Mythological creatures exist between reality and imagination. Do they exist or do they not? We bring you seven creatures from mythology that humans believed exist. Some are even parts of parables that seem to be real life encounters.
Stories about mythological creatures exist since ancient times in religious texts, folklore and other mythological literature around the world. These mythical creatures have inspired literature, performance arts, cinema and even our most favorite toys. Humanity hasn’t stopped creating mythology—the most recent example is the “extraordinary world” that the movie Avatar portrayed.
So while the humanity around the world keeps admiring mythology, here’s our list of the seven creatures that left us awestruck.
This majestic creature appears in ancient texts such as the Bible and other medieval texts. They are not found in Greek mythology but rather in accounts of natural history. Ancient Greek writers were convinced of the existence of unicorns, located in India, a distant and mysterious realm for the Greeks. Roman historians also believed in the reality of unicorns.
More interestingly, in recent years a unicorn cook book was found at the British Library. “After recipes for herring, tripe and codswallop (fish stew, a popular dish in the Middle Ages) comes that beginning “Taketh one unicorne”. The recipe calls for the beast to be marinaded in cloves and garlic, and then roasted on a griddle,” mentioned an article on a medieval manuscripts blog. So probably unicorns did exist in the past!
Bonnacons are believed to inhabit the North Region of the Republic Macedonia. It is said to have the general appearance of a bull but with the mane of a horse, horns curved back, and a neck a bit longer than that of the average bull, according to the mythical creature’s guide.
“It is said that if it was attacked it would run away, leaving behind its trail of fire dung. This fire dung attack could set fire to trees and shrubs and of course scorch the fire of hunting dogs if they were unlucky enough to touch it,” the guide said.
3. Vegetable Lamb
This legendary lamb is believed to be both a living plant and a true animal, stated in Henry Lee’s book, The Vegetable Lamb of Tartary (1887). According to Henry, some writers believed the lamb to be the fruit of a plant while others believed it to be a living part of the plant.
A popular myth of the middle ages, the vegetable lamb was believed to come from Tartary, an expansive region of Europe and Central Asia. “The origin of the myth has been traced all the way back to 436, first mentioned as Adne Hasadeh (meaning ‘lords of the field’) in a Jewish text called Talmud Ierosolimitanum, or Jerusalem Talmund, by Rabbi Jochanan. Like wolves, hunters loved the Vegetable Lamb for its delicate flesh that tasted like fish and blood as sweet as honey,” said an article in Scientific American.
This incredible gigantic sea creature called Aspidochelone is described to have a back like an island and a body similar to a turtle. “According to the legend which appears in most of texts mentioning the aspidochelone, sailors thought that the mythical animal was an island, landed there and then built a fire to cook their food. With time the whale dived into the depths to cool itself – dragging the ship down with it and drowning the sailors,” mentioned an article in the Ancient Origins.
Thus people started to believe that the Aspidochelone rises to the surface from the depths of the sea, it entices sailors to land on its huge island-like shell, traps and drowns sailors to devour them.
Accounts of seamen’ encounters with the massive sea creature appear in the text of the Physiologus, medieval bestiaries, the Book of Jonah, Pinocchio, and the Baron Munchausen stories.
This horned rabbit in North American folklore is described as a jackrabbit with antelope horns. Although many ‘jackalope’ we see today are grafted with deer antlers onto a jackrabbit using taxidermy skills, reported sightings of this mythical creature can be found since the 17th century.
According to Legends of America, Jackalope also called ‘warrior rabbit’ is one of the rarest animal on earth and is a cross between the now extinct pygmy-deer and a species of killer-rabbit. “However, occasional sightings of this rare creature continue to occur, with small pockets of jackalope populations persisting in the American West,” the website said.
6. De Loys’ Ape
The De Loys’ Ape is allegedly a large animal reported by Swiss explorer François De Loys. The only evidence for this new species is this photograph. This controversial discovery is now usually regarded as a spider monkey species, although its size reported is much larger with 1.57-meter tall while the largest spider monkeys are just over one meter tall. Others considered it’s a hoax.
Dragons are legendary creature mentioned in the myths of many cultures in the world. They are one of the most popular mythological creatures in the world today. Dragon tales are found in many cultures of the world including those of India, Europe and China. This photo shows a European dragon which is often depicted as a reptilian creature with four legs and a set of wings. Being able to fly and spew fire, this creature is sometimes described as useful and protective and sometimes as an evil creature in ancient stories.
“The belief in dragons was based not just in legend but also in hard evidence — or so it seemed. For millennia no one knew what to make of the giant bones that were occasionally unearthed around the globe, and dragons seemed a logical choice for people who had no knowledge of dinosaurs,” said an article in the Live Science.
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