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Mythological Creatures

Updated on August 13, 2014

Many strange animals and creatures exist in the world of mythology. Almost every culture in the world has stories about some sort of mythological animals. Here is a guide to some of the more fantastical creatures found in both Eastern and Western myths. This list focuses on mythical beings that are entirely animalistic in their appearances.

The Chimera
The Chimera

The Exotic Mythological Beasts

  • Baku - These creatures are the head of an elephant, body of a lion, tail of a cow, and the legs of a tiger. They are found in Chinese and Japanese myths. The baku eat bad dreams or nightmares. Historically, their images or the word “baku” was placed on pillowcases to help ensure good sleep.

  • Chimera- The head of a lion, body of a goat, tail of a serpent, and it breathes fire. This is an extremely fanciful creature, and often symbolizes unique combinations or eclectic energies.

  • Gryphon (Griffin) - The body of a lion, the head, wings and talons of an eagle, and the ears of a horse. This creature is associated with the sun and they were thought to guard places where there was gold.

Drawing a Gryphon

Click thumbnail to view full-size

Mythological Horses

  • Hippocampus - This creature is the upper body of a horse, and the lower body of a fish or dolphin.

  • Hippogriff - This creature has the head and feet of an eagle, with a feathered horses body, the result of a mating between a gryphon and a horse. You can see one depicted in the film “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.”

  • Pegasus - A beautiful winged horse. In Greek mythology, this creature is the offspring of the god Poseidon, who took a horse form for his earthly dalliance.

  • Unicorn - A beautiful horse, with a single spiral horn on it’s forehead, the beard of a goat and the tail of a lion. Unicorns are almost universally depicted as being all white in color. They have long been considered a symbol of purity in Western culture, backed up by the claims that only a virgin woman could lure the beast to capture.

Click thumbnail to view full-size

Creatures Of Fire

  • Dragon - A serpent or lizard-like creature, often shown with four taloned legs, a scaled body, and large leathery wings. Most dragons are believed to be fire-breathing. In Asian myths, dragons tend to not have wings, but do have manes and beards, and are portrayed as being benevolent as well as malevolent. Dragons can be associated with any of the four elements (earth, air, fire, water) due to their complexity and are often symbols of power and natural forces.

  • Phoenix - A bird with beautiful plumage which lives an exceedingly long time, only to burn to death and then be reborn from it’s own ashes. References to the phoenix can be found in Egyptian, Asian and European myths. The Egyptians associated the phoenix with the sun and the god Ra. In Western culture, it’s often a powerful symbol of rebirth and new beginnings.

Which Is Your Favorite Mythological Creature?

Submit a Comment

  • That Grrl profile image

    Laura Brown 6 years ago from Barrie, Ontario, Canada

    Dragons are my favourite. I was born in the Year of the Dragon.

  • Hawkstryker profile image

    Matt Dawes 6 years ago from England

    Hi Relache, very nice hub! It's strange that some of these (the dragon, the phoenix and the unicorn) are so common place in today's world, and such common knowledge whereas others have been forgotten. I think you've selected a nice choice of pictures too. I'm voting this interesting and beautiful!

  • profile image

    MythDen 6 years ago

    Good Hub, I love mythological creatures. Very informative, thanks!

  • kerlynb profile image

    kerlynb 6 years ago from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^

    Pegasus looks very lovely, no wonder many people associate it with women, beauty, and even chastity. I think it's tough to be a hippocampus, imagine being half horse and half dolphin. I wonder where it is supposed to live.

  • teacherfidel profile image

    teacherfidel 6 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

    I'm interested to know if many westerners know about the Baku.

  • AlyzaLewis profile image

    AlyzaLewis 6 years ago from The Land of Narnia

    Ooh! I love mythological creatures! Very interesting hub!

  • KenWu profile image

    KenWu 7 years ago from Malaysia

    This is very interesting, most of the creatures I haven't heard about.

  • A.A. Zavala profile image

    Augustine A Zavala 7 years ago from Texas

    I was interested to find out that some mythical creatures were created when ancient people found fossils and struggled to understand them. Good hub!

  • tonymac04 profile image

    Tony McGregor 7 years ago from South Africa

    Fascinating stuff, indeed! The pix are great. Thanks so much for putting this together.

    Love and peace


  • tom hellert profile image

    tom hellert 7 years ago from home

    Thaanks for your picture help- you answered my ? P/S. I love this hub brings me back to my old Dungeons and Dragons days- yes I played D&D but dated girls and played sports... great job... Thanks again


  • Hammerj profile image

    Hammerj 8 years ago from Cebu City

    how wonderful to read it..

  • mysticalrose profile image

    mysticalrose 8 years ago


  • Pagan Crafter profile image

    Pagan Crafter 9 years ago from Over the Rainbow

    Truly a wonderful page--there are some creatures, despite my love of mythology, that I knew little about. Applause!

  • Seazoria profile image

    Seazoria 9 years ago from Kaysville, Utah, USA

    Cool Hub Relanche. You create very fine work. Prehistoric Sea dragon remains have been discovered in Utah. Once again Relanche loved your hub

  • The Lost Dutchman profile image

    Patrick Bernauw 9 years ago from Flanders (Belgium)

    An inspiring hub!

  • jormins profile image

    jormins 10 years ago from Chicago, IL

    great hub, the Chimera is one of my favorite "creatures" ever.

  • trakker14 profile image

    trakker14 10 years ago from franklin

    what a wonderful webpage, nice graffix and very interesting.