There are numerous mythical beings, almost too many to count, and there is so much to know about all of them. If you're an expert in mythical beings, you are out of this world. Mythical beings also go by other names like legendary creatures or fabulous beast. No matter what you call them, they have shaped religion and culture for hundreds, if not thousands, of years.
While it's easy to write off mythology as just stories, they are stories based in culture that have been studied for quite some time, and while these stories and creatures don't appear in history, they do appear in stories such as Homer's books, as well as archeological writings. Aside from other cultures, these beings have played a huge part in human culture as well. These creatures can be seen in comic books, on television and in children's stories as more toned-down versions of themselves.
Some mythical creatures exist because of gods and goddesses, but others such as dragons and unicorns have their own mythical origin. There is so much to know about mythical beings. Want to see how much you know about them? Take this quiz to find out!
Arachne, whose name is said to have inspired the words arachnid and arachnophobia, was known for being a famous and talented weaver. She once challenged Athena to a contest to see who was the best.
A cyclops possesses no social manners, nor do they have any fear for the gods. These beings were workmen and had a very "first man" mentality as they didn't follow any laws except for the laws of man.
Harpies were the agents of punishment in Greek mythology. These were not good creatures, as they would kidnap and torture people and steal their food. Their name literally means "snatchers."
Medusa is one of the most popular and well-known creatures of mythology. She gave up her celibacy when she met and married Poseidon. She was punished for this, and her beauty was ravaged by bloodshot eyes, and her hair was turned into snakes.
Pegasus really is something to see. He was born from the blood of Medusa, and his gaze could turn men into stone. Pegasus has a twin brother, who is actually depicted as a human in mythology.
People are always claiming to witness mermaids going about their lives in the open water. Someone even as famous as Christopher Columbus claimed to have seen a mermaid. Mythical mermaids, though, are not the beautiful creatures they are made out to be.
Achilles was a true warrior who was slain by taking a hit to his vulnerable heel, which is where the name "Achilles heel" comes from when talking about someone's weakness. Achilles is a hero from Greek mythology.
The Minotaur was a man-eating monster with the head of a bull. The creature was kept hidden so that King Minos could use it to scare his enemies. Theseus ultimately killed the Minotaur.
Gorgons' hair was made of serpents, they lived at the edge of the world and were terrifyingly ugly. Medusa was a Gorgon, and one look from a Gorgon would turn you to stone. That's why Perseus killed Medusa while only looking at her reflection.
Fenrir is the son of Loki. His popularity is played out in numerous surviving runestones and is also heavily mentioned in Old Norse literary sources. Since he grew at such a rapid pace, he was chained up to control his growing strength.
The Kraken is part of Scandinavian folklore. These creatures are known to terrorize sailors and may have originated from sightings of giant squids whose sheer size would frighten them.
The Chimera is such an interesting creature. It is comprised of various parts of different animals and is a fire-breathing female monster. The sight of a Chimera was a sign of disaster to come.
Cerberus is known as many things. One of them is the hound of Hades, and another is the dog that guards the gates of the underworld to prevent the dead from leaving. Cerberus is also described as having three heads.
The Acephali creatures are human-like beings in mythology that wear their faces on their chests because their heads were cut off by the gods for rebelling. The word "acephal" actually means "without a head."
Doppelgangers are said to be the double spirits of people. While these creatures looked the same as the person in question, they were not their twin. They also had no reflections in mirrors or shadows.
Briareus, also known as Aegaeon, is the son of deities that represent Heaven and Earth. The term Briareus means "strong," and some accounts say that this creature helped Zeus while he was battling the Titans.
The Upir is the term used to describe vampires in Slavic culture, although there are some slight differences in the stories of vampires that have become more well-known. For example, Upirs can walk during the day and don't burn in the sun.
The Sphinx in Egyptian culture has a lion's body, a woman's head, and an eagle's chest and wings, but in Greek mythology, it is portrayed as a male. In both cultures, the figure was used to guard places and featured at their entrance.
Scylla is a creature with 12 feet, six long necks, six heads and razor-sharp teeth. It lived between two rocks in Italy. Its origin is unknown, and there isn't mention of its father, but its mother is reportedly Crataeis or Hecate.
The Acheri is known in Native American folklore as a creature that is supposed to be a revenge spirit. It is the spirit of a young girl who died and wanders the mountainside and comes down at night to spread death, especially among children.
The Phoenix appears in the mythology of Greco-Roman, Persian, Egyptian and Chinese culture. It is said that only one Phoenix exists on Earth at any given time, and after its 500-year lifespan, it builds a nest out of wood that becomes its pyre.
Elves are seen in all kinds of folklore from the underground to the popular "Lord of the Rings." Along with all those different stories come different types of elves. In Germanic mythology, elves were divided into light elves and dark elves, the light ones being associated with fertility.
The Griffin is found in all kinds of mythologies including European, Islamic and traditions from the Far East. It is said that the claws of the Griffin could cure the blind and possess other medicinal powers.
These five spirits were also called Daemones Ceramici, which translates to "the ceramic demons." The spirits possessed different abilities like the charrer, the shatterer, the smasher and the destroyer.
Enceladus was the offspring of Gaia and Uranus (Earth and Sky) and was the opponent of Athena during the war between the Giants and the gods. He is said to be buried under Mount Etna.
Myrmidons were created by Zeus from a colony of ants, and that's why their name is the Greek word for "ants." Aeacus dreamed that there were as many people as ants, and when he woke the next day, the island of Aegina had been repopulated.
Aetos Dios literally translates to "Eagle of Zeus," and there are debates on the origin of the eagle. One story says Zeus turned Periphas into an eagle, and in another story, the eagle was a creation of Gaia.
Helios, the sun god, had eight immortal horses that pulled his chariot. The horses are Abraxas, Aethon, Bronte, Aeos, Phlegon, Pyrois, Sterope and Therbeeo. The horses can be seen in many writings such as Homer and Ovid.
Drakon is the general term for giant serpents that sometimes had multiple heads or could breathe fire, although they're not dragons. Mostly, though, they just spit out a kind of deadly poison.
Automatons were animals and monsters that were made out of metal and animated in order to complete certain tasks. Some were given tasks like building things, while others were sent to guard gods or pull chariots.
Antaeus was the half-giant son of Gaia and Poseidon and remained invincible as long as he maintained contact with his mother, the Earth. Since the fighting always took place on the ground, he always won and built a temple out of the skulls of his fallen opponents.
Cercopes would roam the world at night, and would turn up anywhere there was mischief. They are known as liars and cheats and were known to steal weapons, like those of Heracles. They are depicted upside down on Greek vases, as that was their punishment.
In Norse mythology, Mermannill was the merman who could prophesy the future. His female counterpart was the Margygur. In other mythologies, mermen had abilities such as sinking ships and summoning storms.
Heracles is known to be the greatest of the Greek heroes, a champion of the Olympic order and the gatekeeper of Olympus. In Rome and the modern West, he is in fact known as Hercules.
Psychopomps are spirits, angels or deities that help carry newly deceased souls from Earth to the afterlife. They do not judge the souls, they merely guide them and are often seen as birds.