Mythical creatures are creatures that are believed to be real- even though there is no concrete evidence of their existence. The origin of most mythical creatures can be traced to traditional mythology and real encounters.
In recent times, the existence of some creatures downplayed as just storytelling, have been discovered to be real. An example is the Okapi. Before the 1900's, European visiting Africa assumed the claims of the existence of an animal that looked like a cross breed between a zebra and a giraffe by Natives of the Congo were just folk tales. This assumption proved to be wrong after Sir Harry Johnston brought back pelts that confirmed the Okapi's existence in 1901.
I have compiled a list of the top 7 mythical creatures based on how widespread they are believed to exist, claims of real encounters and how awesome it would be to have them around.
Bigfoot, also known as sasquatch, is a large hairy ape-like creature believed to inhabit North American forests. Although scientists have discounted the existence of bigfoot because of the absence of creatures in the ecosystem to support a breeding population, claims of real encounters still exist.
In 1924, Prospector Albert Ostman claimed to have been abducted by Sasquatch and held captive by the creatures in British Columbia. Other stories of the bigfoot have emanated from Washington, California and Pennsylvania, including the fake footprint a Bulldozer operator made up to attract the attention of the press. The bigfoot is still regarded as a mythical creature.
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The centaur which is of Greek mythology origin is a creature from composite race- part horse and part human. They are depicted with the hindquarters of a horse attached to them; in later renderings centaurs are given the torso of a human joined at the waist to the horse's withers, where the horse's neck would be. The Centaurs are famous for their fight with the Lapiths. Unlike the bigfoot, this mythical creature is a product of fiction.
A mermaid is a legendary aquatic creature with the upper body of a pretty woman and the tail of a fish. There have been claims of real encounters with mermaids. Christopher Columbus reported seeing mermaids while exploring the Caribbean in the 1400's. Proponents of mermaids argue that the existence of a mermaid isn't impossible since only 5 percent of the ocean creatures have been discovered. The mermaid is the mythical creature I heard the most stories about when I was growing up.
Dragons myth have been around since the dawn of time. They are able to emit fire from their mouth and possess the body of a huge lizard or a snake with two pairs of lizard-like legs. Modern representation of dragon adds a pair of wings at the back. No one has ever claimed to have seen a dragon.
The Diamond Snake
The diamond snake originates from claims by some locals in Niger Delta of Nigeria of encounters with a snake that vomits a shiny substance rumoured to be diamond on a hot afternoon. According to them the shiny substance is connected to the snake’s vision, and the snake has to spit it out-becoming half blind in order to cool off. The most common story is the one of a farmer who was able to kill the snake in its inactive state and ended up selling both the shiny substance and snake for a meagrely amount of money to a merchant. It is highly unlikely that this is a folk tale because the story of the diamond snake started spreading at the turn of the new millennium.
The unicorn is a legendary and mythical creature that resembles a beautiful horse with a single strong horn on its forehead. Hind legs of an antelope, the beard of a goat and the tail of a lion are some other features the unicorn is believed to possess. It is regarded as the perfect animal- so clever and aggressive in moderation. There several beliefs surrounding the unicorn. One of it is that only a virgin could tame a unicorn. Another one is that the unicorn's horn was so powerful it could render poisoned water potable and heal sickness.