As we probably know, most gods look like humans e.g. Zeus, Osiris. I am interested to find out if there are any gods that are a different species than humans. The only god that I found so far is Ryujin, the Japanese god of the sea, who is in the shape of a dragon.

Are there any other gods like Ryujin?

Note: Gods,like Ganesha and Ra, who have animal heads, are not counted.

  • Is the Norse World-Serpent a god? en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J%C3%B6rmungandr Commented Aug 25, 2016 at 9:55
  • 4
    Jörmungand was not worshipped, and was not acknowledged as a god in the mythology. He does not even has a realm of influence typically associated with a god (like his sister Hel has). Jörmungand is a cosmological being, but not a god.
    – andejons
    Commented Aug 25, 2016 at 11:19
  • 3
    "are not counted" - I'm pretty sure that if you have an elephant head or 4 arms you are a different species than a human.
    – tmaj
    Commented Aug 25, 2016 at 23:58
  • 2
    A god is, by definition, not human, but you seem to be asking about what gods are said to look like. A god with the head of an animal and the body of a human would still qualify as being a mythical creature wouldn't they? The Jewish and Christian religions have a God whose appearance is unknown - does that count?
    – nnnnnn
    Commented Aug 26, 2016 at 6:17
  • 2
    "Species" is totally the wrong word.
    – fdb
    Commented Aug 27, 2016 at 21:56

8 Answers 8


Raven (Xu'uya) is the creator god in the Haida stories (from islands off the West Coast of Canada). This is one of the main cultures that used totem poles.

Although many of the stories from Haida have been lost, you can find much amazing artwork, and there are anthologies written up.

Raven found the first men in a clam shell (you can find a related sculpture here which was shown on the Canadian $20 bill from 2004-2012) and he played a role in the conception of the first children. The full story is here (though if you read this, please read the footnote at the bottom - the initial version I read was slightly different, and I think the version on this webpage may be "sanitized" - the footnote describes the version I am familiar with).

Raven got up to quite a few other tricks in his time.


The World Turtle (Wikipedia)

This motif is very well known. Not a god per se, but close enough. (Btw: I think it represents a ship).

Rainbow Serpent (Wikipedia)

The Rainbow Serpent or Rainbow Snake is a common deity, often a creator god, in the mythology and a common motif in the art of Aboriginal Australia.

It is named for the obvious identification between the shape of a rainbow and the shape of a snake.

But to be honest everything is an animal in Aboriginal mythology.


Coyote! (A key figure in Navajo mythology.)

Also Iktomi in Lakota mythology.


The Flying Spaghetti Monster!

The Flying spaghetti monster is a piece of Spaghetti, which is obviously not human.

  • 1
    Wasn't the question "are any gods that are a different species than humans" ?
    – Leonardo
    Commented Aug 26, 2016 at 6:36
  • Yes. Are there any gods who are in a different species than humans?
    – bleh
    Commented Aug 27, 2016 at 13:10
  • And there is dobt whether FSM is god, or just The Monster.
    – abukaj
    Commented Feb 14, 2018 at 21:37
  • @abukaj, no doubts: the FSM indeed created the Universe, but since he was drunk the creation was not perfect...
    – Leonardo
    Commented Aug 31, 2018 at 10:58
  • @Leonardo There is no doubt FSM is The Creator of the Universe. But for me The Creator of the Universe is not equivalent to god.
    – abukaj
    Commented Aug 31, 2018 at 15:27

Looking at old forms of religion, aka totemism, is a good way for you to find animal gods. You can put some decent bets on the fact cavern paintings was religious in nature.

And there are dozens of such gods:

  • India: Hanuman is your first bet.
  • Egypt: Apis the sacred bull. Even Herodotus mentioned him and relate Cambyses II death for him killing Apis. Aker, the lion god protecting ra's bark during his night travel. Babi the baboon death god. Notice also that a lot of early gods representation are showing gods in pure animal form. Hathor and Horus are pregnant examples!
  • China: The Qilin, the Sacred Dragon, the Sacred Tiger, the Phoenix Phoenix bird. The Hu Jiang Jun, another sacred tiger of the Taoist. China is more than probably your first source for that!
  • Aztec: the Huehuecoyotl. Another big source for you. You heard about the Quetzalcoatl! Another beastie god. Even if malevolent!
  • The first 4 creatures mentioned under the "in China" part are not actually gods.They are actually mythical creatures.
    – user1385
    Commented Aug 26, 2016 at 6:09
  • Also,could you provide some good links on Hun Jiang Jun.P.S., isn't the Apis Bull just a bull considered a cow possessed by Osiris?It isn't technically a god,right?
    – user1385
    Commented Aug 26, 2016 at 6:11
  • It's an interesting question about the Apis Bull. These other Bovine powers are probably also not quite gods: the Bull of Heaven from Gilgamesh, the Bull Demon King from Journey to the West, Ymir's Auðumbla, Shiva's Nandi, and Io.
    – DukeZhou
    Commented Aug 26, 2016 at 8:12

Nandi (Hinduism) is a bull. Nandi is the gate-guardian deity of Kailasa, the abode of Lord Shiva. I think you could argue that Nandi is a god. He is a devotee of Shiva, but he is worshipped as a god in all Saivite temples. He is also seen as very powerful and the Master of 18 gurus.

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Image attribution: Wikimedia Commons


There are a few in Indian mythology. Anantha (Vishnu's rest place) and Garuda (Vishnu's mount) being prominent among them. Some of them are vehicles of other Gods but they are revered as well.

This link contains a larger list.


There's a long list of Egyptian gods in this Wikipedia link:

List of Egyptian deities (Wikipedia)

Many of them were all or part animal or bird.

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