Paulos Tyabb was one of the first geologists ever to make a survey of the Mornington Peninsula. He had emigrated to Australia in 1871, after becoming incensed with some of his colleagues’ findings that the Earth must be older than was claimed by the Bible (specifically, by the calculations based on it in the Ussher Chronology). Australia was at that time an exotic wilderness full of peculiar wildlife unlike that found anywhere else in the world, which was a challenge to Biblical authority, since aside from snakes, virtually no Australian native species was mentioned in the Bible.
Tyabb surveyed many areas in Melbourne and its environs, most notably the Dandenong Mountains, which he explored between 1873 and 1875, and tried his damnedest to get them renamed the Dandenong Hills, which he felt was more fitting. But it was further south, near to the shores of Western Port Bay, that he truly made his mark. In 1877, he found the geological formation that he modestly named the Tyabb Fault, an instability in the Earth’s crust that stretches from Tyabb to Mornington, and which has been the source of countless small tremors in the region. It was to prove a more apt name than he anticipated: closer examination of the fault in the Twentieth Century would show beyond all doubt that Australia had existed prior to 4004 BC – a discovery that Paulos Tyabb’s efforts only made easier.
Tyabb must have had some presentiment of this, as his only other legacy suggests. Like the first, it was inadvertant, and possibly the opposite of what he intended, but Tyabb’s remaining years, spent camped out near the Fault drinking heavily, and subjecting all who visited his campsite to angry rants, escalating in the face of any disagreement to howled invective and violence, inspired the founders of the township named for the Fault to declare their area a dry zone, and even today, it has a lack of pubs that many Australians find uncomfortable.
Suburbs near Tyabb: