The Nullarbor Nymph

It’s funny what you can come across on the internet when you go from link to link, allowing the cyber highway to take you where it will. It’s even funnier, apparently, what capers you can come up with when you are sitting in a hotel bar in a little town, population 8, in the back of beyond in Australia. And it just adds evidence to my theory that people will believe just about anything.

Hence, around Christmas, 1971, the Nullarbor Nymph was born. The press were told that several kangaroo hunters had seen a feral blonde woman running with the kangaroos, wearing next to nothing except some strategically placed kangaroo skins. It was a slow news week. The press ate it up.

[Image credit:}
[Image credit:}

Before they knew it, the little town of Eucla was besieged by both the international press and a swarm of tourists, all hoping to get a glimpse of this woman. Business had never been better! The glimpses were provided. Footprints. Grainy photographs. A girl running across the road just far enough away to be unidentifiable, but just close enough to be tantalizing. A potential campsite. People were entranced.

Far too soon, one of the hunters was in the bar with a tongue loosened by alcohol, and he unfortunately revealed the hoax. I say it’s unfortunate because the tourism potential for this story could have rivaled that of the Loch Ness Monster. Still, it is considered one of the best hoaxes in Australian history.

There are still postcards floating about, and statues, and in recent years, even a low budget movie. And I suspect that people still sit at the bar in Eucla and talk about the nymph. Their population has grown to 86 now. And they have to talk about something, don’t they?

The original nymph, Geneice Scott, standing in front of a nymph statue in Adelaide in 2007. [Image crecit:]
The original nymph, Geneice Scott, standing in front of a nymph statue in Adelaide in 2007. [Image crecit:]

Author: The View from a Drawbridge

I have been a bridgetender since 2001, and gives me plenty of time to think and observe the world.

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