The Yara-ma-yha-who is a legendary creature found in Australian Aboriginal mythology. According to legend, the creature resembles a little red man with a very big head, a large mouth with no teeth and suckers on the ends of its hands and feet.
The Yara-ma-yha-who is said to live in fig trees. Instead of hunting for food, it is described as waiting for an unsuspecting traveller to rest under the tree. The creature then drops down and uses its suckers to drain the victim's blood. After that it consumes the person, drinks some water, and then takes a nap. When the Yara-ma-yha-who awakens, it regurgitates the victim, leaving it shorter than before. The victim's skin also has a reddish tint to it that it didn't have before. It repeats this process several times. At length, the victim is transformed into a Yara-ma-yha-who itself.
According to legend, the Yara-ma-yha-who is only active during the day and only targets living prey. "Playing dead" until sunset (it is said to only hunt during the day) is offered as a ploy to avoid attack.
- Smith, W. Ramsey. Myths and Legends of the Australian Aboriginals. Farrar & Rinehart, : New York. p. 342
- Melton, J. Gordon. The Vampire Book: The Encyclopedia of the Undead. Omnigraphics, Incorporated; 1999.
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