Wolfe Creek Crater: Tales from Folklore, Science and Gruesome Fiction

A tale spun well has more effect on how reality is perceived than just plain facts. Wolfe Creek Crater has been known to have formed 300,000 years ago, the west world discovered it not until 1947. But the site gained worldwide popularity in 2005, when the first of the eponymous bone chilling installations was released instantly forming a cult status among movie goers. The franchise also churned two more equally horrifying movies. While Wolfe Creek Crater enjoys pouring fans year-round, its discovery by the indigenous population predates their first contact with white people. Ancestral stories of its origin are now been unearthed from the rich oral traditions of the Aboriginal.

A lot of strange sights, unexplained formations and old existences can be explained so easily through science and logical deductions, that however takes away the element of wonder and joy that a fantastical tale can instill. The same goes with aboriginal stories surrounding the second largest meteorite formed crater in the world.

The Jaru and Walmajarri people who have occupied the surrounding land for 300,000 years, gave it a magical interpretation, passed on through songs from generation to generation. Stories have variants and probably the original myth made popular was lost in translation. The Kandimalal, as known among the locals, was their gathering arena. The folklore goes that the impact was formed by a rainbow serpent falling on earth. Other equally fascinating tales suggest it was a star that fell to the earth. Which very easily corresponds to the meteorite impact explanation. Some aboriginal stories also tell a take of an old man discovering the crater following the sound of birds and say there was an underground tunnel connecting Sturt Creek to the crater.

Elements of the stories defy logic but, in their dissection, are lucid and coherent. The crater continues to attract attention due to its mysterious appearance, as a shrine to the infamous Mick Taylor from the movie franchise and as an important landmark discovery in science. The crater was made when a massive meteorite, weighing more than 50,000 tons, smashed into the Earth in what’s now the Great Sandy Desert in northern WA. The explosion vaporized much of the meteorite, but some fragments of it — scattered as far as four kilometers away.