A mystical, mythical, or legendary creature is a creature from mythology or folklore (often well-known as "fabulous creatures" in historical literature).Examples of legendary creatures can be discovered in middle ages bestiaries. Many mythical creatures have actually supernatural strength (some good, part evil), powers that also in modern times have no physics explanation. In these cases the creatures bear much more similarity to spiritual beings, such as angels, in religious thought. Often legendary creatures concerned symbolize vices or virtues, or the power of good or evil. In plenty of cases, their actual existence was an additional to the ethical of the story in which castle featured.

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Legendary creatures have regularly been incorporated into heraldry and also architectural decoration. This is particularly the instance with those symbolizing an excellent strength or various other power. In modern-day times, plenty of legendary creatures show up prominently in fantasy fiction. These creatures space often declared to have supernatural strength or understanding or to guard part object of great value.

Mythical creatures have been part of human society throughout the periods and across all components of the world. They are not just the "talking" creatures, animals able to interact using language and also rather clever, together in Aesop"s fables. Mythical creatures are in themselves beyond normal reality, frequently composites the existing animals or animals and humans.


Some of this creatures may have actually existed in the past, and also many believers have developed fossils and other evidence for their previous existence. Some, such as the Loch Ness Monster or Sasquatch, proceed to it is in "sighted" and also sought come this day. When the beginnings of this fabulous creatures space varied, and often disputed, they have actually played far-ranging roles in person society. They have been educational, aided parents to discipline their children and also to inculcate cultural values and norms, and also have served to wake up the imagination and desire the is ingrained in human being nature come experience an ext than this physical world. Even if it is they important exist in physical form is indeed secondary to their visibility in the psychic of for this reason many civilization throughout the world and also through history.

Origins


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Some mythical creatures — such as the dragon or the unicorn — have actually their origin in traditional mythology and also were at once believed to be genuine creatures. Greek mythology, for example, features numerous creatures associated to the gods—harpies to be beasts sent out by Zeus to exact punishment. In mythology and also folklore the people over "wonder beasts" have the right to be uncovered representing the strength of an excellent and evil, the virtues and also vices of person nature, and the temptations right into which humans fall. Often incorporated right into stories because that children, "fairy tales" and also the like, this "fabulous creatures" were more real in what they represented than in their physical form.

Others were based on real creatures, originating in garbled account of travelers" tales; such together the vegetables Lamb the Tartary, i m sorry supposedly grew tethered to the planet (and was actually a kind of fern).

Conversely, part creatures downplayed as simply storytelling, have actually been rediscovered and also found to be actual in recent times, such as the huge squid.


Mythical creatures are often chimeras, created of parts of two or much more animals. Some of these space the mix of a human being and one or much more other creatures. Because that example, a centaur is a mix of a man and horse, a minotaur of a man and also bull. It have to be detailed that these were not always intended to be taken as literal juxtapositions of parts from different species. Lacking a typical morphological vocabulary, classical and medieval scholars and travelers would attempt to describe unusual pets by comparing them point-for-point with familiar: the giraffe, because that example, was called cameleopard, and thought of together a biology half-camel, and half-leopard. In other cases, the beast was simply an exaggeration that made for interesting story-telling the adventures from far-off lands.

Many mythical creatures have supernatural strength (some good, part evil), powers that also in modern times have actually no physics explanation. In these situations the creatures bear much more similarity to spiritual beings, such as angels, in spiritual thought.

Cryptozoology

Cryptozoology (from Greek: κρυπτός, kryptós, "hidden"; ζῷον, zôon, "animal"; and also λόγος, logos, "knowledge" or "study" – c.f. Zoology) is the find for animals believed come exist, but for i m sorry conclusive evidence is missing. Among these are had some that the legend creatures. The field likewise includes the search for known pets believed to be extinct. If cryptozoologists strive for legitimacy – few of them are respected researchers in other fields – and also discoveries of formerly unknown pets are often subject to great attention, however, cryptozoology has actually not been completely embraced by the clinical community.

Most criticism indigenous the clinical mainstream is command at proponents for the visibility of the more famous "cryptids" (like Bigfoot, the Yeti, and also the Loch Ness Monster), whose presence remain unproven, despite plenty of purported sightings, and is taken into consideration highly i can not qualify by scientists, biologists, and zoologists alike. In fact, countless of the sightings of such creatures were uncovered to be hoaxes, which more discredits cryptozoology.

Types

There room many species of mythical creatures, complying with are the main departments with some examples of each.

Birds and also serpents

BasiliskMost often shown as a reptile, the basilisk is understood to it is in king that serpents. One of the most feared that all mythological beasts, a basilisk is claimed to have the power to reason death v a single glance. In this facet it bears similarity come the Gorgons that Greek mythology.
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Chinese dragonAlso appearing in various other East eastern cultures, that is also sometimes dubbed the asian (or Eastern) dragon. The Chinese dragon is easily recognizable because that its lengthy serpentine body that is normally wingless, and its humanlike face, finish with beard. The asian dragon is generally considered a supernatural or spiritual symbol of heavenly power.DragonTypically portrayed as a large and an effective Serpent or other reptile it has actually magical or spirituality qualities, the most famed being the capability to breathe fire from your mouths. An ext often than no dragons were considered malevolent, connected with evil supernatural forces and the natural enemy of humanity.
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Feng-huangSometimes referred to as the Chinese Phoenix, the feng-huang is a prize of summer and also spiritual balance, and in addition to the dragon, qilin and tortoise, is among the most high revered creatures in Chinese tradition. Its appearance is claimed to suggest some good event, or come bear testimony to the greatness of a ruler. It is often viewed as the sacred union the male and female, Feng being male and also Huang female, but additionally the Feng-Huang can be regarded as a female reality in relation through the male dragon.FirebirdIn Slavic folklore, the Firebird is a magical glow bird native a faraway land. Usually described as a large bird with majestic plumage the glows brightly create red, orange, and yellow light, the Firebird is both a blessing and a bringer of death to the captor. The feather of the Firebird continue glowing once removed, and are may be to administer light for a big room. Thus, the Firebird is lot prized and often the thing of a daunting quest in fairy tales.PhoenixCharacterized together a bird v brightly fancy plumage, after ~ a long life the phoenix die in a fire of its very own making just to rise again indigenous the ashes.ZizA gigantic bird in Jewish mythology, the ziz is the equivalent in the waiting of the Behemoth (giant creature of land) and also Leviathan (giant biology of water). The Ziz is stated to be large enough to have the ability to block out the sunlight with its wingspan.

Lake monsters

Lake monster or loch monster is the name offered to big unknown pets which have actually purportedly been sighted in, and/or are thought to dwell in freshwaters, although your existence has never been evidenced scientifically. They are generally believed not come exist by traditional zoology and also allied sciences, and also are principally the subject of investigations by followers of cryptozoology. Sightings room often similar to part sea monsters.

Of these, Nessie the Loch Ness is almost certainly the many famous, and also is advocated heavily in the area"s tourist industry.


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Loch Ness Monster (Oilpainting)

Other well known lake monsters include:

Champ of Lake Champlain in north America

Monstrous creatures


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Behemoth and Leviathan, an sculpture by william Blake
BehemothBehemoth is the primal unconquerable monster the the land, together Leviathan is the primal monster the the waters that the sea and also Ziz the primordial monster that the sky. There is a legend that the Leviathan and also the Behemoth shall organize a battle at the end of the world. The two will lastly kill every other, and the surviving guys will feast on their meat.LeviathanLeviathan is a Biblical sea monster, described in sections of the Old Testament. The is pertained to as the monster that the waters, if the Behemoth and the Ziz are regarded as monster of the earth and the air, respectively.

Chimeras and also hybrids

In Greek mythology, the Chimera is a monstrous biology that was created of several different animals. Other hybrids exist together combinations of humans with pets and/or birds, and a range of humanoid creatures.

AnimalsCatoblepasThe catoblepas is a legendary creature indigenous Ethiopia, described first by Pliny the Elder and later through Claudius Aelianus. That head is constantly pointing downwards, therefore its name which means "to look at downwards" in Greek. The creature is claimed to have the head that a hog and the human body of a buffalo through scales ~ above its back. Its rigid or breath might either turn civilization into stone, or death them. The catoblepas is regularly thought come be based on real-life encounters with wildebeest.GriffinThe griffin has the body of a lion and also the head and wings of one eagle. Seen as guardians of secretly hidden wealth, the griffin progressed from a ferocious pet of classical times to become a price of strength and also valor.HippogriffA Hippogriff is a chimeric legend creature, supposedly the offspring the a griffin and a horse, especially a male griffin and also a mare (female horse).
PegasusPegasus is the renowned winged equine of Greek mythology. Riding ~ above Pegasus Bellerophon had the ability to defeat the chimera. However, Bellerophon tried to fly to mountain Olympus, the realm of the Gods, top top Pegasus" back. Pegasus threw Bellerophon from his back for such blasphemous behavior, and was awarded his own place in mountain Olympus.UnicornThe unicorn, usually portrayed with the body of a horse, however with a single—usually spiral—horn growing out that its forehead, is one of the many revered mythical beasts of all time. Showing up in plenty of cultures, the unicorn has come to be a symbol of purity and also beauty, and is among the few mythical creatures not linked with violence, danger, and fear.
Vegetable Lamb of TartaryThe vegetable Lamb the Tartary (Agnus scythicus or Planta Tartarica Barometz) is a mythical tree of main Asia, believed to flourish sheep together its fruit. The lamb were linked to the tree by an umbilical cord and also grazed the land around the plant. As soon as all the grazing product was gone, both the plant and also sheep died. In the middle ages period, the tree was claimed to explain the presence of cotton.Part-humanAdletThe Adlet (or Erqigdlet) in the Inuit mythology room a gyeongju of fabulous creatures with dogs" legs and human bodies. The lower part of the body is choose that the a dog, the upper component is like a man"s. Inuit in Labrador and Hudson Bay additionally use this ax to refer to inland indigenous American tribes, yet the Inuit indigenous Greenland and also Baffin Land, who have actually no such neighbors, to the Adlet as part-human part-dog.CentaurIn Greek mythology, the centaurs are a gyeongju of mythical creatures the are half human and half horse. Lock are portrayed as the head and also torso the a man with his belt joined come the horse"s withers, whereby the horse"s neck would be.FaunIn Greek and Roman mythology fauns are woodland spirits the may assist or hinder humans. Lock are fifty percent human - half goat, human being from the head come the waist, except the addition of goat"s horns, and also with the lower body of a goat. They space often associated with the Greek god Pan and also satyrs.GorgonIn Greek mythology, the Gorgons were three vicious female mythical creatures that lived on one island and also possessed the capacity to turn a human being to rock by looking in ~ them. They own both beautiful and also hideous traits, the most famous being their head the coiled snakes rather of hair. That the three, Medusa is perhaps the most famous of the Gorgons, being the only among the 3 who to be mortal. She, like numerous such creatures, met her doom in ~ the hand of a hero aided by the gods.
HarpyHarpies in Greek mythology were winged-beasts the were sent down by Zeus to punish, most famously the prophet Phineus. Like numerous other second-tier Greek creatures, the Harpies were more prominent in art works than in supernatural literature, and while they might occasionally be used in popular culture today, lock are many widely remembered because that their component in the legendary adventures of Jason and the Argonauts.ManticoreThe manticore of central Asia is a sort of chimera, that is occasionally said come be related to the Sphinx. It was regularly feared as being violent and feral, but it was not till the manticore was incorporated into europe mythology throughout the Middle eras that it happened regarded as an omen of evil.Mermaid(mer is the French word meaning "sea.") A mermaid is one aquatic creature with the head and torso of human female and also a fish-like tail. The male variation of a mermaid is known as a "merman," and also the gender-neutral plural is merfolk or merpeople. Merfolk appear in a plethora of societies worldwide—legends often tell the mermaids singing to sailors, enchanting them, and luring castle to their death.MinotaurIn Greek mythology, the Minotaur was component man and component bull. It was maintained by King Minos of Crete in the facility of a "labyrinth," sophisticated maze-like building and construction designed by the architect Daedalus specifically to hold the Minotaur. Follow to legend, the Minotaur forced human sacrifices on a continuous basis. Theseus volunteered to it is in sacrificed, and also with the assist of Daedalus, had the ability to slay the Minotaur and escape the maze.SirenIn Greek mythology the Sirens to be creatures who lived ~ above a far island surrounded by rocky cliffs. The Sirens lured passing sailors by your singing, which would certainly enchant any type of sailor listening come the allude that he would shed all will-power, and crash his delivery upon the Sirens" rocky shore and also cliffs, killing all the guys aboard.
SphinxThe sphinx has had a long history of secrecy and also intrigue, being perceived by numerous cultures as guardians the knowledge and also as speak in riddles. The sphinx different in physics features, however is practically always a composite of 2 or more animals, and some versions room part-human part-animal. Whatever the form, the sphinx embodies paradox, beautiful and also alluring, she is also dangerous even deadly; encountering a sphinx is described as confusing and also destructive and also requires great caution as soon as approaching.TenguTengu ("heavenly dogs") room a class of superordinary creatures discovered in Japanese folklore, art, theater, literature, and spiritual mythology. This Japanese spirits were originally thought to take the develops of birds of prey, such the they room traditionally portrayed with both human and also avian characteristics. In the more quickly sources, tengu were actually pictured with beaks, but, in later on depictions, these attributes have often been anthropomorphized right into unnaturally lengthy noses. These crafty (oftentimes dangerous) bird-men to be long organized to it is in disruptive demons and also harbingers of battle (much prefer their Chinese prototypes). End time, this overtly negative evaluation was softened somewhat, as the Buddhists concerned acknowledge the renowned conception of this spirits together morally-ambivalent protectors the the mountains and also forests, that were as likely to carry windfalls as catastrophes to people intruding upon your domains.

Humanoid creatures

BansheeA half an hour is one of many spirits that Irish and Scottish folklore. Banshees space omens that death and messengers native the immortality who would certainly appear and wail under the home windows of a home where a human was around to die.BrownieA brownie is a legendary family members spirit popular in folklore roughly Scotland and Northern England. Castle are stated to inhabit dwellings and help in tasks roughly the house. However, they do not prefer to be seen and also will only work at night, traditionally in exchange for tiny gifts or food. They normally abandon the house if their presents are called payments, or if the owner of the residence misuse them.DwarfA dwarf, appearing most typically in norseman mythology, is humanoid in form, yet short and also stocky. They are connected with the Earth and are frequently said to it is in miners, engineers, and also craftsmen.ElfThe elf is discovered in norseman mythology and also still survives in northern European folklore. Elves deserve to be portrayed as youthful-seeming men and women of an excellent beauty living in forests and also other organic places, or as small trickster creatures. In early on folklore, elves were generally possessed of mythological abilities, frequently related come disease, i m sorry they might use for great (healing) or ill (sickening) depending upon their connection toward the human they to be affecting. They likewise had part power over time, in the they might entrap human beings with their music and dance. Part elves were small, fairy-like creatures, maybe invisible, conversely, others appeared human-sized. Generally they space long-lived, if not immortal.
FairyA fairy is a soul or superordinary being, based on the fae of medieval Western european folklore and romance. Periodically the ax is provided to describe any type of mystical biology of humanoid appearance, consisting of goblins or gnomes, and at various other times just to describe a specific kind of more ethereal creature. Many folktales space told of fairies, and they appear as characters in story from medieval tales that chivalry, to victor fairy tales, and also up to the present day in modern literature.GnomeThe gnome is a class of creatures that has actually taken on countless different meanings, but most usually refers come very small people, often men, the live in dark places, especially underground, in the depths of forests, or an ext recently in gardens. Many European ethnic teams have had actually some type of gnome legends with local variations, part helping plants and animals, some helping humans, part reclusive ones staying underground or in dark forests, probably hoarding treasure, and others communicating mischievously or even harmfully through humans. Modern traditions portray gnomes together small, old guys wearing sharp hats and living in forests and gardens. Regardless of varying forms, gnomes have the usual attribute of gift able to move through the earth as conveniently as human beings move atop it.GoblinThe goblin is of Germanic and British folklore, often thought to be the angry or just mischievous the contrary of the an ext benevolent faeries and spirits of lore. Over there is no single version the a goblin; the ax is an ext generic because that those little creatures that live in dark places and also cause trouble, but in much more recent years the ax has involved refer come creatures that live in caves and also terrorize children. Regardless of local variations, goblins have nearly universally been defined as troublemakers. They are either merely tricksters and also mischievous, favor immature children, or actually malevolent, evil-doers, danger to human being beings.GremlinA gremlin is an English folkloric creature, generally depicted together mischievous and also mechanically oriented, v a particular interest in aircraft. Legends worrying gremlins arose from airmen who declared that failure in their craft were because of sabotage by gremlins.
LeprechaunThe many famous, recognizable, and misrepresented prize of ireland mythology is the leprechaun. They have origins stretching earlier to before the arrival of the Celts. The leprechaun has progressed in renowned conception from a types of faerie come an practically cartoonish caricature the Irish society that deserve to both celebrate and also belittle the Irish.NixThe Nix is the most famous term for the shapeshifting water spirits of Germanic and Nordic folklore. Often times they show up as humans, and also are sometimes attached with such similar creatures together the Greek Sirens or the europe Mermaids; however, more often than no they are closer come nymphs or sprites in both demeanor and also appearance. The Nix might take different forms, yet their message is one of warning that impending fatality by drowning.NymphIn Greek mythology, a nymph is any type of member the a huge class of woman nature entities, either bound to a details location or land form, such as mountains, groves, springs, rivers, valleys, and also cool grottos, or joining the retinue the a god, such together Dionysus, Hermes, or Pan, or a goddess, usually Artemis. Nymphs to be the constant target of lusty satyrs, their male counterpart. Worshipped by the old Greeks and also said to come from the earth, castle were checked out to be care givers of the land and life in general. Although not immortal, they lived incredibly long lives.
OgreAn ogre is a large and hideous humanoid monster often uncovered in fairy tales and folklore. While generally depicted as an unintelligent and clumsy enemy, it is attention in that it feeds ~ above its human being victims. The idea the the ogre has been used as a an approach of instilling great behavior in kids by arguing that poor behavior attracted and also excited ogres, that would climate attack, kidnap, or also eat the perpetrator.OrcOrc refers to miscellaneous tough and also warlike humanoids in various fantasy settings, an especially in the story of Middle-earth written by J. R. R. Tolkien and also derivative fictions. Frequently barbaric and also unintelligent, Orcs space usually seen as the most war-mongering and also violent of all mythical creatures.PixiePixies room creatures the English folklore. Lock are thought about to be specifically concentrated in the locations the downs and also moors the Devon and also Cornwall. Choose sprites and also other different varieties of English faeries, pixies are often considered mischievous, yet not overtly malevolent creatures of nature. Your most generally depicted image is a wingless and also pointy-eared fairy-esque biology dressed in green.SasquatchSasquatch, colloquially recognized as "Bigfoot," is a primate-like pet believed to inhabit the forests of phibìc America, although civilization claim to have sighted the creature in every part of the joined States and most of Canada. Akin to the infamous Yeti the the Himalayan Mountains, Sasquatch lore dates earlier to the earliest native American tribes.
TrollThe troll is of Scandinavian origin but has global popularity in the realms of legend, folklore, and fantasy. One of the most anthropomorphic fantasy creatures, trolls have actually been illustrated in vastly different ways. Generally taken into consideration somewhat dangerous, whether through their larger than human being size and strength or through much more magical means, trolls room recognizably similar to human beings.ValkyrieIn norse mythology the valkyries are a organize of female figures who decide that will die in battle. The valkyries bring their chosen warriors come the afterlife hall of the slain, Valhalla, i beg your pardon is ruled over by the god Odin. Over there they come to be the deathless einherjar ("lone fighters") all set to fight in ~ Odin"s side throughout the eschaton (Ragnarök).VampireVampires are folkloric beings that subsist on the life force of a human being being and/or animal. In many cases, vampires are represented as reanimated corpses that feed by draining and also consuming the blood of living beings. Bram Stoker"s Dracula has actually arguably been the definitive variation of the vampire in popular fiction.WerewolfA werewolf in folklore is a person who shape-shifts right into a Gray wolf or wolf-like creature, either purposely, by utilizing magic, or after being inserted under a curse, regularly at the time of a complete moon. Provided that they to be a risk to people, story often focus on techniques of revealing werewolves, protecting oneself from them, and also killing them.WendigoThe Wendigo is a malevolent cannibalistic spirit into which humans could transform, or which can possess humans, appearing in Algonquian mythology. Humans who you are bothering yourself in cannibalism were at details risk, and the legend shows up to reinforce this practice as taboo.YetiThe yeti, additionally known together the "Abominable Snowman," is supposed ape-like animal said come inhabit the Himalayan region of Nepal and also Tibet. Many mainstream scientists, explorers, and also writers consider current proof of the yeti"s existence to it is in weak and better explained together a hoax, legend, or misidentification of recognized species.

Other


CerberusCerberus is a multi-headed (usually three-headed) dog. In Greek and also Roman mythology that guards the gateways of Hades, to prevent those who have crossed the river Styx from ever escaping.ChupacabraThe chupacabra (from the Spanish chupar "to suck" and also cabra "goat", accurate "goat sucker"), is a legendary cryptid rumored to inhabit parts of the Americas. The name comes from the animal"s reported habit that attacking and drinking the blood of livestock, particularly goats. The is supposedly a hefty creature, the dimension of a little bear, with a heat of spines getting to from the neck come the base of the tail.KelpieThe kelpie is a superordinary shape-shifting water equine from Celtic folklore the is believed to haunt the rivers and also lochs that Scotland and also Ireland. It typically has grayish black color fur, and will appear to be a lost pony, however can be figured out by its constantly dripping mane. That skin is favor that that a seal yet is deathly cold come the touch.

References

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