Drop bear

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A drop bear (or dropbear) is a fictional Australian marsupial said to be related to the koala.

Drop bears are commonly said to be unusually large, vicious, carnivorous koalas that inhabit treetops and attack their prey by dropping onto their heads from above.[1] They are an example of local lore intended to frighten and confuse outsiders, and amuse locals, similar to the jackalope, hoop snake, wild haggis or snipe.

It is often suggested that doing ridiculous things like having forks in the hair or Vegemite or toothpaste spread behind the ears will deter the creatures.[2]

[edit] Drop bears in popular culture

  • Drop bears appear in the novel The Last Continent by Terry Pratchett. In that novel, the wizard Rincewind travels through the Australia-like continent of Fourecks, and is attacked by some (that is most) of the creatures while traveling through the desert. Rincewind is wearing the traditional pointed wizard's hat, which serves to protect Rincewind's head from the stunning blow of the bear, and stun the bear itself. When the first bear's attack is unsuccessful, a massive cadre of dropbears begins to fall from the trees out of sheer astonishment. When hearing about this later, the locals insist that drop bears don't really exist.
  • EV Nova, an Australian-designed 2002 computer game from Ambrosia Software, contains attacks from alleged drop bears in Auroran Empire space. These drop bears are actually young Auroran warriors in disguise. Buying "Drop Bear Repellant" from various Auroran outfitters marks your character as gullible, and increases the chances of a drop bear attack.
  • A Bundaberg Rum ad series featured stories about the Drop Bears being used by Australian male campers to get some female backpackers to move their tents close to the boys so they could chat them up. The attractive female backpackers are incredulous at first and are disinclined to believe the stories, until the Bundy Rum Bear (a large talking polar bear often featured in the company's advertising) drops out of a tree near the edge of the lake, squashing one of the girl's tents. While the girls scream and run to the men for protection, the bear and one of the Australians give each other a wink.[3]
  • Drop bears appear in the novel "The Third Day, The Frost" in the "Tomorrow Series" of Young-adult fiction novels by John Marsden. In the novel, two local Australian prisoners entertain themselves by unnerving a young enemy soldier guard who is standing under a tree with stories of vicious drop bears.
  • In Warren Ellis's comic Nextwave, weaponized drop bears are deployed from an air-based military platform.[4]
  • The D20 Modern RPG sourcebook D20 Menace Manual features Drop Bears as a Monster Type. Their existence is denied by the Australian Government and Aerogaurd (a mosquito repellant) is revealed to actualy be a Drop Bear repellant, which is why Australian National Park Rangers will always strongly encorage its use.

[edit] References

  1. ^ David Wood, "Yarns spun around campfire", in Country News, byline May 2, 2005, accessed Apr. 4, 2008
  2. ^ Canberra City News, "Spreading the Myth", Aug. 6, 2003.
  3. ^ Youtube video of the Bundaberg Rum Drop Bear commercial
  4. ^ Drop bears in the Appendix to the Handbook of the Marvel Universe

[edit] See also

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