What is the most popular mythical creature

The secret world of mythical creatures

Not just sinceLord of the Rings dwarfs and elves cavort in the fantastic. Peter S. Beagle took notesThe last Unicorn even a novel in which he made a magical creature the protagonist. If we sink into these stories, we know that the wondrous creatures are pure fiction. It wasn't always like this: until the late 16th century, people believed that unicorns and mermaids really existed. Up until the Age of Enlightenment, artefacts were exhibited in so-called chambers of curiosities that were supposed to prove the existence of mythical creatures. Even then, the imagination of mankind was inexhaustible - around the globe.

Not to be killed

Belong to the oldest mythical creatures living Dead and Demons. The fear of the restless deceased - whether in physical form or as ghost respectively spook - found in numerous cultures. It is considered to be particularly scary zombie, a deceased person who - mostly using dark magic - was brought back to life. He is robbed of his soul as well as his will and is under the direct influence of his summoner. Numerous zombie audio books show that you can tell exciting stories even with mindless monsters.

The Scandinavian Draug is a deceased who rises from his burial mound, has tremendous powers and can predict the future. He easily transforms into an animal.

The idea "Living" skeletons has been known since the Middle Ages. Death personified is often pictured as a skeleton, with an hourglass and a scythe. Also the Día de los Muertos, the Mexican day of the Dead, one can hardly imagine without walking skeletons. On the other hand, belief in is younger Poltergeister - the oldest surviving sightings date from the 17th century - and possessed Mummies. The most famous undead are of course the vampires.

Up until a few hundred years ago, a wake was held in our part of the world, not least to ensure that those who had just been divorced from life did not rise again as vengeful undead.

The Persian-Arabic is also closely associated with the dead ghoul or the Ghouls: They are demonic beings who live near cemeteries and graves, crave human flesh and do not shy away from body parts. As ghouls, ghouls have the gift of metamorphosis. However, you can always recognize them by their donkey hooves, which they never get rid of - no matter what shape they transform into.

On the other hand, a positive symbol of rebirth is that Phoenix. At the end of its life this bird goes up in flames, burns and rises again from its ashes.

Chimeras - part human, part animal

The legends of the Greeks and Romans are full of wonderful mythical creatures, such as the Centaurs (actually Centaurs): Hybrid creatures with the upper body of a man and the lower body of a horse. They are considered great warriors and wise advisers. Tormentors, on the other hand, are those Harpies, huge birds with murderous claws and the heads of beautiful girls. Conversely, the Medusa the body of a woman, but a monstrous face with tusks like a wild boar. Instead of hair, snakes grow out of her head. The sight of her is said to be so horrible that anyone who looks directly into the piercing eyes will turn to stone. They seem rather mischievous Faunswho have human torsos but horns like a goat and goat legs covered with fur. They are happy musicians and keepers of the crops. They are seldom found in modern fantasy literature, as can be seen from The Chronicles of Narniaab.

They were imagined as a winged lioness with a woman's head sphinx that had a destructive power inherent in it. Whoever wants to pass their home has to solve a riddle. If he cannot, he will be strangled and devoured by the Sphinx. Even before the Greeks, the Egyptians, Phoenicians and Assyrians were fascinated by Sphinx-like hybrid creatures. Even today, huge lion statues with men's heads and reliefs as well as paintings of upright lions with bird heads tell of it. Michael Ende set the Sphinx in The Neverending Story a modern monument. On the other hand, the author modeled the lucky dragon Fuchur, an important supporting character in this novel, based on the example of those from the Far East Dragon. These creatures can be interpreted in so many ways that we have put together a top 10 fantasy audio books with dragons for you.

Fox spirits and snow women

The Japanese are among the most famous mythical creatures from Asia in this country Kitsune: Foxes with nine tails often take the form of beautiful women and sometimes bring blessings and sometimes bad luck. Her Korean sisters are more threatening Kumiho. They hunt human organs - regardless of whether they are hearts or livers. If they capture enough, they will acquire a human soul.

The Chinese symbol stands for happiness and mercy Fenghuang, a bird that outwardly resembles a peacock and whose colors - green, red, yellow, black and white - symbolize the virtues of goodness, decency, loyalty, wisdom and justice. A Bixie is a chimera that is reminiscent of a winged lion and can drive away evil spirits. Like that Yuki-onnawho have favourited mysterious Snow woman. Petite and tall, with translucent skin and ankle-length hair, she lures innocent hikers into an icy world so that they can freeze to death. In some legends and fairy tales, however, it also warns people of upcoming snowstorms.

Monsters of the sea and lakes

More of a nuisance than a real danger comes from Kappa out. The Japanese water demon with frog-like features loves cucumbers, can move on two legs and speak human language. At the highest point of his head is an indentation filled with water - the source of his power. If he spills this water, he loses his power. Therefore it is easy to defeat on land. However, according to certain myths, the water demon also pulls unwary swimmers into the depths of its home to drown them.

In this respect it has similarities with the Greek one siren, the German mermaid and the British Kelpie. The latter is a demon who lives in deep waters and appears to people in the form of a horse. Anyone who swings on its back is lost because it sticks while the kelpie descends deep into the water, drowns its rider and eats it. With luck you can recognize the mythical creature by its damp mane or by the blue sheen of its fur.

Enjoy with caution

Belief in this is widespread, not just in the British Isles Fae people, to that too Goblins and Elves counting.

Seafarers are happy, for example, when a Klabautermann set up their home on their ship - usually under the windlass or in the hold. It remains invisible to the crew. However, he helps with repair work on the ship and warns the captain of impending dangers. If a louse runs over his liver, however, he also likes to throw boards around.

There are more peaceful fellows brownie. The little ones wearing pointed hats are characterized by tireless diligence. During the night they do all the work of the sleeping people - but only until they are discovered. Then they disappear, never to be seen again.

It is similar with the Celtic Brownie and the Scandinavian Nit. These are also good house spirits. However, the former moves away when you thank him for his work, the latter when you treat him badly.

The Slavic one causes a lot more trouble Bannikwho holed up behind the stove in bathhouses. Outwardly he resembles a dwarf old man with wild hair and a long beard and is said to be extremely moody. He has already splashed boiling water on many a bathing guest.

The Scottish do it even worse Red cap. This is a leprechaunwho at first glance looks like a dwarf from an old fairy tale book, but instead of fingernails he has razor-sharp claws, wears iron boots - and a red cap. This gets its color from the fact that the red cap soaks it in the blood of its victims.

There are no elves

In general, fairies should be treated with caution. Elves are very close to nature and often helpful, but also do a lot of jokes. In ancient times people were just as afraid of their harmful spell as they were of the Witches and evil wizard.

Incidentally, anyone who only thinks of human-like tiny creatures with butterfly wings that live in calyxes when they hear the word elf or fairy is on the wrong track. These are Pixies. Perhaps also to avoid confusion, the modern fantasy novel sometimes uses the term instead of elves Elves. However, this is not the original name for a mythical creature, but a German word creation by the Tolkien translator Margaret Carroux. In the original British edition, these beings are simply called Lord of the Rings elves, so elves.

Size doesn't matter?

As widespread as the belief in fairies was among the Germanic peoples the idea of Dwarfs, Giants and Trolls.

Numerous fairy tales testify to their popularity today, especially in Europe: While trolls play a major role in Scandinavian stories, we know giants and dwarfs Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Snow White and Rose Red and Jack and the Beanstalk. While the Teutons were still afraid of the mighty power of the giants, in many fairy tales they are more likely to be depicted as dumb companions. The Brave little tailor it is not difficult to outsmart them.

A little later in this fairy tale, one of the most popular and mysterious mythical animals appears:

The king of the mythical beasts

The little tailor catches this radiant mythical creature by making it attack him like a bull. At the last moment, however, the title hero jumps to the side and the mythical creature's horn digs deep into a tree.

In Grimm’s fairy tale, the unicorn is described as wild and dangerous. Most other sources, however, refer to it as a creature of purity and absolutely good. There are many myths about this figure of light. It is even mentioned in the Bible, it is depicted on the famous Babylonian Ishtar Gate and in the Middle Ages it became a popular heraldic animal. The famous explorer Marco Polo claims to have sighted a unicorn in Sumatra.

Outwardly, the unicorn resembles a white horse. Some descriptions also speak of similarities with a goat. But a horn, twisted like a snail, always grows from his forehead, which is said to have tremendous healing powers. With its help, the plague can be defeated, poison neutralized and even the dead can be revived with its healing power. However, the mythical creature can also use its horn as a weapon, especially in the fight against its archenemy, the lion. Despite its strength, it is so good and pure that only a Virgo can touch it.

The unicorn may be by far the noblest of all mythical creatures. However, its countless relatives are also fascinating - to this day: So-called cryptozoologists research animals whose existence is viewed as highly dubious. Who knows what is still hidden from us under the desert sand or in the Mariannengraben.

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