Date of Discovery
First sighted in the 1900s.
The Gumberoo, with a scientific name of Megalogaster repercussus.
This bear-like creature is described as being incredibly fat–in some cases, compared to the shape of a football–with no hair, and dark leathery skin. Oddly enough, this creature has a large grin with sharp teeth, a beard, and prominent eyebrows. Their dark complexion is said to be as black as coal, but there is speculation that this is due to rubbing up against the inside of the charred cedar tree.
The Gumberoo originated in the foggy region along the Pacific Coast from Grays Harbor, WA, the entire coast of Oregon, all the way to Humboldt Bay, CA as well as the forests of Wisconsin and Minnesota. Its origin is spun from the folklore of lumberjacks and forest workers–with particular emphasis on the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
According to Giants, Monsters, and Dragons: An Encyclopedia of Folklore, Legend, and Myth by Carol Rose, the Gumberoo belongs to a group of beings within this mythology called the Fearsome Critters. All of the Fearsome Critters are noted to have exaggerated proportions and activities which are believed to be the explanation of the strange sounds and bumps in the night when in isolated and remote locations. They also provided some amusement for the men in the camps, as they told stories to pass their down-time.
The Gumberoo is said to be a scarce creature due to the fact that it is quite combustible, and forest fires are relatively prevalent. They are said to be as flammable as celluloid film; during and after a forest fire within the heavily forested cedar region near Coos Bay, lumberjacks reported that they heard loud sounds that were not identifiable as well as the smell of burning rubber.
Mythology and Lore
When the lumberjacks, responsible for its discovery, attempted to kill it–except the Gumberoo didn’t die, its skin was apparently impenetrable. It is said to hibernate a majority of the time and it lives in old enormous, burned, and hollowed-out cedar trees. When it does come out, it only comes out at night and has an insatiable appetite when it does. The Gumberoo will devour anything that crosses its path, even reportedly a whole horse at one point, which was still not enough to discomfort nor satiate it.
Modern Pop-Culture References
- Fearsome Critters 2: Electric Gumberoo (April 24, 2019)
- Olympia Oddities: Gumberoo (August 2, 2019)
Is there anything we missed about the Gumberoo? Let us know in the comments section below!