The Secret of the Oozlum

Today’s mythological subject is the oozlum bird, a creature appearing in British and Australian folklore. While generally thought to inhabit those areas, it’s also sometimes identified as a native of South America. If what is said about the bird’s incredible speed is accurate, it would probably have shown up in other places as well. “Oozlum” appears to be the most common spelling, but other sources go with “ouzelum” or “oozalem.” There are different stories involving the bizarre qualities of the oozlum, but the one thing that’s generally agreed upon is that it flies backwards. Some tales have it that, when startled, it flies in ever-decreasing circles and eventually disappears up its own bum. A poem by William Thomas Goodge, a London-born writer who lived in Australia, adds the detail that the oozlum has the remarkable power to stay still while letting the world turn under it, sort of like how Professor Farnsworth’s dark matter engines work in Futurama. Mind you, since he made dark matter useless in Bender’s Game, I’m not sure what powers spaceships in more recent episodes. But I digress. The oozlum is thought to be quite large, so that a person could ride on it, much like an ostrich. Unlike an ostrich, it can fly, and it prefers to stick its head up its own arse instead of in the sand. (Not that ostriches really do stick their heads in the sand, but it’s a common misconception.) The mythical bird made an appearance in a 1970 British comedy film called Carry On Up the Jungle, in which it looked like this.

Here’s a drawing of the bird by MaverickPixelMage:

This entry was posted in Animals, Australian, British, Futurama, Mythology, Television and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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