Max H. (maxismerlin) wrote in antishurtugal,
Max H.

Little-Known Mythical Creatures

There are lots of mythical creatures out there, like dragons, centaurs, mermaids, and pegasi, right? Well, yes. However, for every well-known mythical creature out there, there are many more that have faded into obscurity. Even so, these creatures can be excellent inspiration for stories. They don’t have to be taken literally, especially since descriptions can vary so much. You can take some liberties.

Creatures marked with an asterisk* are animals that might actually be real. Pleasant dreams.

Akhlut – Inuit – A vicious spirit capable of shapeshifting between a wolf and an orca.

Amphisbaena – Various – A creature with the body and wings of a chicken and two snake heads sprouting from either end. Extremely venomous.

Azhi Dahaka – Persian – A huge three-headed dragon with 1,000 senses (1,000 ways to detect its human prey). Its body is filled with venomous creatures, so don’t stab it.

Baital – Hindu – A large, brown-skinned, and muscular half-man-half-bat creature with a goat-like tail. Can take over the corpses of people buried beneath the tree where it hangs. Skin is supposedly impossible to pierce or damage. Very wise.

Bunyip – Australian – A giant reptilian monster that lives in lakes and swamps. Eats humans, of course. Has enormous and razor-sharp teeth and claws. Has the hind end of a crocodile, and a front end like a scaly walrus.

Cactus Cat – American – A large cat covered in thorns that shrieks all night long.

Camazotz – Mayan – A demon who takes the shape of a giant bat.

Catoblepas – Various – A creature with the body of a buffalo and the head of a hog. Its breath is poisonous and its gaze can kill. However, its head is so heavy that it can only look down.

Cerastes – Greek – A serpent with either two ram’s horns or four pairs of smaller, movable horns. Has no spine, and thus is extremely flexible. Buries itself in the ground except for its horns. When a creature approached, it lunges and kills them.

Formorian – Irish – Creatures with the body of a man and the head of a goat. Usually depicted with only one eye. Despite this, some are very beautiful. Their king, Balor, had an eye on his back, in addition to the one on his front which, unlike those of other Formorians, could kill with a single glance.

Hoop Snake – American – A snake that bites its own tail to form a hoop and then can roll down hills at astonishing speeds.

Jaculus – Roman – A small dragon with venomous fangs that lunges down upon its prey from trees.

Joint Snake – American – A snake that can reassemble itself after being cut to pieces.

Kongamato* - Central African – A pterosaur-like creature that hangs around water, breaks boats, and drowns people. Has a beak, but with huge teeth.

Lampade – Greek – Nymphs of the Underworld. They carry torches that will drive you insane if you look at them too long.

Mngwa* – East African – A large gray cat, stronger than a lion and able to move without a sound. Likes to eat people, as if you didn’t already know that. Is covered in bald spots, because its victims are sometimes found with tufts of its fur in their hands.

Mongolian Death Worm* – Mongolian – Large bright red worms that live in the Gobi Desert. Can slither through the sand and attack with a jolt of electricity powerful enough to stun a camel. Or a spray of poison. They are deadly poisonous to the touch.

Nandi Bear* – East African – Enormous one-eyed hyena/bear hybrids that climb trees and ambush people to eat their brains.

Naga – Hindu and Buddhist – A giant cobra, sometimes a human with a snake trunk instead of legs and several cobra heads rising over the shoulders. Extremely wise and powerful. If you worship it, it will help you. If you offend it, it will murder you.

Nuckelavee – Scottish – A skinless horse joined permanently with its also skinless rider. Has a huge head, very long arms, and razor claws. Abducts people and drags them into the sea. Its breath can kill crops. Doesn’t eat people. Can’t cross fresh water.

Peryton – Roman – Large deer with the wings of an eagle. Casts a human shadow, and contains the tortured soul of a human. Must kill one human to free its soul, upon which it will take on its true shadow and fly off, never to harm humans again.

Piasa – Native American – An enormous bird with fish scales, deer antlers, a snake tail, and the face of a hideous bearded man. Likes to eat people.

Scorpion Man – Mesopotamian – Think centaur, but with scorpion instead of horse.

Springheeled Jack – Victorian English – A hideous humanoid that can breathe fire and jump incredible heights. Enjoys attacking people, especially young women. Has nothing to do with Jack the Ripper.

Tarasque – French – A long, serpentine dragon with spikes along its back. Can breathe fire. Lives in rivers.

Tengu – Chinese – A demonic cross between a man and a giant crow. Can use magic and shapeshifting to trick, humiliate, or sometimes kill humans. The bigger its nose, the more powerful it is. Some know karate.

Tokoloshe – South African – A small, deformed imp summoned by a shaman to wreak havoc and play pranks. Can be strong and destructive, and can turn invisible by swallowing a pebble.

Water Panther/Great Lynx/Mishepishu – Native American – A powerful water-dwelling animal that appears as an amalgamation of many creatures of the forest, usually a lynx or cougar with fish scales and/or deer antlers. Really likes copper. Don’t take its copper.

Wendigo/Witiko/Windiga – Native American – A tall, gaunt, fur-covered humanoid that dwells in the remote snow-covered forests of Canada and the northern USA. Formed from a human possessed by an evil spirit after resorting to cannibalism during times of famine. Must eat human flesh to survive, and can call upon the weather and the forest creatures to make that happen. Appears scrawny and weak, but is very powerful, with razor claws. Icy blood flows through its veins, and the only way to kill it is to melt its frigid heart. If you can scream louder that it can, it will be temporarily immobilized, which can allow you to kill it. In the summer, it dwells dormant under the moss in muskegs.

Wolpertinger – German – A rabbit with deer antlers, duck wings, and fangs.

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