Mythological Creatures Reexamined: Part 1 – Abominable Snowman to Tarrasque

Mythical creatures have always fascinated us since many of them do tend to look cool. Some of them have been  folk monsters in stories and superstitions that date back generations. Others are relatively recent creatures of urban legend. Some of these are monsters you may be familiar with or have dressed up for Halloween while others may not be so well known. Nevertheless, they are creatures that are well worth a look since Halloween will soon be upon us even if it’s just the month of September so I might as well get this series out of the way. In this selection we will look at a few cryptid monsters like the Abominable Snowman, Bigfoot, and the Chupacabra. We’ll see some dragons of legend like Cetus, Fafnir, Wyvern, and Tarrasque. We’ll look at a few monsters from Greek mythology like the Cyclops, Chimera, the Cretan Bull, Cerberus, and the Erymanthian Boar. Finally, we’ll take a glance at the legendary Basilisk as well as H. P.  Lovecraft’s best known Eldritch Abomination Cthulhu. So without further adieu, do I introduce the first installment of my series on mythological creatures.

1. Abominable Snowman (a. k. a. Yeti, Meteth, or Rakshasa)

Of course, this Yeti is angry with all the tourism that's going on Mt. Everest these days.

Of course, there’s a reason why the Yeti are known as the Abominable Snowmen for a reason because you don’t want to run into them.

Type: Cryptid, Humanoid
From: Tibetan Folklore
Features: Usually giant human-like body, white shaggy fur, big feet. Walks upright and is very strong and athletic. Said to make a whistling sound or roar like a lion but smells bad. Could have large yellow teeth and razor sharp fangs. Tibetan legends have three variations of Yeti called the Rimi (2-3m), the Nyalmot (2.5-4.5 m), and the Raksi-Bombo (1-1.5m), which all vary in height. Yet, their versions usually could be red or gray. Often portrayed as a tall ape-like figure covered in white hair akin to a Himalayan Sasquatch. Sometimes depicted with a bear, dog, or cat head though. Also could be depicted with horns. Said to live up to 1,000 years.
Behavior: They’re mostly solitary and only meet each other during mating season.
Habitat: Mostly in the Himalayan Mountains. Buddhist legends say they live in dense snow caves on the glaciers.
Is It Dangerous?: They’re known to be extremely territorial as well as very strong, athletic, could survive very harsh conditions, and have good sensory perception. Yet, they’re said to mainly eat greens and vegetables but will devour humans if they have the opportunity. They’re also rumored to be very fond of strong alcoholic drinks. Still, Buddhist legend states that they’re peaceful and shy. Some sources say they’re aggressive and will attack humans, especially if threatened. So yes, they’re dangerous.
Can It Be Domesticated?: Absolutely not.
How to Get Rid of It: Other than have it run off a cliff at a high elevation, I really can’t say. Shooting them won’t do much damage.

2. Chupacabra

This Chupacabra looks as if it's a mix between a porcupine, hyena, and a bull dog with rabies.

This Chupacabra looks as if it’s a mix between a porcupine, hyena, and a bull dog with rabies.

Type: Cryptid
From: Latin America
Features: Most commonly depicted as a heavy creature about the size of a small bear (like 3-5ft tall) with spikes on its back from head to tail. Usually depicted as a green with leathery greenish gray skin and an alien shaped head bearing big red eyes, though it could be depicted as a hairless dog or a large mammalian predator with hair. Is mostly seen upright and hopping like a kangaroo. Sometimes depicted with bat wings wings or horns. Could have forked tongue, a wolf like nose, and large fangs. Said to hiss and screech when alarmed and leave a sulfuric stench behind. Is a shapeshifter.
Behavior: Primarily solitary and nocturnal at least in its normal form.
Habitat: The Americas particularly as north as the Southern US to South America.
Is It Dangerous?: Has a habit of attacking and drinking the blood of livestock, particularly goats. Whether they’re dangerous to humans isn’t quite clear.
Can It Be Domesticated?: No, especially if you’re a goat farmer.
How to Get Rid of It: We’re not sure how.

3. Cretan Bull

You can never guess that this white bull was the father of the Minotaur making the latter a product of bestiality. Yeah, I know that's depraved but that's the Ancient Greeks for you.

You can never guess that this white bull was the father of the Minotaur making the latter a product of bestiality. Yeah, I know that’s fucked up but that’s the Ancient Greeks for you.

Type: Abnormal Animal
From: Greek Mythology
Features: A large white bull. Created and sent forth from the sea by Poseidon as a gift to King Minos, then later used as the sea god’s tool to get back at Minos. Yet, can be depicted other colors though.
Behavior: Depends on how Poseidon and Minos are getting along.
Habitat: Crete, naturally. Was later released to Marathon by Hercules.
Is It Dangerous?: It’s an uncontrollably angry bull thanks to Poseidon falling out with Minos, yet somehow his wife Pasiphae was able to fall in love and mate with it, producing the Minotaur.
Can It Be Domesticated?: It’s hard to say. It was owned by King Minos, but he caused a lot of trouble at Crete like levelling orchard walls and destroying crops. So domestication probably wouldn’t work out.
How to Get Rid of It: Send Hercules or Theseus to capture him while the latter had it finally sacrificed.

4. Cerberus

Though it bears a great resemblance in almost every way, this isn't the monster protecting the Sorcerer's Stone in the first Harry Potter book. Rather it's basically guarding the Underworld to keep souls from getting out.

Though it bears a great resemblance in almost every way, this isn’t the monster Fluffy protecting the Sorcerer’s Stone in the first Harry Potter book. Rather it’s basically Cerberus guarding the Underworld to keep souls from getting out.

Type: Hybrid
From: Greek Mythology
Features: Mostly depicted as a giant 3-headed dog about 16ft high. Yet, the Greek myths also said he had a spiked dragon’s tale and manes made out of live serpents. Very strong and immortal. Makes ear splitting howls day and night. Has razor sharp teeth that shoot with venom and breath fatal to humans.
Behavior: Basically guards the Underworld for Hades to keep mortals out and the place dead inside.
Habitat: The Greek Underworld.
Is It Dangerous?: Since Hades is one of the nicest Greek gods, Cerberus may be fierce demonic dog but he’s not known to bite or attack anyone. Yet, this doesn’t mean he’s not dangerous for Hades has him as a guard dog for a reason and he’s known to eat trespassers with his breath. However, he does have a weakness for soft flute music and cake if you want to get past him.
Can It Be Domesticated?: Yes, since its owned by Hades and only by him. He can also have you borrow him as long as you don’t hurt him and bring him back when you’re done. And Hercules did.
How to Get Rid of It: Since Hades owns it, to do so would be impossible.

5. Cthulhu

I'm sure there's no way in hell that woman and her dog are going to escape that Lovecraftian monstrosity.

I’m sure there’s no way in hell that woman and her dog are going to escape that Lovecraftian monstrosity. Sorry, but Beelzebub isn’t going to have the devil put aside in this case since Cthulhu is the devil here and won’t take no for an answer.

Type: Eldritch Abomination, Sea Monster
From: H. P. Lovecraft
Features: Has large green human like body, squid like head with long tentacles, giant bat like wings, and sharp eagle like talons. Depicted with thick green skin covered in scales and wart like bumps. Can shapeshift.
Behavior: Solitary yet he was a high priest of an ancient alien race called “the Great Old Ones.”
Habitat: Pacific Ocean
Is It Dangerous?: Absolutely. Can use his tentacles and talons to crush or tear apart his enemies. He is a bloodthirsty mythical beast that can invade people’s dreams and control them with his mind. He tends to have them perform human sacrifices to him to prove their loyalty. Has a tendency to go on a rampage of death and destruction to quench its thirst for bloodshed and violence. So if you come across him, you’re basically screwed.
Can It Be Domesticated?: Absolutely not since he has the tendency to domesticate humans.
How to Get Rid of It: He’s immortal so you can’t. If you encounter him, you’re screwed.

6. Basilisk

I'm sure Harry Potter fans aren't going to be too happy using this picture for the Basilisk. Yet, this creature's appearance was said to have a chicken head in the earliest legends.

I’m sure Harry Potter fans aren’t going to be too happy using this picture for the Basilisk. Yet, this creature’s appearance was said to have a chicken head in the earliest legends.

Type: Hybrid, Serpent
From: Roman Mythology
Features: Usually depicted as a reptile though size and composition may vary according to depiction. Head and claws of a rooster with a reptile’s body and tail in a traditional sense. Said to be the size of a chicken and tend to be depicted with feathers or with dagger like teeth lined in their pointed beaks. In some depictions, they have fangs. Sometimes could be depicted as a giant snake like in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Sometimes depicted as a dragon.
Behavior: Solitary as far as we know.
Habitat: Europe.
Is It Dangerous?: Hell, yes. They could kill all but a few living things with a single glance even from afar. Also, have poisonous breath and could quickly kill their victims with strangulation. It’s venom is highly deadly that it one drop could kill in a matter of minutes and could contaminate water for 100 years. And as we learn from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, its glance through certain mediums like ghosts, mirrors, water, and cameras could result in petrification which can only be cured by mandrakes. Also one of the most dangerous creatures from that universe.
Can It Be Domesticated?: Unless you’re the heir of Slytherin, you should probably not even think about it.
How to Get Rid of It: Either get a weasel or crow to scare it away or trick it into seeing its own reflection in a mirror making it unintentionally kill itself. Having a rooster around is a good deterrent since a rooster crow could send it to a violent death through disorientation and seizures. If it’s a giant snake, then blinding it and putting a sword through its head would do. Yet, make sure you have a phoenix with you if you do the latter.

7. Cyclops

If this is the cyclops Polyphemus from Homer's Odyssey, then he's going to have it coming with Odysseus soon.

If this is the cyclops Polyphemus from Homer’s Odyssey, then he’s going to have it coming with Odysseus soon.

Type: Humanoid
From: Greek Mythology
Features: Bipedal with one eye are its defining features. Usually humanoid. Traditionally a hairy giant covered in insects and filth. They also smell terrible. However, it could take on a humanoid appearance and be normal size like Leela from Futurama, though I’m not sure if she’s technically one but she matches a lot of depictions. Could resemble anything from trolls to Sasquatch. Sometimes depicted with a horn on its head, too. In Greek mythology there are many different types such as the Steropes, Arges, and the Brontes (yet I’m sure they aren’t the sisters who wrote about madwomen in attics and women falling for awful men like Heathcliff or Mr. Rochester).
Behavior: Their social behavior varies. Can have repulsive grooming habits as well as spend a lot of time making tools and weapons for Hephaestus.
Habitat: Various regions of Greece and surrounding areas.
Is It Dangerous?: Well, they like to feast on raw flesh, including humans. Pounding their humongous hammers could cause earthquakes while heating from their furnaces could be responsible for volcanic eruptions, according to the Ancient Greeks. Yet, they possess great strength and stamina, have power over lightning, acute hearing and vision, and are invulnerable to heat. Still, since many of them are Poseidon’s kids, you don’t want to mess with them.
Can It Be Domesticated?: Absolutely not, since they’re technically humanoid.
How to Get Rid of It: Well, according to Odysseus, getting one drunk and sticking a spear into its eye certainly did the trick. Let’s just say Polyphemus had no idea what he was dealing with. Still, most of the time you don’t want to get rid of them if they’re working under Hephaestus, not that you won’t be able to kill them anyway.

8. Chimera

Despite the butch appearance of a mane, the Chimera is actually a girl. Don't ask me I get this tidbit from Greek mythology here. Still, I'm sure the Chimera's masculine appearance won't get her labeled as a member of a lioness softball team or associated with the East German lionesses.

Despite the butch appearance of a mane, the Chimera is actually a girl. Don’t ask me I get this tidbit from Greek mythology here. Still, I’m sure the Chimera’s masculine appearance won’t get her labeled as a member of a lioness softball team or associated with the East German lionesses.

Type: Hybrid
From: Greek Mythology
Features: Traditionally depicted with three heads consisting of a snake, lioness, and goat, yet configuration varies. Has a body of a lioness. Some depictions have a lion mane even though the one in Greek Mythology is female. Sometimes depicted with another snake head, goat horns, and/or dragon wings. Sometimes portrayed with two snake heads and no goat head at all. Sometimes even has a dragon head or feather wings.
Behavior: Usually solitary.
Habitat: Lycia in Ancient Greece.
Is It Dangerous?: Oh, yes. Can breathe fire and have three heads attack independently. Has been known to kill people and resist many attempts on her life. Seeing her was a bad omen for storms, shipwrecks, and natural disasters. Is very strong, has enhanced senses, and very sharp claws.
Can It Be Domesticated?: Absolutely not.
How to Get Rid of It: Poisoned spear by Bellerophon with the help of Pegasus.

9. Bigfoot (a. k. a. Sasquatch)

I'm sure you won't see this scene from Harry and the Hendersons. Still, you don't want to mess with this Sasquatch.

I’m sure you won’t see this scene from Harry and the Hendersons. Still, you don’t want to mess with this Sasquatch.

Type: Cryptid, Humanoid
From: United States, possibly from Native American Legend
Features: Usually depicted as a large, hairy, bipedal humanoid. Kind of a cross between a human and a large ape, particularly an orangutan or gorilla. Can be 7-9ft tall and weigh up to 500 pounds. Has big feet. Can live up to 123 years.
Behavior: Solitary. Omnivorous and mainly nocturnal.
Habitat: Mainly in forests in the Pacific Northwest.
Is It Dangerous?: It can be since it can crush trees with a single punch and has enhanced senses, particularly night vision and smell. Still, you don’t want to mess with it.
Can It Be Domesticated?: If domesticating one didn’t work out for the Hendersons, then it certainly won’t work out for you.
How to Get Rid of It: If you actually saw one, you wouldn’t want to get rid of it, especially if you work for the History Channel.

10. Cetus

Of course, "release the Cetus" doesn't seem to be quite badass. Still, this is the monster that Perseus saved Andromeda from and not the Kraken which would make more mythological sense if it was featured in Thor.

Of course, “release the Cetus” doesn’t seem to be quite badass. Still, this is the monster that Perseus saved Andromeda from and not the Kraken which would make more mythological sense if it was featured in Thor.

Type: Dragon, Sea Monster
From: Greek Mythology (it’s actually the monster Perseus fought to save Andromeda, the Kraken was just used for Clash of the Titans because Ray Harryhausen simply didn’t want to do another dragon. Of course, “Release the Cetus” doesn’t have a nice ring to it.)
Features: Has large head, clawed forearms, serpent-like body and tail. Could be depicted as a sea monster or serpentine fish. Said to have canine like front legs and a whale’s torso with a serpentine tail slit at the end.
Behavior: Solitary and only does Poseidon’s bidding.
Habitat: Western Asia. Is amphibious so it could live on sea or land.
Is It Dangerous?: Well, it nearly killed Andromeda who was chained to a rock for its dinner. Has been known to destroy an entire city. Still, you only have to worry about its viciousness if you’re not on good terms with Poseidon.
Can It Be Domesticated?: Only if you’re Poseidon since it’s his pet.
How to Get Rid of It: Perseus just used Medusa’s severed head and held it up to the creature’s eyes.

11. Ladon

Of course, if you want any of them golden apples, you'll have to get through this serpentine dragon first, Hercules.

Of course, if you want any of them golden apples, you’ll have to get through this serpentine dragon first, Hercules.

Type: Dragon, Serpent
From: Greek Mythology
Features: Snake like with numerous heads. Sometimes depicted as a standard dragon.
Behavior: Solitary. Guards the golden apples in the Garden of Hesperides.
Habitat: The Garden of the Hesperides. Resides twisted around the tree of the golden apples.
Is It Dangerous?: Yes, it’s dangerous since it’s pretty fierce and is charged to guard the golden apples.
Can It Be Domesticated?: Well, it’s charged to guard the golden apples for the gods so it must be answerable to somebody.
How to Get Rid of It: Killed by Hercules with an arrow in most versions, though it’s observed by Jason and the Argonauts sometime later.

12. Erymanthian Boar

Now here's one nasty pig that's big, mean, and wildly out of control. You don't want to get past this piece of bacon.

Now here’s one nasty pig that’s big, mean, and wildly out of control. You don’t want to get past this piece of bacon.

Type: Abnormal Animal
From: Greek Mythology
Features: Extremely large boar with razor sharp teeth. As tall as an adult human and weighs a ton. Said to have canine teeth and large upward tusks. Snored loudly.
Behavior: Solitary and very aggressive.
Habitat: Mount Erymanthus
Is It Dangerous?: Yep, very aggressive. Would descend Mount Erymanthus daily goring and ramming victims as well as rampaging the countryside. This is one very nasty pig.
Can It Be Domesticated?: Well, it was used by the gods at times to settle scores. May have been owned by Apollo.
How to Get Rid of It: Captured by Hercules who provoked to run outside its den into the deep snow.

13. Fafnir

Basically, the story of Fafnir guarding a large treasure trove in a mountain only to be defeated by a little person would later be ripped of by J. R. R. Tolkein. Look it up, LOTR and Hobbit fans. Still, my parents aren't to fond of the Peter Jackson movies.

Basically, the story of Fafnir guarding a large treasure trove in a mountain only to be defeated by a little person would later be ripped off by J. R. R. Tolkein. Look it up, LOTR and Hobbit fans. Still, my parents aren’t to fond of the Peter Jackson movies. Well, as far as The Hobbit is concerned.

Type: Dragon, Serpent
From: Norse Mythology (inspiration for Smaug from The Hobbit)
Features: Traditionally serpent-like and huge. Often depicted as a conventional dragon and occasionally with a horn on his head. Can also talk.
Behavior: Solitary. Used to be the son of a dwarf king until he got greedy and mean.
Habitat: Iceland. Lives in a cave where he greedily guards his cursed treasure of Andvari.
Is It Dangerous?: Yes, he breathes poison all around the countryside and is very strong.
Can It Be Domesticated?: Owing that he was once a dwarf and has an agenda, then no.
How to Get Rid of It: Mortally struck by Sigurd with a sword. Yet, he did say the guy’s foster father wanted to kill him and have the treasure himself.

14. Wyvern

Defeat one of these nasty dragons and you'll be a local legend in your town for life. Seriously, it's a very dangerous dragon, which should suit Hagrid just fine.

Defeat one of these nasty dragons and you’ll be a local legend in your town for life. Seriously, it’s a very dangerous dragon, which should suit Hagrid just fine.

Type: Dragon
From: Northern Europe Folklore
Features: Serpentine head, winged spiked body with pointed tail. Have very long legs and very terrible breath reminiscent of devoured meat and flesh. Has no arms. One of the largest species of dragons. Sometimes depicted with horns. A sea dwelling variant has a fish tail.
Behavior: Solitary. Always flying and looking for food.
Habitat: Europe.
Is It Dangerous?: Oh, yes. They could expel fire from their noses and are deemed exceptionally powerful and evil to the core. They eat just about any animal they could get their hands on and kill without remorse. Can squash crowds of people, herds of livestock, and even village buildings.
Can It Be Domesticated?: Absolutely not.
How to Get Rid of It: Legend doesn’t quite say but those who do kill one are usually seen as heroes. Make that what you will.

15. Tarrasque (a. k. a. Tarasco)

No, contrary to its appearance, this fire breathing monster isn't a dinosaur from Jurassic Park. Actually it's a ferocious dragon from French Folklore.

No, contrary to its appearance, this fire breathing monster isn’t a dinosaur from Jurassic Park. Actually it’s a ferocious dragon from French Folklore.

Type: Dragon
From: French Folklore
Features: Sharp fangs, body covered in large iron-like scales, and whip like tail. Said to have a lion’s head, ox like body covered in turtle shell, spikes along its back, and a scorpion stinger tail. Often depicted as a giant spiked turtle-lizard.
Behavior: Solitary.
Habitat: Nerulac, France
Is It Dangerous?: Hell yes. Spews fire from its mouth, tail is poisonous, and could destroy buildings. Destroyed many villages and killed many peasants. Was invincible against knights and catapults. Yet, has a weakness for soft music.
Can It Be Domesticated?: Absolutely not unless you’re Saint Martha.
How to Get Rid of It: Calmed down by Saint Martha of Bethany (don’t ask me) by music and blinded it with her lock of hair made into a leash. Once she led it to Nerulac, the villagers killed it once and for all.

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