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Questions tagged [mythical-creatures]

For questions about animals or non-human beings described in folklore and legends, which may or may not be based on actual creatures.

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What is the origin of these creatures in Appalachian folklore?

My family (for these intents and purposes) comes from the mountains of Appalachian southern Virginia. The older folks told tales of three specific monsters as warning against wayward children ...
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What is the origin of the akhlut's name?

The akhlut is a creature from Inuit myth, a monstrous wolf that can take the shape of an orca. However, I haven't been able to find this word in any reliable Inuktitut dictionaries (looking for akhlut,...
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Could loin cloths be considered as a 1:1 unique item for trolls?

Ok full backstory: In a post on World Building SE I asserted based on my understanding of classical troll mythology that loin clothes could be collected from dead trolls as uniquely identifiable ...
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A unified understanding and description of a “spirit”?

This is something I've been struggling with for a while now, something that I'm hoping someone with a background in mythology, folklore, and/or anthropology might be able to help me with. I come from ...
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How did Hercules kill the lion without being clawed to death?

The myth says he killed the lion by putting the beast in a stranglehold and choking it to death, but how did he avoid being clawed and bitten by the lion while doing so?
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Planctae vs. Symplegades

In the Argonautica, both the Planctea and the Symplegades are mentioned. One on the way in search of the Golden Fleece and the other on the way back. The Planctea was also known as, "the Wondering ...
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Zombies and stopping them?

I know that there’s a wide variety of zombies. Now my question is what are the versions of them & how are they stopped from attacking the living? Zombies are (now these days) concedered mindless ...
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1answer
53 views

Can Vampires Take Form of Nocturnal Animals?

In Bram Stoker's Dracula, it was hinted that he may have taken form of a bat while visiting the asylum inmate, Renfield. Is that possible? And could he take form of all the other animals, like wolves ...
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132 views

Djinn and devils/demons question

I know that ancient Arabians had a mythology about evil creatures made of dust and fire called djinn, now my question is this: how were they different from Demons and devils?
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2answers
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Looking for a mythological flying creatures that has saved human life

Can anyone help me? I am looking for a mythological flying creature(s) that has saved human life? I am asking for a project in progress. Thanks.
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Mythological Beings taking on Insect/Arthropod Form

Are there any gods or other mythological beings which take on the form of insects? A partial resemblance (like Khepri) would count as a yes for me, but a god which is simply associated with insects ...
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138 views

Vampires in Religious texts

You know how the Torah says that there were Vampires who were called blood sucking demons. Are Vampires mention in other religious books or texts?
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If the ox tiger is an unlucky direction, why build an entrance to it?

On the Oni Wikipedia, scrolled down to Demon Gate, it says that in Chinese Taoism and traditional Japanese esoteric cosmology (Onmyōdō), the direction northeast (though the wiki uses northeasterly) is ...
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3answers
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What kind of dog breed would Cerberus be?

There are countless depictions of Cerberus with various number of heads or additional parts such as snake heads or tails. Some even say that Cerberus did not refer to a dog or hound at all, but rather ...
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1answer
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Can kitsune die/be killed?

The closest thing I got from looking this up is a game. But I kind of need a non-modern interpretation answer for an idea I'm working on. In the Edo period (1603–1867), kitsune were seen as witch ...
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Do fox-wives have to give birth under a tree?

Kitsune are born and give birth under a tree. The tree is then connected to the kitsune. The tree will gain power from the kitsune, never getting sick or being infested with worms or bug (don't know ...
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Why 1000 years and not 900 or 800 years for kitsune to ascend to heaven?

After reaching 1,000 years of age gaining its ninth tail, a kitsune turns a golden color, becoming a 'Tenko' (天狐 "heavenly fox"/"celestial fox"), the most powerful form of the kitsune, and then ...
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What is the extent of control over a kitsune?

Kitsune have something called a star ball or kitsune ball. They are white and/or gold orbs. The orb is like a kitsune life force so they hide it, usually in their mouths or on their tails. If someone ...
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278 views

Are there unique names for the different types of Kitsune?

There are thirteen different kinds of Kitsune, each with a corresponding element, listed as follows: Heaven (or Celestial or Prime), Void (or Dark), Wind, Spirit, Fire, Earth, River, Ocean, Mountain, ...
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Is there a difference between a gold fur and a white fur kitsune?

After a kitsune gains its ninth tail, its fur becomes either gold or white. Is there any specific reason why a kitsune would become white instead of gold and vise versa?
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Human and fox offspring in Shinto?

When a kitsune take human form and marries a human, they often have children. When the offspring are human, they inherit abilities (special physical or supernatural qualities). These in turn are ...
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1answer
180 views

Where are there female centaurs in mythology?

A few months ago, I was reading the Metamorphoses by Ovid (translator unknown). At a time I was reading it just to get through it because it wasn't what I expected (still read it though, albeit not ...
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What were author's explanation for Oedipus solving the more ancient of the riddles?

The riddle we all know is- What creature walks on 4 legs in the morning, 2 in the afternoon and 3 in the evening? The answer is a human in relation to the stages of life. The second, and possibly ...
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1answer
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Are Minos and the Minotaur duplication of the same figure?

While reading the story of Minos and the Minotaur, I noticed that both of them have nearly identical origins: Both are sired by a white bull (a transformed Zeus or a gift from Poseidon) Their mother ...
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1answer
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How are domovye (domestic spirits) experienced in Russian flats (apartments)?

In Russian culture, the domovoy (домовой) is a domestic house spirit. Traditionally he lives under the stove or threshold, in the cattle shed or in the stable. He is the home's guardian and if kept ...
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180 views

Why did Vishnu rape Vrinda?

If Vishnu was the 'Supreme Personality of Godhead', why did he have to rape his sincere devotee Vrinda to defeat Jalandhar who was merely a demon who did not achieve any powerful boons? If Vishnu was ...
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1answer
177 views

Pre-Tolkien Orcs in myths or folklore?

So what I'm trying to understand is what exactly pre-Tolkien orcs were like in regards to folklore. I understand that Tolkien has had a massive influence on how we conceptualize many creatures from ...
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1answer
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When did wings become an attribute to these creatures? [closed]

Manticore- head of a human, body of a lion, tail of poisonous spines Chimera- head of a lion and goat, snake/dragon as a tail, breaths fire Yet, when images are drawn of these creatures, they have ...
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1answer
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What gods were there that dealt with games?

What gods were there in ancient religions related to games? I know there were gods related to chance, but even in the ancient world, not all games relied on luck (Olympic games, other sports ...
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1answer
401 views

Are there any four-armed creatures in any pantheon?

Related to my last question: Are there any races/species of creature in any pantheon with four arms (and two legs and one head)?
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2answers
365 views

Anglo-Saxon and Faeries

I am trying to figure out whether the Anglo-Saxons had much of a belief in faeries or had an equivalent like elves or wights. I'm finding it pretty hard to disentangle what is actually English ...
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2answers
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Are there any four-armed deities or creatures in the Greek or Roman pantheons?

As in the title, are there any four-armed (two-legged) deities or creatures in the Greek or Roman pantheons? Essentially the morphological opposite of centaurs, in terms of limb numbers.
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1answer
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Are there any beasts/creatures that “feed on” grief or regrets?

I'm interested in knowing if there are any creatures, monsters, spirits, etc that feed on negative human emotions- specifically grief and regret. Alternately, anything that is specifically attracted ...
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Regarding Centaur's myth and etymology

It's usual to recall that the name Minotaur comes from the name of the king Minos and from the animal Tauros and that makes sense to me, however going a little farther I found the name "Centaur" or "...
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1answer
264 views

Is there a common theme of dragon meat being toxic?

I have noticed a few stories that talk about dragons having toxic blood or meat. Their offshoots(?), wyverns, have a particular association with poison. Despite this, there is a lot of culture ...
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1answer
203 views

Slavic mythology, human-animal hybrid creature

In Greek mythologies, there are a lot of human-animal hybrid creatures (Satyr, Centaur or Lamia, to name a few...), but I can't find any from Slavic mythos. The best list I found is on Wikipedia - ...
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What are the special powers of a unicorn's horn?

The unicorn is a mythological creature similar in appearance to a horse but has a magical horn which is said to have very special powers. Can anyone mention a full list of powers of unicorn horn? I'm ...
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1answer
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Are there any deities or mythological beasts inspired by snow leopards?

I don't know a lot about the mythology of central Asian cultures (where the snow leopard comes from). I'm trying to find more information on the cultural impact the animal could have.
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What do we know of the Willauk, the Tebwem and the Pioial?

Wikipedia lists the three creatures as originating in Tasmanian mythology, but other than a very short description it provides no details or references: Tasmania Willauk, giant demon that ...
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Why does the Yara-ma-yha-who live on fig trees?

The Yara-ma-yha-who is the indigenous Australian version of the vampire. It's a "little red man with a very big head, a large mouth with no teeth and suckers on the ends of its hands and feet" that ...
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1answer
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What creatures aren't from mythology and just J.R.R Tolkien's world? [closed]

A lot of fantasy creatures are derived from mythology and J.R.R Tolkien's books, sometimes both. I love both of these topics and have known about difference between them, like the fantasy elf vs the ...
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Are there any elf like creatures in non-European folklore?

I know that the elves didn't survive the transatlantic crossing but are there any stories of elves or similar creatures in other world mythologies?
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What is the origin of the centaurs?

Can someone please explain to me how centaurs were created? Does it seem weird to anyone else that we know about it, but we don't know the full story?
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1answer
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Why is the Loch Ness monster all the way from Scotland draw so many parallels with the Hawkesbury river monster?

They seem to be described the same way (a long sea serpent that eats stuff), and are commonly compared to each other. Are there any reasons there are so many parallels?
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Hugin and Muninn in runes

Is there a way to write the names "Hugin" and "Muninn" in Norse runes? Are there differences in the meaning of each ("memory" and "thought")?
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3answers
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Do leprechauns derive their power from gold?

I am trying to use them in a book I'm writing but I can't find a lot of details regarding Leprechauns. Do they have significant power, do they grant wishes, and if so with what magic? Any answers will ...
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1answer
431 views

Why is the helhest three-legged?

I recently stumbled upon a reference to the helhest, a "three-legged horse associated with Hel". Unfortunately, searching for more information on about this fascinating legend didn't turn up much. ...
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How did Christianity come to equate the place of punishment and the place of demons?

In Hinduism, the cosmology works roughly like this: there's Earth; there are worlds above the Earth called Swargas where you go as a reward for good deeds; there are worlds under the Earth called ...
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898 views

Can succubus be loyal to her lover?

Like in the title can a succubus be loyal to her lover or it has to have sexual intercourse men?
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1answer
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Where does it says that snakes can kill birds by looking at their shadow?

I have seen several early Jewish sources (e.g. Midrash Tanhuma, Beshalah 18) refer to the idea that a snake can kill a bird by just looking at its shadow. Has this ancient belief been documented ...