- Education and Science»
- Sociology & Anthropology»
- Folklore & Mythology»
- Legendary Creatures & Cryptids
Obscure Mythological Forest Creatures
Our first creature is of Scandinavian folklore. The Huldra as it is known is a seductress portrayed as a beautiful woman with the tail of a cow (or the tail of a fox from Norse mythology), and a hole in her back revealing the hollow insides of her body. They live in mountains dense with forest protecting their cattle and will often times appear out of nowhere in the rain or mist before a man appearing helpless and enticing. They will then attempt to lure the men deeper into the forest or perhaps deep into a cave system so that the man cannot find his way out. Once the man is thoroughly lost, alone, and consumed with lust the Huldra will then kill and eat him or if the man pleases her keep him around as a pet or a mate. You would think the tail would keep the men at bay or at least give them fair warning, however the Huldra wears long dresses and wrap their tails around their leg so as to conceal it from sight. They keep their hair long as well to conceal the hole in their back. It is said that if a Huldra gets married in a church their tail will fall off and they will become human, however they will lose their youth and beauty and will instead become old and ugly yet kind and caring.
This creature is told of by the lumberjacks of budding america in the 19th and early 20th century. They say that the Gumberoo is like a bear in shape but has no fur to speak of and the only hair that it does have resides on it's eyebrows and chin. The creatures hide is said to be extremely charcoal black, smooth, leather like, and almost elastic in the way that bullets and arrows simply bounce off its hide. It is said that the beast hibernates almost all year and prefers to make it's home in the base of enormous burnt cedar trees. However in the rare occasions that it is awake and active it will devour any living thing in it's path and has been said to eat an entire horse in a single sitting. The only weakness that the Gumberoo appears to possess is that it is extremely flammable. In fact the reason given that they are rarely seen is because of the prevalence of forest fires as the creature is said to burn like celluloid with explosive force.
Cute or Freaky?
Do you think the Ershu is cute or freaky?
In the ancient bestiaries of China there is a creature whose name means "Ear Rat". The Ershu was said to have lived in the forests of Cinnabar Smoke Mountain with the head of a rabbit, the body of a flying squirrel, and the tail of a rat. It was said to have growled like a dog and had the magical ability to fly by moving it's tail. The Ershu could protect one from poison and eating one would reduce swelling of the abdomen. There is little else known about this mythical creature unfortunately.
In Medieval folklore is a creature called the Jaculus which is also called the "Javelin Snake". It is a small snake with wings and hind legs that lies in wait in tall trees. When an unsuspecting victim wanders by it jets out of the tree with frightening speed and sinks it's teeth into it's victim. The odd thing about this mythical snake is that it's not the snakes venom that kills the victim but the sheer force of the impact, which is why it is given the name "Javelin Snake". They prefer to make their homes in forested regions both because it's more pleasant and it gives them a high vantage point and the element of surprise.
From Slavic mythology comes the Leshy. The Leshy is depicted as a tall man but can shapeshift into numerous things, from a blade of grass, to a tree, a mushroom, or any wilderness creature of it's choosing. He is known as the Lord of the Forest and protects all the animals that live there. You'll know him in his human form for he will have glowing eyes and his shoes will be on backwards and he will cast no shadow. Oddly enough the Leshy is quite the prankster as they can imitate voices and they hide the axes of woodcutters, and while he doesn't directly harm people he has been known to tickle some to death.