The Yara-ma-yha-who of Australia
No, Yara-ma-yha-who is not a made up word! A Yara-ma-yha-who is actually a creature straight out of Australian legends. This is a very unusual creature whose legends were first told by the aborigines. Legends say that the Yara-ma-yha-who is a small (approximately 4 feet tall) being with a huge head and red skin. At the ends of its arms and legs it has suckers instead of hands and feet.
How the Yara-ma-yha-who feeds
This Australian creature is a carnivore (meaning it eats only meat), but oddly for a carnivore – it does not have any teeth. The feeding process works like this: the Yara-ma-yha-who normally lives in the tops of fig trees. Tree-top living gives the creature some advantage in the feeding process. When prey walk underneath the tree, the Yara-ma-yha-who will see the prey, but the prey will not necessarily see him. He will drop down on top of the prey, and use his suckers to suck all the blood out of his victim.
Although this feeding process might sound somewhat similar to vampires so far, this is where the resemblance to vampires ends. You see, the goal of the Yara-ma-yha-who is not to live off the blood of the creature, but rather to drastically weaken the victim to the point where it does not have any strength left to struggle. Once the blood is drained from the prey, and the prey is weak, the Yara-ma-yha-who will then swallow the prey in one bite (thus no need for teeth!) And then, he falls asleep.
The feeding process however does not stop at this point, but rather continues. The Yara-ma-yha-who will eventually wake up, and when it does, it throws up the prey. Because the prey has not been chewed up during this process, it is not dead, but rather still alive and cognizant of everything that is happening!
How to escape an attack?
Interestingly, it was suggested that anyone that is caught by a Yara-ma-yha-who should not struggle, but rather let the process happen, and allow themselves to be swallowed as the best chance of escape is after you’ve been thrown up!
It is also suggested that you don’t get caught by the Yara-ma-yha-who too many times, because the process of being swallowed and thrown up will, over time, have an effect. After each time you’re swallowed you’ll resemble one a little more – your skin will be redder, and your height will be shorter until you eventually turn you into a Yara-ma-yha-who yourself.