What is a Yowie? - Description and Behaviour

How to identify one? Why do they exist? Are they real or fake? These questions and more will be answered in this article.

The Yowie is an Australian cryptid that has been reported since the early 1800s. Some people believe that the Yowie is a large ape-like creature, while others think it could be a giant humanoid and some even believe the creatures are of alien origin.

The information about the Yowie in this article is based on individual sightings and accounts. There is skepticism about the existence of the Yowie and it remains a cryptid and studied by avid cryptozoologists and others. However, the one corroborating fact of the Yowie existence remains in the thousands of the reported sightings and encounters since European settlement. The descriptions have remained very consistent to the present day. The Yowie is also considered as the Australian Bigfoot in recognition of its close similarities with the American Bigfoot or Sasquatch.

According to reported sightings and encounters the Yowie can best be described as a hairy hominid-looking "animal" ranging in size from 5ft to 12ft in height. Yowie are generally observed on two legs but there are many reports of them being seen on all fours crawling and running. The Yowie and Sasquatch footprints have displayed as 5 toe footprints and been recorded up to 18 inches in length. 

In biology, the Hominid family or Hominidae includes humans, gorillas, orangutans and chimpanzees.

We were interested to listen to some recent discussions in the Sasquatch/Yowie community of researchers. One discussion suggested that the Sasquatch could actually be an ancient form of human rather than a derivative of an ape. The reasoning for this is that in apes and chimpanzees etc, two-legged movement is not the normal method of movement and they rely on four-legged movement whereas humans rely on two legs. As the majority of Sasquatch sightings report the creatures walking on two legs, some researchers believe them to be an ancient form of human. One researcher also offered the suggestion that these creatures are not relative to modern humans but an independent species of the human form. Some real food for thought. 

Just to add further complexity to the discussion about Yowie and Sasquatch is the supernatural aspect of these creatures. In some Yowie and Sasquatch sighting reports other strange occurrences are sometimes noted such as light orbs preceding or following a sighting or encounter, feelings of sickness, dread and depression in some witnesses, failure of electronic equipment which worked prior to and after an encounter. Glowing eyes have also been reported and this may have nothing to do with the supernatural but a part of the creature's biology. Bioluminescence is found in a variety of life forms but what the significance of glowing eyes is to these creatures remains to be understood.

While the physical characteristics of these creatures have been well-reported and is widely accepted that there are several types of creatures, the nature of them or what they are remains the topic of hot discussion among researchers. There is also a strong belief among researchers that more is known about these creatures by government agencies which is kept behind closed doors.

Yowie Yahoo?

The name Yowie is a later manifestation of the name or names used to describe these creatures. The name Yowie can be traced back to 1875 while the name Yahoo was used earlier than this and may have been derived from aboriginal lore to collectively describe similar creatures that go by different names by many tribes.

Yowie Body Shape

From our research, we have determined that there are two distinct varieties of Yowie. We were initially of the belief that sightings of smaller creatures to about 5ft tall were juveniles of the larger mature Yowies but we have many reports describing these smaller creatures, totally covered in thick hair and sometimes in groups but with no sightings of the larger 7-10ft variety. The smaller variety may well be juveniles but we also have reports of family groups of 3-5 individuals with large and much smaller individuals. There are also Aboriginal descriptions of the smaller variety quite apart from the Quinkin etc.

The Yowie face causes as much anxiety to witnesses as does the creature's sheer size. Reports often describe a Yowie face with human-like and large, dark eyes and large mouth and white teeth human-like teeth, but also with some ape-like characteristics in the face shape. Often its head is described as cone-shaped similar to a Gorilla but other reports describe a large hair-covered head and appearing to have extremely short or no neck. From reports and tracks found, the Yowie feet are similar to a human. Their arms are reportedly longer in proportion to a human. Visual accounts suggest their bodies are muscular and heavy set and they possess strength many times that of a human. Sightings also suggest that the neck is small yet broad and the head is somewhat disproportionate to its huge shoulders. Many reports describe a very large mouth on the larger Yowie with large black, deep-set eyes. Eye witness accounts have reported the face to be mostly hairless with leathery-looking blackish or grey skin but some accounts describe long hair around the cheeks and chin. There have been varying reports of the Yowie hair cover from black and shiny to rusty red, sometimes shaggy and a mix of both colours. The hair is sometimes reported as whispy and sparsely covering the body with dark skin being seen through it while others have reported extremely hairy Yowies with only the face skin being visible.

Yowie Feet

Of all the trace evidence of Yowies, nothing other than a clear photo or video creates greater interest than finding footprints. We've received many reports over the years describing the footprints and we have gone out to investigate sites where Yowie footprints have been found. From our research, we can say that most of the footprints found display five toes but we have found some that have only 4 toes and on very rare occasions 6 toes have been recorded but from our investigations of some of these reports we have found the six toe prints are just 5 toe prints deformed into looking like a sixth toe either by an abnormal foot motion or ground deformation.

Yowie Movement

There have been some amazing reports of how the Yowie moves. While mostly bipedal and seen to be standing and walking somewhat like a human, other reports have described the Yowie running on all fours in much the same way a great ape would run. While still other reports describe the creature crawling on all fours in a spider-like fashion and seen to be able to move at great speed when either upright or on all fours. Many reports describe how a Yowie turns moving its whole torso rather than turning its head and this may be the result of little or no neck structure. 

There is a belief that the Yowie walks by pulling forward from its leading foot as opposed to a human who pushes off from their trailing foot. This would also explain why people describe the Yowie movement as "weird" and "strange".

Yowie has been sighted alone and in groups up 4-5 individuals. Both male and female Yowie have been described as well as a juvenile. Witness reports indicate a clear heavy bipedal stepping action when heard. Yowie have been heard following hikers and around campsites. The campsite encounters reported to us which have all been at night suggest the Yowie will mostly stay out of sight but move closer to campsites once the activity has stopped for the night. Large footprints have been reported by some witness accounts. The footprints reported have been up to 18-20 inches in length.

Yowie Odour

There have been reports of foul stench from the Yowie similar to “wet dog” or “sulfur” or “dead animal” but many encounters make no mention of this.

Yowie Sounds

Vocalizations have been reported and range from deep guttural growls and grunts to loud, long wailings. We have reports of vocalizations similar to chimpanzees “chatter” but generally combine a guttural growl and grunting that is “almost human-sounding”. Communication between Yowies have also been reported with sounds such as loud sharp whoops to grunts and also whistles. There has also been some suggestion the Yowie can mimic some sounds.

Wood Knocks or Hand Slaps - Another very interesting Yowie behaviour has been brought to our attention and fuels the conversation about the sounds of wood knocks often attributed to Yowies and Sasquatch. We've debated the topic of wood knocks for years and one issue has always had us perplexed which is how these creatures manage the sounds and particularly when they seem to respond to a wood knock made by us in the field. We've often asked how is it that within a minute or two of our wood knocks we get a response wood knock. Does the creature find an appropriately sized piece of timber straight away to make the response? Seems unlikely and the return knocks are always very clear even when distant. The mystery of wood knocks has become a little clearer after a farmer explained to us how he saw a Yowie slap its hands together and the sound was "just like someone smacking a tree with a lump of timber". We'll have this account in detail on the blog. If the Yowie and Sasquatch do in fact clap the hands to make a wood knock type sound this would explain the consistency of sound we have noted through our research.

Yowie Behaviour

There have been many reports of the behaviour of the Yowie ranging from aggressive to inquisitive to secretive. Some researchers and enthusiasts believe the Yowie to be mostly nocturnal and with descriptions of the creatures large eyes, acute hearing and smell, along with many night sightings and encounters this hypothesis is understandable. However, according to our database of witness reports and historical records, daytime encounters are just as prevalent. We believe that the creatures will hunt and forage for food day or night depending on the food source at hand. They have been seen capturing prey such as dingos and kangaroos. Some farmers have reported stock being killed and legs being torn from sockets, bite marks and intestines being removed from the bodies of dead stock. Some believe the creatures have the ability to use infrasound which may be used in hunting and confrontations. Reports of witnesses being roared at and physically feeling the roar are not uncommon.

The Yowie has also been seen to swim across waterways according to some eyewitness accounts.  Reports suggest they frequent waterways, creeks and tributaries. Not much is known of their sleeping patterns but as they are believed to be similar to the Sasquatch and Bigfoot from North America it could be that the Yowie seeks heavily wooded ground to sleep and possible high ground.

Human interaction with Yowie in Australia has been reported and has mostly produced passive-aggressive behaviour and in some circumstances, aggressive bluff charges and tree shaking. This behaviour is believed to be more about forcing people to move away from an area rather than an imminent attack.  Reports suggest the most aggressive behaviour will occur if an individual encounters a Yowie. Yowie have been seen to follow and track humans. Historical reports from aboriginal communities suggest that Yowie have been responsible for the disappearance of women and children in particular. In America, some disappearances of hikers and hunters have been attributed to Sasquatch and while much of the reported Sasquatch behaviour is similar to the Yowie it would be reasonable to assume similar behaviour.

What Do Yowies Eat? The Yowie Diet.

Yowies have a varied diet but do not eat everything as some believe. According to reports and anectdotal evidence Yowies are omnivores, similar to the American Bigfoot or Sasquatch, and have been seen eating berries and plants but also seen hunting kangaroos, dingoes, deer, birds and fish. There are also reports of the Yowie raiding chicken pens and attacking domestic animals. Yowie have also been reported to eat possums and have been observed listening for possum activity in tree cavities. This witness report from QLD describes some interesting behaviour as a Yowie searches for food: Tree Hugging Yowie. Their ability to blend into the environment and to move at great speed makes them an effective predator. One of the perplexing questions about the Yowie diet and behaviour is why cattle are not targeted by these creatures. Many of the locations where yowies have been reported, paticularly in QLD, have livestock roaming throughout and while there have been isolated reports of livestock kills they are mostly left untouched. There are all types of theories surrounding this but the simple answer is we just dont know why they choose to eat some animals and leave others. The diet question is not just about yowies and the same questions about diet can be asked of many omnivores on the planet. 

Tree Structures

Triangular structures made from tree saplings and larger timber have long been associated with Yowie and Bigfoot behaviour. There is much conjecture as to why the creatures construct these structures. In some locations footprints and hair samples have been found in and around the tree structures. The structures are almost always triangular in nature and made from 3 or more saplings or logs in the shape of a teepee without any covering. In America, there has been some suggestion that the tree structures have something to do with the Bigfoot relationship to the traditional Indian population but this would not necessarily hold up in the Australian Yowie case as the local aboriginals rarely made structures in the distinctive Teepee shape of the American Indians. Read about some Yowie tree structures found in QLD HERE.

The Takeaway

Reports of the Yowie extend back to the first fleet arrivals for European habitation and beyond this in Aboriginal history. While there may be some misreporting and misidentification of Yowie encounters there is an overwhelming number of credible and similar sightings, descriptions, and encounters that corroborate their existence. From our personal interviews with people that live on the land, military personnel, or people that spend much time in the bush we believe these accounts to be true and accurate and coming from people who are genuine and have no reason to engage in fabrication. This website's co-founder has had several encounters culminating in a sighting that eliminated his doubts about the creature's existence which was the genesis for the Yowie Sightings website.

The bigger question about the Yowie is not whether it exists but why authorities have not recognized its existence.

We have sort to find answers to the skeptic's questions and how such a large creature could exist in the Australian environment. One of the most prominent questions is why a body has never been found. It is a perplexing question and even more so when speaking to eyewitness accounts that describe 8-10 feet tall creatures being encountered. When we spoke to hunters both here in Australia and in America we were told time and time again that it is extremely rare to find the bodies of predators in the wild. Some American hunters told us that in all the years they hunted they have never seen a bear carcass or a carcass of a mountain lion or found bones in the wild, an amazing insight! From my own personal insight having traveled extensively in Africa, I can quote indigenous habitants who have never seen a cheetah or leopard let alone a carcass although the cats frequently hunt on their tribal lands. There are reports from America documenting these creatures being shot by hunters and government officials as well as collisions with vehicles but it appears the will to disbelieve the Yowie/Bigfoot existence massively outweighs the believers even with documented reports. 

Final Thoughts

We continue to gather evidence of Yowies through encounter reports and our own investigations but we remain open-minded about what these creatures are and or represent. The further we investigate the more questions become apparent about the Yowie and Bigfoot phenomenon. While at face value one could say these creatures are flesh and blood and either a descendant of the Human species or their own species in human form but there is also a very strong supernatural element to these creatures.  Reports often come in describing strange circumstances and occurrences surrounding encounters. For instance, we have reports of the creatures suddenly showing up around campsites and then vanishing without a sound or moving as is gliding over the ground, eyes that glow, orbs of light preceding or following an encounter and some UFO activity in conjunction with sighting reports. The Yowie is a fascinating and intriging phenomenon. Stay tuned for more developments!!


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