The Most Fantastic Beasts and Mythical Creatures You've Never Heard Of
Griffins, Phoenixes and Centaurs are OK, we guess. But we like our fantastic beasts to be a little more unusual.
There are some seriously strange (and magical) creatures in mythology from all over the world. Which of these 11 are the weirdest?
In Japanese folklore, the Kappa is a reptile-like creature that lives in rivers and ponds. They have a wet patch atop their heads that gives them their power. They're also said to eat people, but they prefer cucumbers. You can keep yourself safe by tossing cucumbers into the water where they may live and keeping them full.
In Colombian folklore, Madremonte, or the Mother of the Forest, is a being who protects nature and all of the plants and animals of the forests, at whatever costs. She's known to attack humans who enter the forest in order to defend the creatures that live there.
Wandjina are spirits of the rain and clouds from Australian Aboriginal mythology. They're said to have created the land and everything that lives there, and they punish bad people with natural disasters. They exist in cave drawings as old as 4000 years.
The Surale from Bashkir mythology is a strange wooly creature with a horn on its forehead. It lives in forests, sometimes shapeshifting into different forms to trick people into wandering through the forest so he can tickle them. He'll also teach you magic—if you can manage to befriend him.
Jiuwei Hu, or the nine-tailed fox, originated in Chinese mythology but exists in the folklore of many countries across East Asia. They're magical beings known for being mischievous tricksters, and have shapeshifting abilities which they often use to transform into beautiful women. The Pokémon Ninetales is also inspired by this legend.
The Peryton, a deer with very large wings on its back, existed in medieval mythology. It originated in Atlantis, but after the underwater world was destroyed, it managed to escape thanks to its powerful flying abilities.
Airavata is a spotless white elephant with ten tusks and five trunks existing in Hindu lore. Airavata is known for carrying Indra, a deity of rain and thunderstorms, on his back. He's also responsible for producing clouds, sucking up water from the underworld through his trunk and spraying it up into the sky.
In Roman mythology, Caladrius was a white-feathered bird with mystical heading properties. Kings kept Caladrius in their homes in case of illness. Once it has absorbed this disease, it flies away, ridding both itself and the healed person of any harm.
Bake-kujira is a legendary yokai, or ghost, said to inhabit western Japan. It resembles a ghostly whale and is a bad omen to anyone who spots it. Wherever it appears, bizarre fish and birds follow.
In Central American folklore, the Cadejo is a spirit that exists in both good and evil forms. At night, the good Cadejo appears to protect worthy travelers, while the evil Cadejo will show up to harm them. They're usually depicted as big, furry dogs with goat hooves, with white representing the good Cadejo and black representing the bad, or vice versa.
The Wolpertinger from Bavarian folklore is a bizarre hybrid of animals usually represented as having the head of a fanged rabbit, deer antlers, the body of a squirrel and the legs of a pheasant. According to legend, they're drawn to beautiful women.
Pokémon are basically the modern-day version of these mythical beings. Click HERE to see which Pokémon type is the perfect match for your zodiac sign.