Mythical Creatures: Where did they come from?

One of the most amazing things about fictional folklores is its innumerable collection of mythical creatures. They may be friendly or horrifying but these creatures manage to capture our minds. Some of those creatures may be purely symbolic in nature, they might represent a cultures fears, beliefs, value system etc. Whereas some others might just be adventurous tales for the mere purpose of entertainment.

  1. Merpeople and Sirens

Mermaids and mermen are half human and half fish. They are more or less similar to sirens seen in Greek mythology. The origin of Mermaids can be traced back to ancient Babylon. While Sirens are seen as beautiful beings that seduce and lure sailors at sea to their death, Merpeople have been made friendlier through stories such as “The little mermaid” but in the ancient folklore even mermaid’s tales had a sinister undertone.

2.Werewolf

Werewolf or lycanthrope is a human who can turn into wolf either voluntarily or involuntarily depending on the folklore. There are different origins to this creature, some stories originate from Germanic Pagan culture while other come from Slavic Europe or classic Greek Mythology. In Greek mythology werewolves make an entry with the story of Lycaon, the king of Arcadia who tried to serve a sacrificed child for Zeus to eat. Infuriated by this Zeus turned the king and all his sons into werewolves. Werewolf despite its ancient origin remains as one of the most popular mythical creatures even to this day.

3.Dragons

They are giant serpent like winged creature that can breathe out fire from their mouth. Despite being so popular the origin of these creatures are not known but several cultures of China, India and America have myths regarding Dragons. In Chinese cultures Dragons are worshipped as Gods and even used as royal symbols while in other cultures they are feared. Some believe that dragons are not of mythical origin and actually did exist but have gone extinct like Dinosaurs.

4. Kraken

Krakens originate from Nordic culture. Kraken is a large squid like water beast that has created fear among many sailors in the ancient days. According to legends Krakens use their tentacles to capture ships and pull them into the depths of the ocean and can also create whirlpool just by submerging itself in water.

5.Phoenix

Last but not the least, one of my favourite fictional creatures – The Phoenix!  

Phoenix is a mythical eagle like creature that has its origin in ancient Egyptian and classical myth. Phoenix is a large reddish golden feathered bird that bursts into flames at the end of its life and is reborn from its ashes. It is said that phoenixes can live up to 100 years. This majestic bird is a symbol of immortality, eternity and resurrection. In ancient times it was associated with sun worship.   

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