Origins of 15 Mythical Creatures

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Folktales revolving around mythological creatures and beasts have been a part of human civilization since the beginning. Some believe that these mythical creatures are purely symbolic, which gives life lessons about various human emotions like desire and fear. But, some believe them to be true and a part of our ancient civilizations. Real or not, let’s look at the origins of some popular mythical creatures. 


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Golems are famous in Jewish mythology. They were initially depicted as creatures formed from clay and mud. They were turned into living creatures for some purpose. There are various stories revolving around these purposes. One of them states that a golem defends against unnatural attacks. According to legends, Golems are obedient creatures who follow the orders of their masters.


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According to Japanese mythology, Oni are human beings who were wicked throughout their lives and have turned into demons. They are referred to as giant and scary monsters with horns and unnatural skin. They are commonly known as the servants of hell. Their main purpose is to punish evildoers. 


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Cyclops were depicted as one-eyed giants who were known to break laws. They were initially mentioned in Greek mythology. They were introduced as beings who lived in isolation and had sheep and goats. Moreover, they created Zeus’ thunderbolts, the Helmet of Hades, the Trident of Poseidon, and Artemis’ silver bow. 


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Ogres are mentioned in various folktales all across the world. This creature was introduced as a man-eating monster that was formed by the Etruscan god, Orcus. As of today, Ogres are generally depicted as dumb, lazy, and violent creatures, but no one can accurately tell about their behavior. 


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Leprechauns are famous in the folktales of Ireland. Stories state that they were more like human beings but smaller in size. Moreover, they loved to be a part of practical jokes and do mischiefs. According to legends, Leprechauns used to change their appearance according to their surroundings. 


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Goblins were initially introduced in German and British folktales. The German goblins had different abilities and physical appearances than the British goblins. The origin of goblins is still not clear. But they are still known as troublemakers who are greedy, perform devious tricks, and sometimes even harm other beings. 


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Fairies were first mentioned in French folktales based on medieval romance. Fairies are supernatural creatures who are quite popular even in modern times. They are generally depicted as small, winged creatures who perform magic tricks. But, in Victorian artwork and many folktales, they were depicted as wingless beings who used to ride on birds. 


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Gorgons are mythical creatures that were introduced to Greek mythology. There were vicious monsters who were capable of turning any victim into stone by just looking at them once. They were generally portrayed as beautiful yet terrifying creatures with real snakes as hair. 


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Mermaids carried a unique allure with them throughout their history. They are depicted as half humans and half fish. They are mentioned in numerous folktales, like Syrian, Greek, and Polynesian mythology. Many cultures claim that mermaids are beautiful and romantic creatures, whereas some of them say otherwise. Some cultures state that mermaids are a sign of an upcoming disaster. 


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Centaurs are generally famous hybrid creatures in Greek legends. They were half human and half horse creatures. They had the lower body of a horse, with a human chest and head. Greek mythology states that one of the centaurs, named Chiron, had immense wisdom. He was claimed to have tutored many characters in Greek mythology. 


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Griffin is another hybrid creature from the ancient history of Egypt and Persia. The creature was a hybrid of an eagle and a lion, which was considered powerful and majestic. It had the body of a lion and the head of an eagle. They are the guardians of treasures and priceless possessions. 


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Phoenix was depicted as an eagle-like creature. They were commonly known for turning into flames when they died and then being reborn from the same ashes as a young phoenix. They were initially mentioned in Egyptian mythology as sun worshippers. Their life expectancy was more than 100 years, due to which they are considered a symbol of immortality.


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The basilisk was a serpentine creature in European folktales. They were known as the Gorgons of Greece, and they also could kill with one look. Basilisks were called the kings of serpents. They were mentioned in various literary works by Leonardo da Vinci. Even the holy book, the Bible, has a few texts about basilisks. 


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Unicorns were horse-like creatures that also had one horn on their forehead. They are mentioned in various cultures, like Mesopotamian, Chinese, and Greek mythology. Unicorns had unique healing abilities. Legends claim that with the touch of a unicorn, any being can be free from illness or other diseases.


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Many people believe that bigfoots are not folktales but real creatures who are still present on Earth. They are huge, hairy, ape-like creatures initially introduced from North American folktales. People from California, Oregon, and Washington claim that they have seen bigfoots in real life in the dense forest. 


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