Ganba

Mythical giant Snake of Australia. Etymology: Mirning (Australian) word. Variant name: Jeedarra. Physical description: Huge size. Behavior: The gurgling sound of underground streams is said to be caused by its breath. Seizes and eats people.

Habitat: Underground caves; also the ocean. Distribution: Nullarbor Plain, South Australia.

Possible explanations:

(1) The Amethystine python (Morelia amethystina) of Cape York, Queensland, is Australia's largest snake. Average specimens are 15 feet long, though outsize individuals attain nearly 24 feet. Its scales have an iridescent sheen. However, this snake strictly lives in the forest.

(2) The Taipan (Oxyuranus scutellatus), one of Australia's most dangerous snakes, is found along the coast of Queensland and the Kimberley region.

Sources: Daisy Bates, The Passing of the Aborigines (London: John Murray, 1938), p. 132; Charles Barrett, The Bunyip and Other Mythical Monsters and Legends (Melbourne, Australia: Reed and Harris, 1946), pp. 47-48.

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