Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Boomerang, the throwing-stick used in war, or hunting, by the Australian aborigines. It is of eucalyptus wood about 2 ft. 6 in. long and 2 in. broad, one side being flat with a sharp edge, the other thick and convex. It is thrown straight forward, but with a peculiar back-twist of the hand, the flat side being kept downwards: it soon rises in the air, whirls round and round and flies backward over the head of the thrower, striking objects behind or beside him with great force. Surprising accuracy of aim with it is obtained by the natives. No two boomerangs, it is said, are quite alike in their range or behaviour, or even have the same curve. The upward motion is due to the fact that the instrument from its shape strikes the air obliquely, and is lifted by it, "It may be tested," Prof. Tylor says, "by cutting boomerangs out of a card and flipping them." It seems to be a native invention, though approaches to it are said to be found in ancient Assyria and other parts of the East. The Rev. J. G. Wood regarded it as developed out of a flattened club.