Contrary to popular belief, the boomerang did not originate in Australia. Historical traces of boomerangs have been found throughout the world. Boomerangs are considered by many to be the earliest "heavier-than-air" flying machines invented by human beings. Australian Aboriginal boomerangs have been found as old as ten thousand years old, but older hunting boomerangs have been discovered throughout Europe. The famed King Tutankhamen of Egypt had an extensive collection of boomerangs over 2000 years ago.
Although historians are not certain of the exact origin of the first boomerang, it is speculated that the boomerang was developed from a flattened throwing stick, used by early hunters. The returning boomerang was most likely discovered by accident by an early hunter trying to fine tune a hunting stick. The modern boomerang is most commonly associated with Australia because it has been preserved in its highest state of development by Australian Aborigines. Since the Australian Aborigines are one of the few cultures in history never to develop a bow and arrow, their heavy dependence on the boomerang for hunting has ensured its preservation.
In Australian culture, there is some confusion as to if boomerangs were used for hunting. There clearly were "throwing sticks" used in aboriginal societies for hunting and some scholars do not think that boomerangs were generally used as a waepon or for hunting. Other scholars note reports of tribes fighting with boomerangs and boomerangs being used tom help start fires, dig in the desert and a range of purposes related to survival in the desert. One can watch this video and see clearly that at least some hunting boomerang uses were developed in aboriginal culture:
UMMM...Lunch! Roast Bat for breakfast!
The modern boomerang has been refined over time to state of the art boomerang materials such as paxolin and carbon fibre. The use of finnish birch wood has been found to be useful for more durable wooden boomerangs. Aircraft windfoil design programs and Computer Aided Drawing programs are used to optimize flight characteristics. Modern competition boomerangs can stay aloft for up to several minutes time and distances over 200 yards.