- For more legends: The 14 best short legends for all ages.
20 mythological beings from different cultures
Is there any fantasy left in the world?
These fabulous creatures attest that there is, although few believe in them anymore.
Probably one of the most famous mythological beings are the dragons. These large, fire-breathing reptiles appear throughout various traditions, both Western and Eastern .
In the case of Western mythologies, dragons usually have 4 legs, a long tail and two huge wings with which they fly; but according to the Asians, these creatures have elongated serpentine bodies and do not always fly. As for his character, there are dragonsgreedy people who reduce towns to ashes, steal great wealth and guard it with suspicion ; while other times they are represented as wise beings possessing vast knowledge.
Greek mythology tells us that Zeus, the God of Thunder, had many offspring, including the nymphs. These half-divine creatures with the physique of beautiful young women, lived near streams and rivers, where they dedicated themselves to worshiping nature with their songs and dances .
The stories of the Scandinavian sailors who sailed the Great Blue spoke of a gigantic monster that emerged from the black abyss and dragged ships to the bottom with its long tentacles.
The kraken, a legendary animal similar to an octopus or squid of enormous dimensions, has been represented in literary works such as Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea; as well as in other novels and movies.
4. Goblins Small
in size, goblins are mischievous mythological beings with sometimes bad ideas, who like to play riddles and enjoy magical powers. Among the different classes, we find the goblins or goblins, the leprechaun (typical of the area of Ireland) and the gnomes.
Among the most horrifying monstrosities, the Cyclops stand out, one-eyed giants with a predilection for human flesh. Especially relevant wastheir contribution in the Titanomaquias, the wars in which they supported the sons of Uranus (Zeus, Poseidon and Hades) in the usurpation of their father’s throne, in exchange for being released from the dungeons of Tartarus.
Another of the stellar appearances of these mythological beings took place in Homer’s Iliad. In this Greek epic, Odysseus and his soldiers ended up imprisoned on the island of the Cyclopes. One by one, the prisoners were devoured by the giant anthropophagous Polyphemus, until the clever hero came up with a plan: get the cyclops drunk and, when he slept peacefully, stick a stake in his eye to blind him and be able to flee.
- To know more: Greek Gods: 12 names, myths and mythology.
Pegasus was the winged horse, almost always white, that belonged to Zeus himself. Due to his half-divine condition, this steed could only be tamed and ridden by those men with a pure heart who sought to do good.
He is one of those mythological beings that we have known thanks to various pieces of art, as well as literature and cinema, for example in the Disney movie, Hercules (1997).
Of all the fabulous monsters, the Chimera is perhaps the most voracious and hideous-looking. This aberration has been described in different ways depending on the culture in which it appears, but it retains the same elements from the Hellenistic tradition, albeit with some other modification: in essence, this creatureIt is a three-headed and winged hybrid, with traits of a goat, a lion and a dragon .
Depending on the mythology that describes them, the sirens will have a completely different appearance: in the Greco-Roman, they are birds with the head of a woman , whose beautiful song caused men to throw themselves into the sea and drown. In the Odyssey, the hero Ulysses manages to defeat these mythological beings by tying himself to the mast of his ship and making his men plug their ears with wax. As none of them succumb to the spell, the mermaids fall into the sea in despair and perish.
On the other hand, in the Middle Ages, the sirens began to have the appearance by which they are popularly known.: a body whose upper part is that of a beautiful lady and a scaly fish tail. Likewise, they kept the bad arts with which they cajoled the naive sailors to drown and devour them.
Several centuries before Christ, unicorns were already spoken of in the folklore of different places throughout the world.
These legendary animals were very similar to the horse, although the huge horn that curled up from their foreheads gave them away . It was said that with this magical appendage, the unicorn was protected against all kinds of poisons, death spells and, in addition, could decontaminate the waters to make them drinkable
Many ancient stories told about the griffin, a hybrid that soared through the skies that had the head, beak, claws and wings of an eagle, as well as hind legs and a long tail of a lion .
There was also another similar mythological animal called ‘hippogriff’, whose rear half was a horse, not an African feline.
The stories of Ancient Greece are full of mythological beings such as the Minotaur, a monster with the head of a bull and the body of a man who lived locked in a labyrinthfrom the island of Crete. Every nine years, seven women and seven men were offered as a sacrifice to appease the wrath of the beast. The poor chosen ones wandered through the intricate labyrinth, trying to find their way out, but they ended up being part of their menu.
According to the main Greek works, it was Theseus, with the help of Ariadne (daughter of the King of Crete) and a thread tied around his waist so as not to get lost, who managed to kill the Minotaur.
Own the Jewish cosmogony, the Golem is an inanimate mass formed of stone, mud or clay, which comes to life by divine intervention to protect the Hebrews from anti-Semitic enemies. The Golem also obeys the orders of whoever manages to control it, although this makes it dangerous, since he is a being that lacks intelligence and does not question the ethics of his commandments. 14. Centaur
There is no lake monster that instilled as much fear as the Hydra of Lerna. Coming from the Underworld, it was a serpent with many heads (from a minimum of three to thousands) , which regenerated two new ones each time one died or was decapitated. This quality turned this enormous snake into a practically indestructible monster, although Hercules was able to kill it by cutting off all the heads with a blow of the sword .
Skilled with the bow and arrows, centaurs are one of the many mythological beings resulting from a cross between species, specifically a humanoid torso attached to the four legs of a horse .
Like many other creatures in classical Greek and Roman creation stories, centaursthey had to face the gods in fierce battles known as ‘Centauromachies’.
Throughout the different cultural manifestations, we have seen trolls of all sizes and shapes. Originally, these monsters (originating in Norse mythology) were known as humanoids who lived deep in the woods and preferred the darkness of caves, so they were rarely seen during daylight hours.
However, in contemporary fantasy literature and role-playing games, the appearance of trolls varied; though they retained their aversion to sunlight. Thus, they went from being hairy, long-nosed and long-eared freaks, to being twice as tall and strong as a man., qualities that the Dark Forces took advantage of to recruit them as allies.
Spirits of the forest whose longevity and wisdom had given them vast knowledge. It was said that the elves are almost divine mythological beings capable of staying eternally young and experts in all kinds of enchantments.
The basilisk was one of the most putrid animals known to the ancient Hellenes, a snake that had hatched from a chicken egg and was incubated by a toad . According to what they said, he had earned the title of “King of Serpents”, something for which he was easily recognizable thanks to the crown he wore on his head.
The Basilisk was synonymous with “chaos” and “destruction”, because not only He had a deadly poison in his fangs, but he could also kill someone just by looking into his eyes. In addition, with his breath he destroyed the stone and withered the plants, so he had his lair in desolate moors where life did not flourish.
The lycanthrope is perhaps one of the darkest mythological beings along with the vampire. According to the tales of the past, it is about a man who was bitten by a wolf and who, with each full moon, is doomed to transform into a hairy monster, fierce and hungry for blood. .
Anyone who wanders during the night can become the victim of a werewolf, although if they are lucky enough to survive their attack, they will suffer the same curse and need to feed on human flesh.
Race of anthropomorphic giants, fond of kidnapping and devouring the children of the villages they liked to roam. These corpulent horrors have been the main antagonists in many children’s stories to terrify the little ones.
That many mythological beings have their origin in the Greco-Roman tradition is something that we have seen throughout this writing. Our last example is the faun, anthropomorphic creatures with the head of a ram.who dwelled deep in the forests, hunted and were revered as gods of the field for their prophetic abilities.
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