The Kudimudra and the Disappearing Lake

Bunyip_(1935)A strange tale from Down Under, this time a monster that haunts a desert lake area. A lake that is sometimes there and sometimes not. Is this just another cryptozoology tale run dry, or could there be something to this mysterious tale?

The aboriginal people of Australia living around Lake Eyre tell the tale of the Kudimudra, a fearsome creature that eats people who wander into the lake. It’s supposed to look like a bunyip, a creature known throughout Australian aboriginal culture. The name varies from area to area, and so by Lake Eyre, it’s called the Kudimudra.

Bunyip translates to devil or evil spirit. They lurk near waterways throughout the continent. Descriptions from early 19th century newspapers described it as having the face of a dog on a crocodile head. It supposedly has tusks resembling those of a walrus, perhaps a duck-like bill, flippers, the tail of a horse, and dark fur! Westerners arriving in Australia found the natives so frightened and agitated by this evil spirit, that these people couldn’t give them an accurate description. Apparently!

Whatever it looks like, the Kudimudra belongs to the bunyip family. But there’s one problem with this tale – bunyips are associated with water and Lake Eyre is usually a dried up wasteland.

Here are some artists’ renderings of this creature:

























Lake Eyre

If it was full, Lake Eyre would be the largest lake in Australia and the third largest endoheic body of water in the world. Endoheic means that the waters from this lake don’t connect with the sea. Any rivers or waterways draining into it, hit a dead end, so to speak. They never reach the ocean.

lake-eyre-basinBut due to seasonal changes and other climatological conditions, the lake rarely ever fills completely. Making the lake seem further dried up, there are deep basins throughout its terrain, but if and when they are filled with water, it’s so far out that no one can see them.

The last time the lake was completely full was in the years 1974-1976!

On those rare occasions where surrounding rivers run full enough to raise the lake level to full (see satellite image below), they bring with them an abundance of fish into the lake. That in turn attracts thousands of birds as well as other land animals.

LakeEyre01Could the Kudimudra be among them?  If so, where does it go or hide during the dry times, which is most of the time in that desert area? Is it like the species of frogs that live in that lake and bury themselves until the next wet season?

I doubt we’ll ever know. And given the bizarre description of this beast, it seems unlikely to be real. I think it’s probably just a legend and folktale devised by the Aboriginal peoples.

(Unless someone gets a good photo of one during the next rainy season.   )

What do you think?


PS — They’re even on stamps!



  1. It’s strange you posted this today. I was just looking through my Pinerest board “Odd Things” and came across this pin I had pinned a while ago. This dead baby looks totally real. I am baffled by what animal it could be. Then I read your article above and saw the animal on that purple stamp and there he is! Here’s my pic.
    Well it won’t let me post a pic I guess so I will post it on your FB Cryptoville wall. ttyl Love your posts!

  2. On a continent that has such a weird animal as the duckbill platypus I wouldn’t doubt the existence of this beast just yet. Maybe it’s a cousin of the platypus …??

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