Mythical creatures are known to have fascinated and terrified people over time with their unnatural physiology and deadly powers. People have endured these folk stories for centuries. Various cultures have their own disturbing mythical creatures with fascinating tales. Don’t worry, none of these beasts are real… or are they?
Legendary Mythical Creatures
Wendigos were the man-eating monsters from near the Great Lakes. Their bodies were abnormally thin with their ribs sticking out through their skin and their eyes were sunken deep into their sockets. They looked really pale like they had died of starvation and then walking around the world after decomposing in their grave. A wendigo was never full. It would devour men and eat their flesh. Every bite would make them bigger and hungrier until they grew into giants towering trees.
Qalupalik is a water monster who could only be seen for a flash of a moment before it was gone. It would come out from the water in a flash and dig its long nails into its victim’s flesh and drag them back with it to the water. The victims could only catch a glimpse of the monster before they were prey to it. It looked somewhat like a woman who had turned green and bloated because of the sea.
The legend of Minotaur emerged with the sacrifice of fourteen Athenian children who were sent into a Labyrinth in Crete. With every step the children took, they knew that they were getting closer to the Minotaur. It is said that Athens decided lots of children that would be sacrificed in the Labyrinth. The king of Crete demanded the sacrifice of those children as retribution for the death of his son at the hands of the people of Crete. The minotaur would always find the kids and tear them apart to devour their bodies raw.
The Basilisk was the most venomous creature of its time. It could kill anyone with a mere glance and even if you would wait until it was gone, it would leave trails of poison behind. Nothing could kill him.
It so happened that a five-year-old girl went missing from her house in Warsaw in 1587. Her mother and her maid searched the whole town for her but to vain. 30 years later, the ruins of many girls were found in an abandoned house underground. The mother stood on the steps as the maid descended them only to glance into the eyes of the beast: Basilisk.
Nian was the immortal beast of ancient China. No one could kill it nor could time make it go away. All people could do was to shut their doors and windows and lock themselves up and pray that the Nian didn’t show up at their doorstep. It looked like a lion but with a flat face with two horns on its head and a sharp set of teeth that hung from his mouth. It was bigger than an elephant and for years it terrorized the rural lands of China.
The chimera was a deadly convulsion of beasts fused into a single body with each beast protruding at one end. This creature was immensely powerful who could breathe out a blaze powerful enough to incinerate a man to ashes. Greek mythology states that Chimera was the twisted offspring of Typhon (snake) and his half-human bride.
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Grootslang is known to be one of the first creatures that god made according to a South African legend. God created a powerful serpent with a witty mind that could outsmart any human and a body bigger than an elephant. It turned out to be a mistake as the dangers of creating such a creature that could coil its body around anyone and take their life was unknown to god. They tried everything to exterminate the creature. They split the powers of the Grootslang and dispersed them across two species: the elephant and the snake. Although, one Grootsland survived somehow and became the mother of a new species of creatures that were a deadly error.
Hydra was a multi-headed creature whose blood was filled with venom; so much venom that it breathed poison. No one could live long enough to have a good glance at the Hydra. Anyone who would inhale the air near Hydra would have his lungs filled with acid that ate them from inside out. If anyone made it through the air, they would find themselves in front of the nine-headed dragon. Nothing could kill a Hydra. If you cut its heads, it ends up growing more of them. You had to set it on fire to keep the head from re-growing but its ultimate head was immortal so a Hydra could never die.
Sphinx is usually adorned with the Pharaoh’s crown and has the body of a lion and the head of a man. These creatures were powerful beasts to the Egyptians. Their faces were carved in the likeness of a ruler that showed that their kings were half-lion, half-man deities. They were considered to be evil with serpent’s tails and wings and intelligently preyed on their victims.
Pulgasari was created by a Buddhist monk. When an evil governor ordered every Buddhist monk to be sent to prison, he hid in his sister’s wall closet. To pass the time in hiding, he made a little creature out of steamed rice grains. To his shock, it came to life; and seeing it hungry, the kindly monk fed it the only thing he could find: steel needles.
Pulgasari grew with every needle he ate. Soon, he was larger than the building itself but still hungry and still devouring every piece of metal he could find. He terrorized the city. His misshapen, monstrous body, it’s said, looked like a gigantic, stretched-out bear, its ears and nose flopping down like an elephant’s. Sharp, pointed needles poked through every inch of his skin.
at evening time, a cloth-like object about 1 tan in the area (about 10.6 meters in length by 30 centimeters in width) would flutter around attack people. They are said to wrap around people’s necks and cover people’s faces and suffocate people to death, and in other tales, it is said that wrapped cloths would spin around and around and quickly come flying, wrap around people’s bodies, and take them away to the skies.
There is a story where one man hurrying to his home at night when a white cloth came and wrapped around his neck, and when he cut it with his wakizashi (short sword), the cloth disappeared, and remaining on his hands was some blood.
A fantastical giant wolf from the barren lands of the Arctic, the Amarok is said to hunt alone in contrast to the pack tendencies of its much smaller brethren. Many believe the legend of this lone wolf actually comes from real-time ecological periods when the untraveled deep woods were indeed populated by larger varieties of wolves (like the better known dire wolves).
Some also draw parallels of this beast with the Waheela giant wolves that supposedly inhabited the northern parts of Canada.
The Aqrabuamelu or the Scorpion Men are mentioned in many myths written in the Akkadian language, with the most famous descriptions being in the Babylonian Epic of Gilgamesh. They were said to be guardians of the sun god Shamash and were found around his abode at the Mashu mountains.
In terms of portrayal, the Aqrabuamelu are described to have astronomical proportions, with their heads supposedly touching the sky and their mere glances resulting in death. However, they were also depicted as nominally benevolent beings who warned travelers of any danger in their future journeys.
In terms of conventional zoology, all of the three known species of vampire bats are actually native to the New World. So, it really doesn’t come as a surprise that it is Mayan mythology that brings forth the legend of a mythical vampire creature. But the fascinating part is – the Camazotz’s legend does have many similarities to the well-known vampire stories of the later eras.
For example, the Camazotz has been described as a purely evil entity with the sole aim to cause terror. In fact, the legends pertain to the folkloric narrative when the Mayan Gods deliberately let loose the monster from its prison so as to destroy the entire race of Mayans – which would have made way for a new order of humans. This was supposedly done as a punishment to the existing civilization when the people revolted against the bloodthirsty divine will that demanded human sacrifices in return for protection.
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16. Erymanthian Boar
Greek Mythological traditions have brought us a host of exalted creatures, including Kraken, Cyclops, Minotaur, Manticore, and Fury. But the enormous one-ton Erymanthian Boar has seemed to elude pop-cultural references for quite some time now. Residing in the vicinity of Mount Erymanthus, the boar was fabled because of its sharp yet strong canine teeth that were used to gore and impale unfortunate victims who had mistakenly wandered to the ominous location.
Oddly enough, the Erymanthian Boar was considered to be a repugnant form of the Greek god Apollo, who had changed himself into a monster to punish Adonis. But unfortunately for the ginormous creature, the demi-god Hercules successfully captured the boar – as outlined by one of his twelve heroic labors. Most dangerous among the legendary mythical creatures.
An intimidating blend of two different predators, the griffin was said to possess the body and back legs of a lion as well as the wings, beak, and talons of a hawk or eagle. Tales of the flying behemoths most likely originated in the Middle East, but they later became a popular motif in ancient Greek literature.
The griffin legend was later picked up in the 14th century in a largely fictional travelogue by Sir John Mandeville, who described the creatures as “more strong than eight lions” and “a hundred eagles.” Griffins were revered for their intelligence and dedication to monogamy—they supposedly mated for life—but they could also be ferocious. The beasts ripped flesh with their razor-sharp talons, and they were also known to fly their victims to great heights before dropping them to their deaths.
According to researcher Adrienne Mayor, legends of the griffin could be inspired by early encounters with dinosaur fossils. Scythian nomads in central Asia may have stumbled across the bones of the dinosaur protoceratops and mistook them for a bird-like creature, resulting in the myth of a terrifying flying beast.
Medusa was the only mortal of the three Gorgon sisters—Medusa, Stheno, and Euryale. She used to be a beautiful maiden, but then Poseidon raped her in the temple of Athena. The enraged Athena turned Medusa into a hideous creature with the face of an ugly woman, and snakes for hair. But worse still, anyone who dared look her in the eye would be turned to stone.
In her despair, she became as gruesome as her outward appearance. She fled to Africa, where young snakes dropped from her hair. According to the Greeks, this was how the continent became inhabited by many poisonous snakes. Medusa was finally slain by Perseus. It is said that when Perseus cut off her head from the blood were born two creatures—Chrysaor and Pegasus. Medusa is one of the most famous and among the legendary mythical creatures. Has been featured in many tv shows and movies.
According to Greek mythology, Cerberus is the three-headed dog that guards the entrance to the Underworld, where the dead are allowed to enter but no one is allowed to leave. Apart from its three heads, Cerberus has the tail of a serpent, a mane of snakes and the claws of a lion.
His three heads are supposed to denote the past, present, and future, as well as birth, youth and old age. Depending on the source, Cerberus is described as having deadly breath, venomous saliva and razor-sharp teeth.
So here you have it, some of the most famous and legendary mythical creatures that are found in books, novels, movies, and tv shows. There are some very common legendary mythical creatures like the unicorn, vampires, werewolf, fairy, mermaid, yeti, griffin and many more. But these were the most uncommon and rarely known legendary mythical creatures.