A - Z of Mythological Creatures (Just 'A')

Afrit...
Afrit...
Acephali
Acephali
Adhumla
Adhumla
Al Burak
Al Burak
Amalthea
Amalthea
Amphisbaena
Amphisbaena
Asparas
Asparas
Argus and Io
Argus and Io
Arion
Arion
Griffins battling Arimaspians
Griffins battling Arimaspians
Jonah's Fish
Jonah's Fish

Mythology kills me, I must confess. I love the Odyssey and practically all Greek myths. I like the Norse, Celtic, Roman, Egyptian, Japanese, Chinese, African, Indian and all myths from all cultures. My idea is that anything that allows you to think beyond our every day boring old existence of black and white is worth paying attention to.

The thing though is, you get transported into realms when you read stories of warriors battling six-headed monsters and dragons breathing molten lava out of their mouths; and as an aspiring Film Director, I gotta tell you, it opens my mind to countless possibilities. It really does. My first and second novels are greatly influenced by mythological creatures. Take a guy like me, whose really into mystical and spiritual stuff, and is really intrigued by it, and really digs the hell out of it, and three-quarters of the time you’ll find that I like mythological stuff the best amongst all.

Here, I’m gonna begin an A-Z listing of popular mythological creatures from various cultures both ancient and extinct, as well as those still imbibed in the beliefs of present day tribes.

A

Acephali

I like this one. The Acephali were once believed to be humans who had rebelled against the gods (that’s what kills me about myth, seriously; someone is always rebelling against the gods). Their sin against the gods had been so grave and grievous to the gods, that the gods would not destroy them utterly. But had removed their heads from off their shoulders and placed it on their chests, as punishment. So they get to spend an eternity with their heads in their chests. Some, however get to carry theirs’ about in their arms – who knows, play toss the ball with it, or in this case, toss the head.

Afrit

The Afrits are Arabian evil spirits, who are often classified as a type of Djinn. In case you’re wondering what a Djinn is, well, relax, here's ‘D’ for ya. The Afrits are said to be so powerful that they can take any form they desire. You don’t wanna mess with an Afrit; that’s for sure.

Aigamuxa

Now this one is pretty weird – they are creatures whose eyes are located on their feet. They’ve gotta raise one feet up just to see things all around them. This makes them pretty weak too, ‘cause they’re basically like humans. That is, besides the eyes on the feet and all. Think about it, if you ever met an Aigamuxa, all you had to do is step on its feet. Sounds simple, huh. Well, think again. These creatures are cannibals, and have been known to have plagued the Hottentot tribes (now called Khoekhoe) in Sothern Africa. Scary, huh.

Al Burak

I’ve always sortta digged the name. It sounds so grand. Honestly, I use the word ‘grand’ for the lack of a better word. But here’s the thing though, a corny word like ‘grand’ doesn’t even begin to describe the Al Burak. Try a huge mule, with the head of a woman, a very beautiful woman for that matter; and the tail and feather of a peacock. Pretty cool, huh? Well, maybe not to you, but at least the Muslims think it is. It is the Al Burak that carried the Prophet Mohammed around Arabia, all the way to the Seven Heavens. Now check this, the Al Burak carried him all around the land of Arabia, and all the way up to the Seventh Heaven, and then finally brought him back, all this before a glass of water that the Prophet had knocked over before he was carried away even spilled a drop to the ground. If that isn’t cool, nothing is!

Amalthea

It’s a goat. Nothing special, right? Well, wrong! Try a goat that suckled the Mighty Zeus when the god was a baby. That’s gotta be something, right. I mean, that’s gotta make Amalthea like top goat of the universe or something, right. So, this Amalthea had two horns, right. Well, that should be pretty obvious, being a goat and all. But I felt the need to clarify that. After all, we are talking mythology here, right (where weird stuff happens) and not friggin’ veterinary! So, out of one horn flows nectar, while out of the other flows ambrosia, which is like the drink of the gods. But the goat died though, and here’s what Zeus did; he took the goat’s horns and put the golden apples of the Hesperides (daughters of the Evening Star) right inside them; you know, like a way to honour the goat’s memory and all.

Amphisbaena

It’s a weird two-headed creature; one head is attached to the other at the neck in such a manner that the creature is bent into a circle; this allows the creature circular motion, like a hoop. Weird, huh? I know. The creature isn’t carnivorous or anything, so nothing to worry there. Actually, the Amphisbaena eats ants. Can you beat that! The only thing, in my opinion worthy of note about the Amphisbaena is that according to the Roman Scholar, Pliny, the skin of the Amphisbaena can be used as a remedy against cold and feverish conditions. That’s if you believe that kind of stuff. Personally I don’t. It’s pretty much a known fact in scholastic studies that Pliny was a real loony, who didn’t know half of what the hell he was talking about!

Apsaras

They are Indian water nymphs. Now, this is something. You watch Indian movies, right? They call it Bollywood, their movie industry, that is. Why I’m I talking about Bollywood? Here’s why. If you’ve not seen a Bollywood actress, then trust me, you don’t know what ‘beautiful’ is, no kidding. Now, here’s the killer – the Asparas are supposed to be ten times more beautiful than these Bollywood actresses. I mean, they’re nymphs – inhuman. And they dance better too. They wear this gossamer clothing, and when they dance – it’s like the flow of water. They are something, the Asparas. No kidding!

Argus

This is a giant with 100 eyes. Yes, you read right – 100 eyes spread all over its body. Can you even imagine that, having 100 eyes? My guess is, hell, no! And this Argus, ‘cause he had 100 eyes and all, he couldn’t close all of them at once. Even when he slept he had at least 50 eyes open. At least. So you don’t even try crossing him; as my Cosa Nostra friends would say, “forgetaboutit!” But this is interesting though: In Greek Mythology, the goddess Hera who is of course the wife of Zeus had a priestess known as Io, and Io was fine as hell. And she should too, being the daughter of Inachus, the river god of Argos (a city lying in north-eastern Peloponnese, Greece). So here’s the thing, Zeus starts lusting for Io (Zeus is a pretty randy god, in case you didn’t know); and they start doing the naughty. But Zeus is pretty smart, I mean he is the chief god of Olympus, so here’s what he does – he transforms Io into a white heifer, just so his wife won’t suspect anything, right. But it doesn’t work for long; Hera finds out anyway, and uses her goddess’ charms against her husband, persuading him to give her the heifer, and he did! He really did. So, Hera had Io locked up, and guess who she commands to guard Io. Your guess is good – Argus, the All-Seeing.

So, Zeus in order to rescue Io from the hands of Hera sent Hermes (his son from another goddess, Maia). Now, Hermes is a real tough guy in Greek mythology, and he can sing as hell too. It’s funny how tough guys in Greek Myth always know how to sing, or play a harp or flute or something not too tough in the first place. Anyway, Hermes starts singing like a madman to Argus and all, and before the 100-eyed creature would know it, he had closed all his eyes, the whole 100. So Hermes killed Argus and busted his Dad’s Squeeze out of Hera’s jail. But Hera though pissed and all recognized Argus’ sacrifice, and so she took all his 100 eyes and placed them on the tail feathers of the peacock. You still see those eyes on a peacock’s tail feather till date, don’t ya!

Arimaspians

These were a race of Scythians (an ancient nomadic people from the stock of Iran, from the 8th to 2nd century BCs) with only one eye. The Arimaspians were known to be mortal enemies of the Griffins (anyone who reads Harry Potter books ought to know what a griffin is, right! If not, wait for “G”), who are real wealthy creatures, with a lot of gold and all; so the Arimaspians always tries to steal the gold from the Griffins. So hence, they became sworn enemies. Don’t even mention Arimaspian to a Griffin, no!

Arion

Arion was a giant horse with two human legs. He was the son of Poseidon (god of the sea) and Demeter (goddess of agriculture). He was said to be as fast as the waves of the sea (we all know who he got that from), and was also capable of human speech.

Aspidodelone

It might interest you to know that according to folklore, the Aspidodelone was the whale-like sea monster that swallowed the prophet Jonah. Interesting, huh! Well, the belly of this monster is described to be as dark as hell. Here’s Jonah’s prayer while in the belly of the fish; Then Jonah prayed unto the LORD his God out of the fish's belly, and said, I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the LORD, and he heard me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice. Pretty good, right.

The Aspidodelone according to folklore is considered to be one of the Zaratan – an ancient breed of monstrous sea creatures. The thing about Zaratans is that they are so ancient and wide-spread that if you name any sea monster, go right ahead, name any sea monster you can think of, and chances are that it’s a Zaratan. They go way, way back. No kidding!

Aswins

Also called the Nasatyas are twin-gods in ancient Hindu stories. They are said to possess golden skin and have bright eyes that have the power to melt the night away into dawn. They also possess the powers of healing, and are said to be able to heal both humans and gods.

Audhumla

A mouth-twister, huh! Well, it’s the primeval cow in Norse mythology whose milk formed the four rivers that nourished Ymir (the first being, and father of all giants in Norse myth). She was said to have sustained herself by licking salty rocks of rime. Audhumla existed in Ginnungagap (a void charged with magic force) before the beginning of the world, and was the first creature. She was born from the mists created when the warm winds of the south warmed the northern ice fields. In old German her name means "dark void".

It might interest you to know that this cow kept licking these rocks until it shaped into a man called Buri – who later became the grandfather of Odin, the chief Norse god and ruler of Asgard (the dwelling of the gods, comparable to Mount Olympus in Greek Mythology).

Auki

These ones are pretty mystical creatures – mountain spirits from the Peru and Andes mountain regions. They have the power to heal the sick, and so the Shamans or the area called the Brujos channel their powers through them to heal the sick. The Aukis listen to the Shamans when they whistle to them. Trust me, you might think you’re a pretty good whistler and all, but if you’re not a Shaman, I employ the use of my Cosa Nostra friends’ term once again, forgetaboutit!

...to be continued


Andes Mountain Region
Andes Mountain Region

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Comments 27 comments

fierycj profile image

fierycj 7 years ago from The Fiery Heart of Africa Author

I meant to write beyond 'A' initially. But as I started going I just couldn't stop till I realized that I was on the 5th page of my MS Word. I guess I was having too much fun, lol! I plan to continue from 'B' on the next hub issue of Mythological Creatures. I eagerly await your comments. Thanks.


rosariomontenegro profile image

rosariomontenegro 7 years ago from NEW YORK

Dearest Fiery, if I could become like an enhanced fan of yours, I would do it. Thank you, this is really a great collection. I think many people like mithology and the reason might be that deep in their hearts they know that we live surrounded by all sorts of beings that are neither human nor animal necessarily --more people than you think actually see them-- and since they are our companions in this universe of ours, then of course we like to listen to their stories, even if they are given in a poetic form called myth. Myth should not be synonimous with unreal. Myth should signify: stories about faintly known reality or something like that, we can think together of several definitions.

In this case, I seriously advice you to expand and deepen your research as much as you can ... I know it's not always possible ... and even to devote one hub specifically to one creature when you have enough material.

This means that only with this subject you can spend your life writing about it ... who knows, you might end up becoming the anthropologist of mythical creatures --the anthropos in this case referring to human contact with such beings.

Anyway, you made my day. Thank you. The Argos subtitle is just magnificent. I was transported imagining the fierce monster tenderly closing his eyes to listen to music, oh dear..... !!!!


Brenda Scully 7 years ago

I thoroughly believe you are some kind of a genius, and you really make me laugh, you must do losts of reading.... Keep writing... probably your no 1 fan.... Brenda x


fierycj profile image

fierycj 7 years ago from The Fiery Heart of Africa Author

Thanks so much, Rosario. Your words are always so kind and full of wisdom. I'm glad you enjoyed the Argus piece. I like the story especially myself. Thank you for the advice; and to put your mind at rest, that yes I am fully engaged in the research of mythological creatrures. I may not turn out to meet one face to face, anytime soon, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed. Mythological creatures do however play a very central role to my genre of writing. Thanks.

Thanks to you, too, Bren. All your nice comments mean a lot to me - you have no idea. I have a pretty good feeling one that day we'll see face to face. And its nice you think I'm a genius - I don't completely agree with it, though - but its nice, nonetheless.


\Brenda Scully 7 years ago

you are for sure....... look at all the work you have done, and you only got through theA's . I wonder where we will meet, one never knows.....


Tigermadstanley profile image

Tigermadstanley 7 years ago from Canterbury, Kent, UK

Love your style. I am looking forward to travelling through the alphabet of mythological creatures with you. Thank you for sharing.


EdG. profile image

EdG. 7 years ago

I've always found mythology fascinating as well.

Though I have to say, this entire hub felt like it was written by Holden Caulfield.


fierycj profile image

fierycj 7 years ago from The Fiery Heart of Africa Author

@Tigermadstanley: Thanks for the kind comments. I appreciate them.

@EdG: LOL. I read The Catcher in the Rye as a kid and fell in love with the book. I guess it may have influenced me somewhat. I only hope, that Caulfield guy kills me. What's writing style really? I don't know. I have no style. I'm artless.


dennisematt 7 years ago

OK, Im loving htis, but i had to skip to the end and comment before i gforgot what I was going to say.

#1..Djinn, is that anything like jhin, or jinny?

#2..have you seen Pans Labrynth?

off to finish reading now.


fierycj profile image

fierycj 7 years ago from The Fiery Heart of Africa Author

Dennise, keep your fingers crossed till I publish 'D'. No spoilers here. Yes, I've seen Pan's Labyrinth, directed by Guillermo Del Toro. Superb movie. Glad you love the hub. There's still 'B' (2 hubs) and 'C' for ya.


dennisematt 7 years ago

I know...will read them soon!!! you do such a good job with these!! I only mentioned Pan's, cuz of those guys with eyes on their feet, made me think of it...and I figured you would have seen it anyway...and Im close, arent I?


fierycj profile image

fierycj 7 years ago from The Fiery Heart of Africa Author

You sure are, Dennise. Always glad to have you drop by.


railyriks profile image

railyriks 7 years ago

You have open my eyes to a whole new culture, that's amazing, I feel like I attended a class reading your hub. Thanks


fierycj profile image

fierycj 7 years ago from The Fiery Heart of Africa Author

Thanks railyriks. I appreciate it. Though I wish in my school days I had teachers as cool as I am. Lol. Thanks for dropping by.


Ghost32 7 years ago

Huh. My education as been awfully spotty, it seems. There weren't too many critters I didn't recognize in your "D only" Hub, but tha "A only"...must have been speed reading and missed the first chunk of the alphabet. Thanks for bringing me up to date.


fierycj profile image

fierycj 7 years ago from The Fiery Heart of Africa Author

C'mon Ghost, we all know who's the smart one here. :) thanks a lot for the kind comments.


prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 7 years ago from malang-indonesia

great hub. Now, I know about Mythological Creatures. Thanks for share.this is new for me. But great hub. I like information like this. Demon, paranormal, ghost, mysterious, creatures.


fierycj profile image

fierycj 7 years ago from The Fiery Heart of Africa Author

Thanks prasetio30. I appreciate it. If you like mysterious stuff you might wanna check out my Legend and Lore category hubs. Thanks, again. :)


mythbuster profile image

mythbuster 6 years ago from Utopia, Oz, You Decide

Fantastic series of hubs! I'll be back on your pages regularly!


fierycj profile image

fierycj 6 years ago from The Fiery Heart of Africa Author

Thanks mythbuster...appreciate it!


Haris 6 years ago

A great Hub very informative but the information about Burak needs some correction.

First of all name is not "Al Burak" its Burak only people have added up the Al part to make it look arabic.

"Burak" is a plural for "Bark" meaning "light".

No where it is written that its a horse or horse with female head . Although some Muslim scholars say that its a white horse. But the female head and peacock is totally wrong.

The night when all this happened is called night of "Mairaj" and yes for the rest of the world all this happened in less than a second.

I would really appreciate if you kindly change this info thanks haris


fierycj profile image

fierycj 6 years ago from The Fiery Heart of Africa Author

@Harris - I realize the 'Al' is added to make it look arabic, which is exactly what I was trying to achieve. If you go thru my Mythology hubs you'll find me classifying these creatures into their pantheons as much as possible. Also, about the creatures description, there is no solid ancient writing on this. However, we had legends passed from the ancient arabians. And that's exactly where I'm sourcing from, legend, myth, to give a description. Thanks for the note.


alice  6 years ago

cool thanx for putting this page up


fierycj profile image

fierycj 6 years ago from The Fiery Heart of Africa Author

Thanks, alice.


melissa 5 years ago

this totally helped me with my argus allusion :D

i loved it! your soo cool


Tiffany 5 years ago

this is so freaking cool i like Greek Mythology Creatures they are so cool


pineapplehead 3 years ago

Awesome! Great job! You really helped with a school project I have!

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