments: Koala bears given to dropping on people. When city folk would visit in SA country region (in the 70s) we would tease them to watch out for the 'drop bears', telling them they were a version of koala bears who drop on you when they see you looking up at them.

Contributor's comments: Born and raised in Adelaide and never heard of drop bears.

Contributor's comments: If you're creative and a good liar, you can drag this joke out forever. I described the drop bear to an American friend in great detail, told him that they're a carnivorous cousin of the koala and have a grey-green belly to blend in with gum trees.. he lapped it up.
hoop snake

Much like a drop bear, this is used on overseas visitors. The story is that the hoop snake can grab its tail in its mouth and roll after you at tremendous pace (deadly of course): You will be safe as a house camping out there Ingrid, just watch out for the hoop snakes. Compare drop bear.

Contributor's comments: Hoop snakes also exist in Tasmania but, to my knowledge, are limited to the north-west coast near Sisters Beach. The Tasmanian ones are quite specialised in that they live in sand dunes and use the sloping sand to gain the momentum they need to roll down onto unsuspecting sunbathers.

Contributor's comments: During a visit of some American soldiers during the seventies to the Townsville area, some enterprising Digger come up with a booklet called "beware of the wild and ferrocious animals found in the Australian Bush". These included the Hoop Snake, The Drop Bear and the Oomedoodle Bird, apparently there were a few worried Yanks, and did you know that they bought very rare "KANGAROO feathers" ----- TRUE!