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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9 votes
3 answers
5k views

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 ...
6 votes
2 answers
113 views

Which culture believed in a bird whose flight sustains the universe?

I came across a mythological belief a few weeks ago, I believe in a Sam Kriss piece (1). It centered around a bird (a swan or goose, I want to say?) that ceaselessly flew (in a primordial void/chaos?) ...
4 votes
3 answers
12k views

How many heads did the Hydra originally have?

When Hercules fought the Hydra, it had 9 heads I think. But the way of the Hydra is that when one is cut down 2 grow up. So obviously some foolish fighters went in and cut some heads before, to ...
8 votes
4 answers
9k views

Are vampires called anything else in European folklore?

Does there exist alternative names for vampires? Perhaps an euphemism; for example, in Harry Potter, those who feared Voldemort called him "He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named" in lieu of his real name. Or ...
11 votes
2 answers
15k views

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 ...
5 votes
1 answer
4k 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?
2 votes
0 answers
113 views

Persian name for the al-mi'rāj (one-horned rabbit)

The al-mi'rāj is a creature of Persian myth, which resembles a one-horned rabbit. Despite being a Persian myth, most sources seem to have been written in Arabic, hence the Arabic name(s), but what is ...
9 votes
1 answer
286 views

Zombies and ways of 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) considered mindless ...
10 votes
4 answers
24k views

What is the difference between a cockatrice and a basilisk?

What is the difference between a cockatrice and a basilisk? I have heard both described as a chicken's egg hatched under a toad, and that both are snake-like animals, and that both will turn you to ...
1 vote
1 answer
368 views

Is there a mythological creature that causes its viewer to commit suicide?

I've found a lot of creatures that kill, but not one that compels someone to commit suicide. Does anything like this exist?
40 votes
5 answers
25k views

Why does looking at Medusa with a mirror work?

Medusa is known for being so ugly that if men even look at her face, they would immediately be turned into stone statues. Perseus was somehow able to overcome this challenge of killing her by looking ...
1 vote
1 answer
107 views

Mythology of Crete

Are there any mythological beings that are Cretan ,and not Greek .For example the minotaur is set in Crete but a Greek story .Are there any pure Cretan legends or Myths .
0 votes
0 answers
89 views

Any detailed information about the Carbuncle?

I've been searching information about the mythical creature the Carbuncle from the South American folklore, but it seems that there isn't much about it. I'm interested on faithful sources which ...
0 votes
0 answers
88 views

What is a reptile with many heads meant to symbolize?

I'm from Romania, a country where you fill like you are in a trash can in urban zones, but feels like a fairy tale in rural zones. In school we learn about fairy tales (which is a species of very ...
4 votes
2 answers
335 views

Are there any evil dog gods in folklore?

I know there are dog gods like the Inugami but are there any evil dog gods? By this I mean a god that is clearly evil but still represented as a dog. Cerberus would fit the bil if it where a god and ...
3 votes
1 answer
170 views

What species were new centaurs born from?

Centaurs are typically only depicted as male. I remember reading something about centaurs reproducing with human women. There's also a vague memory I have of reading that centaurs can mate with horses....
3 votes
3 answers
16k views

What are the origins of thestrals?

In Harry Potter, there are magical creatures thestrals A Thestral is a breed of winged horses with a skeletal body, face with reptilian features, and wide, leathery wings that resemble a bat's. . . ...
4 votes
2 answers
1k 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. ...
16 votes
1 answer
388 views

Is there a connection between the use of the metaphor "black dog" for depression and the black dog of British folklore?

"The black dog" has been used as a metaphor for depression or sulking since at least 1790. Today it is used to denote depression and sometimes a broader range of mental illnesses. For example, in ...
33 votes
4 answers
10k views

What is the difference between giants, Jotuns and trolls in Norse mythology?

I am a little bit confused by the way the terms giant, frost giant, jotun (or jötunn), ettin and troll seem to overlap in Norse mythology. I don't understand if they refer to a single race or ...
13 votes
4 answers
17k views

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 ...
27 votes
2 answers
1k views

What species is the Lady of the Lake?

In Arthurian legend, the Lady of the Lake is usually depicted as a beautiful woman. However, she is clearly not human (as she seems to spend most of her time hanging out underwater). One might think ...
2 votes
0 answers
48 views

What is the "Lert" creature mentioned in Mistral's Poem of the Rhône?

In Frédéric Mistral's epic poem "Lou Pouèmo dóu Rose" (The Poem of the Rhône) from 1897, in Song XI, Verse XCVI is mentioned a creature. Here are the relevant lines in the original Provençal,...
3 votes
3 answers
8k views

What is a type of creature that steals souls?

I an writing a book, and I cannot find any soul stealing creatures that still look human! I was wondering if you could give me any examples?
1 vote
0 answers
134 views

Is there any creature or being with the role of keeping good and evil balanced?

Is there any creature or being in either mythology or folklore that serves as a form of "negotiator" between good and evil, with the role of keep order and balance between them (whether it's ...
11 votes
2 answers
5k views

Could all three Gorgons turn people to stone, or just Medusa?

I've come across conflicting information about Medusa's sisters and whether or not they could turn people to stone like Medusa can. A lot of places online say that all three can; but some other ...
4 votes
3 answers
147 views

Are there myths, folklore, tales, or other traditions/tales about monsters regaining their humanity permanently?

Maybe I should have slept on this question for a little bit, but here I go. I am working on a TRPG and a setting that would accompany the TRPG. In my setting all monsters are or were humans, so rather ...
0 votes
0 answers
47 views

Myths about creatures/items/beings that talked with people or took away their problems?

Are there any myths about beings/items/creatures that talked with people in a friendly way? Almost as if the being was a therapist to the human or something? I can think of the caladrius that ...
6 votes
2 answers
6k views

What creatures eat a humans life force?

Are there any creatures that eat, or drain a human's life force? Have tried googling but am not sure which creatures do.
2 votes
1 answer
1k views

How many different werewolf variants are there?

I know there are different types of lycanthrope, a shapeshifter with 2 shifts. I know that different cultures (like japanese, western, norse) discuss the consent of lycanthropes. But how many ...
6 votes
1 answer
391 views

What are the "nine fearful curses that plague mankind" of Orcadian folklore, besides the 'Stoor Worm'?

The 'Stoor Worm' of Orcadian folklore is described as one of the nine fearful curses that plague mankind, what are the other curses if there are any? Islanders were terrified of the serpent; it was ...
13 votes
1 answer
3k views

What demons/fabulous creatures did the Sumerians mention?

I'm looking into fabulous creatures and demons specifically in Sumerian texts, or in Akkadian texts but where the creature/demon still had a Sumerian origin. I can't seem to find a complete list, if ...
3 votes
1 answer
247 views

What creatures are there that adopt and take care of children?

I really want to know if there is a creature that adopts or take care of children. I tried to find one myself but it almost shows a creature that scares children or eats them which is the opposite of ...
23 votes
5 answers
3k views

Prevalence of Underwater Panther

I was researching my tribe's clan history and came across something interesting. Osages, like most American Indian tribes, name their clans after either mythological creatures, or common animals (...
1 vote
3 answers
795 views

Are there any Dragons myths about dragons being the creators of creation? Supernatural beings -as it were - that created the landscape?

I don't have a link to share, just seems to me that ancient man read the landscape and its spiritual and supernatural significance seems to pivot mostly around Dragon myths.
8 votes
2 answers
586 views

Are there any ancient unicorn myths that originated from Tibet or its bordering regions?

I remember reading some years back how missionaries in Tibet were told stories of how prevalent in the 1800's the belief that there were unicorns living in the mountains of Tibet! Do any ancient ...
3 votes
3 answers
4k views

Is there an older name for Cecaelia?

Cecaelia is a modern term for a mermaid with an octopus lower body, instead of a fish. I have read that such legends come from ancient Native American and Japanese culture. Does anyone know their ...
6 votes
1 answer
134 views

What were the names of Anahita's horses in the original Avestan language?

Most sources on the internet agree that Anahita's four white horses are named Wind, Clouds, Rain, and Sleet. These are obviously the English translations of these words. I am looking for the original ...
5 votes
2 answers
370 views

The Origin of Werewolf: Deities Cursing People into Animals?

I read some years back, about some ancient mythology where people believed the gods would rather commonly curse mortals into animal forms. There may've even been terms specific to this process. I ...
5 votes
2 answers
4k views

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 ...
5 votes
1 answer
1k views

What is the extent of control over a kitsune?

Kitsune have something called a Hoshi no tama, star ball or kitsune ball. They are white and/or gold orbs. The orb is like a kitsune's life force so they hide it, usually in their mouths or on their ...
2 votes
2 answers
280 views

Is Typhon a Gigante or god?

I am confused on the 'race' of Typhon. Is he a god, albeit a monstrous one (he is descended from gods after all)? A Gigante, albeit this time birthed from union between Tartarus and Gaia instead of ...
1 vote
2 answers
753 views

Horse-headed human -> Ipotane?

There was a question on English SE about the name of horse-headed human (opposite of Centaur), I wrote Ipotane in an answer. When I searched up 'Ipotane' on Google, it gave me the following image: ...
1 vote
0 answers
1k 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, ...
5 votes
2 answers
166 views

Need help identifying creature or character

I need help to find the creature or character or tale or whatever linked to the following description: Have a connection: With dreams, like maybe as a bridge. With secrets or maybe contracts? Or the ...
9 votes
3 answers
10k views

What is the origin of the myth that witches burn in water?

As per most of the stories I know, witches usually burn when they come into contact with water. Why is this so and what is the origin of this myth? Also,why do witches burn? What about wizards?
5 votes
1 answer
4k views

Gods or goddesses of memory

Apart from good old Mmenosyne, are there gods or goddesses of memory (or lack thereof) in any legendarium? I couldn't find much more beside Meng Po and possibly Muninn, but they don't feel very... ...
2 votes
2 answers
186 views

Other names for Drákaines?

The greek Drákaines (Δράκαινες) is a race or group of serpent-like creatures with human features, generally female. Basically what the Medusa from the original 80's Clash of the Titans, minus the ...
6 votes
2 answers
281 views

Do dragon myths share a common origin?

We can see ancient references to dragon-like creatures in European, Asian and also many other civilizations. Did these civilizations come up with the concept of dragons independently and just ...
5 votes
4 answers
1k views

Do European folklore creatures, like ogres, brownies, fairies,goblins etc. have characteristics attributed to anti-semitism?

These creatures mentioned in the title have characteristics (any, such as traits, costumes, behavior, etc.) attributed to anti-semitism by antisemitic people (or have their origins rooted in this)?