The word "bunyip" is translated as "evil spirit" by most Aboriginal Australians today. George Angus, in 1847, however, nicknamed the beast "water spirit" in his famed account of a dreadful creature that inhabited the Murray River. Other sources simply say that bunyip is most accurately translated as "devil".
Characteristics of the creature:
In George Angus's aforementioned account of the bunyip, the man described the creature as resembling a huge starfish. This portrayal is wholly different from that of the "regular bunyip", characterized by a dog-like face, dark fur, flippers, tusks or horns and perhaps a duck-bill.