The Yara-Ma-Yha-Who is a cryptid that falls in the category of supernatural or folklore cryptids. It is found in Aboriginal folklore, specifically in the Kuku Yalanji people of northeastern Australia. It is considered to be a supernatural being that is often used to scare children into staying close to their families and communities.
|Northern Territory, Australia
|Supernatural / Folklore Cryptid
|Small, red-skinned creature with a big head, large mouth, and suckers on fingers and toes.
|Varies, between 1 and 4 feet
|Drops from trees onto victims, drains their blood with suckers, swallows and regurgitates transformed victims.
|Humans, particularly children.
|Believed to inhabit the bush or forest areas of northeastern Australia
|Exists as a cultural myth and legend passed down through generations
|Sightings and Encounters:
|No concrete evidence of actual sightings or encounters; part of oral storytelling tradition
|Some people believe that the yara-ma-yha-who is a spirit being, rather than a physical creature. Others believe that it is a hoax or a misidentification of another animal.
What Does The Yara-Ma-Yha-Who Look Like?
The Yara-Ma-Yha-Who is described as a little red-skinned creature with a very big head and mouth that has no teeth. Its head is disproportionately large for its body and it has black beady eyes. Its skin is smooth and hairless. It is said to have suckers on the ends of its fingers and toes and is about 1 to 4 feet (3 to 100cm) tall.
Is The Yara-Ma-Yha-Who Dangerous?
Yes, in Aboriginal folklore, the Yara-Ma-Yha-Who is very dangerous. In fact, stories of this elusive creature are used to scare children into staying close to their homes and communities.
According to folklore and legend, the Yara-Ma-Yha-Who will hide in fig trees waiting for unsuspecting travelers to rest under the tree. It will then drop down from the tree and drain its victim’s blood using the suckers on its toes and fingers. It will then swallow its victim whole after which it will drink water and take a nap.
When it wakes up it will regurgitate the victim leaving them shorter than before. It is said that if the victim plays dead he may be able to escape by outrunning the Yara-Ma-Yha-Who when it moves away from him.
However, if the Yara-Ma-Yha-Who is able to swallow and regurgitate the victim a few more times, the victim will also turn into a Yara-Ma-Yha-Who themselves who will then prey on the next unsuspecting traveler.
Is The Yara-Ma-Yha-Who Real?
While the Yara-Ma-Yha-Who is a popular figure in Australian folklore, there is no evidence that it is real. It could be argued that it is an exaggerated version of a real tree-dwelling or parasitic animal that drains the blood from its victims but the physical descriptions of the creature do not match any animals that exist today.