The Devil's Pool
July 14, 2010 11:12 PM   Subscribe

The Babinda Boulders is a beautiful and exciting place in far-northern Queensland, Australia. It also conceals the Devil's Pool, which is traditionally believed to be haunted by a young Aboriginal girl calling for her lost lover. At least sixteen young men have drowned there since 1959.

Babinda receives around 4.8 metres (about fifteen feet) of rain annually and is a regular winner of the Golden Gumboot. You can read more about Australia's ghosts here.
posted by Joe in Australia (18 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
Tim the Yowie Man! Canberra, represent!

Also, terribly interesting post. Thanks!
posted by barnacles at 11:19 PM on July 14, 2010


Meh, the young men don't drown. They just go on a mystical spacetime vortex exhange program with the girls at Hanging Rock.
posted by UbuRoivas at 11:42 PM on July 14, 2010 [9 favorites]


Pretty place. Very attractive, and the attractiveness is part of the danger.
posted by Goofyy at 12:16 AM on July 15, 2010


A little too late here for me to look at ghost stories. I prefer to do my online ghost reading in crowds of lots of people, whether or not they are friends or strangers and whether or not they realize I'm secretly getting riled up about old women in rocking chairs in old cabins or little 4 year olds in white dresses tugging at you bed side asking you to help them look for their - OH SHIT I LIVE IN AN ATTIC GOTTA GO
posted by Corduroy at 12:17 AM on July 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


A savage place! as holy and enchanted
As e'er beneath a waning moon was haunted
By woman wailing for her demon-lover!


Try as I might, I can't read the FPP without starting to recite Coleridge's Xanadu.
posted by Avelwood at 12:46 AM on July 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


The wife and I went on our honeymoon to Cairns. Really beautiful place, we want to go back there sometime. We'll, uh, avoid swimming in any place with the word "Devil" in the name. No matter how pretty.
posted by zardoz at 1:08 AM on July 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


Sure, it's beautiful. I'm sure lots of Australia ia beautiful. And I'm a risk-taker at least some of the time. But no way am I getting anywhere near your flora and fauna, thanks.
posted by biddeford at 1:51 AM on July 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


Try as I might, I can't read the FPP without starting to recite Coleridge's Xanadu.

I know, I had the same feeling. Also, Babinda itself only has a population of around a thousand people. 16 deaths (17 including a woman) is a whole lot for any small tourist attraction in Australia and in comparison to the town, it's huge. If you scaled up the number of deaths proportionately to the size of Brisbane, the nearest State capital, it would be around 30,000 people.
posted by Joe in Australia at 1:54 AM on July 15, 2010


That looks as though the water winds its way between unfortunate manatees. I love places like that that demonstrate time.
Here in the mid latitudes of western North America a surprising number of careless young men are lured to and claimed by the rainwater that fills abandoned rock quarries.
I was thinking I grew up with a particularly unfortunate lot and I still think they were unfortunate but apparently their fate is not so uncommon.
I guess I was lucky.
posted by vapidave at 2:23 AM on July 15, 2010


The deaths are high, but in some respects not altogether surprising. For example, a high number of fatal croc attacks are on young, local, drunk men who choose to go swimming in places where they shouldn't (this story is an extreme variant of that theme). This is just another version of the danger.

I've not been to Babinda specifically, but a combination of fast moving water, season rainfall creating surges of water and plenty of rocks under which to trap unwary swimmers will cause fatalities if people aren't careful. That area's not so far from Tully, where the white water rafting can get pretty hairy and Tully and Babinda compete for the title of the wettest place in Australia. Despite safety measures, deaths are not uncommon rafting in similar landscape and conditions to Babinda (e.g. 1, 2 , although in fairness it should be noted that the flow of the Tully river is now controlled by a hydroelectric power plant, which releases water specifically for rafting companies).
posted by MuffinMan at 2:28 AM on July 15, 2010


Hey Rain.
posted by Jimbob at 2:33 AM on July 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


Hey rain, rain coming down on the cane
On the roofs of the town.

Rain in me beer and rain in me face
Old Innisfail is a bloody wet place, hey rain, hey rain.

Rain in me beer and rain in me grub
And they've just fitted anchors to the Gurradunga pub, hey rain, hey rain.

Got a Johnson River crocodile livin' in me 'fridge
And there's a bloody great tree down on the Jubilee Bridge, hey rain, hey
rain.

The monsoon sky's so dark and big,
And there's an old flying fox in a Morton Bay Fig, hey rain, hey rain.

A bloke from the west nigh died of fright
The river rose thirty five feet last night, hey rain, hey rain.

It's the worst wet season we've ever had,
I'd swim down to Tully but it's just as bloody hey rain, hey rain.
posted by Jimbob at 2:35 AM on July 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


The men are said to have been victims of careless behaviour in the rocks and deceptively-strong currents, and tourists are warned to remain in designated swimming pools.

Local resident Judy Ross-Kelly said the men have all gone missing in the whitewater of Devil's Pool, which she likened to a washing machine.

Nothing romantic about that.
posted by three blind mice at 4:37 AM on July 15, 2010


Jimbob: I love that song! I heard it once a few years ago and I've been trying to track it down ever since.
posted by Joe in Australia at 5:48 AM on July 15, 2010


which she likened to a washing machine.

This is why I'm a non-swimmer. Terrifying.
posted by shinybaum at 5:51 AM on July 15, 2010


Here in the mid latitudes of western North America a surprising number of careless young men are lured to and claimed by the rainwater that fills abandoned rock quarries.
I was thinking I grew up with a particularly unfortunate lot and I still think they were unfortunate but apparently their fate is not so uncommon.


I grew up near the Quincy Quarries, which were notorious for the number of teenage boys who died jumping their cliffs, one I went to high school with. Not coincidentally, it was also the big place for high school kids to drink.
posted by lunasol at 7:48 AM on July 15, 2010


I've been there. It has a pretty straightforward warning sign, but one of the things that gets the tourists is that the local kids are often down there swimming. Obviously they know what they're doing, but it's pretty hard to convince some 20 year old guy that it's safe for that 10 year old and not for him.
posted by jacalata at 12:52 PM on July 15, 2010


I love that song! I heard it once a few years ago and I've been trying to track it down ever since

Me, too, really. I heard it years ago (sung by a bloke), and this post reminded me of it, so I went looking and Youtube came good for me.
posted by Jimbob at 2:08 PM on July 15, 2010


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