Dubbo Drop Bear Sanctuary - Dubbo, Australia

The city of Dubbo, 250 miles northwest of Sydney, is home to a refuge for one of Australia’s least known yet most lethal animals: the Drop Bear (Thylarctos plummetus).

Drop Bears can be difficult to recognize due to their close resemblance to koalas. Both animals have round, grey bodies, fluffy ears, and large black noses. Both inhabit eucalyptus trees and are largely sedentary, spending up to 20 hours each day sleeping. It is during the remaining four hours, however, that the differences between the species become frighteningly apparent.

Drop Bears lie in wait among the leaves until they spot a hiker approaching. When the hapless walker strides beneath the bear’s tree, the creature drops, landing on the person’s head and usually biting into their neck to subdue them.

For more secret terror of the Drop Bear, keep reading on Atlas Obscura…