Mythological Creatures Reexamined: Part 2 – Peluda to Griffin

So we’re off to a good start with the monsters in legend and myth. Of course, we have many more to go though you’ve noticed that some of the Greek monsters were related to the Twelve Labors of Hercules. Well, he did fight a lot of ferocious monsters but that’s why you hire a super strong demi-god for the job. Still, in this selection we have even more creatures for your pleasure. Of course, we’ll look at a few from the Greeks like the Lernaean Hydra, the Nemean Lion, the Aetus Caucasius, the Gorgon, the Minotaur, the Sphinx, the Centaur, Pegasus, the Siren, and the Harpy. Yes, Greek Mythology has a lot of monsters. For the Middle East we have the Manticore and the Griffin. We also have Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein Monster (though I’m not sure if this would qualify other than being an undead lab creation since Dr. Frankenstein was kind of the real monster in that story), the Peluda Dragon, and the Mermaid. So without further adieu I introduce you to these monsters from Greek Mythology and others.

16. Peluda (a. k. a. Occitan)

Sorry, but this isn't a dinosaur from Jurassic Park either. Just a dragon from French Folklore known to survive the Great Flood who was killed by a widower who cut its tail.

Sorry, but this isn’t a dinosaur from Jurassic Park either. Just a dragon from French Folklore known to survive the Great Flood who was killed by a widower who cut off its tail.

Type: Dragon
From: French Folklore
Features: Being green with spikes all over its body are its defining features. Yet, accounts depend whether it has an ox sized porcupine body or just a mess of green hair like projections that were actually poison quills. Traditionally depicted with a snake’s head, neck, and tail as well as large tortoise like feet. Often portrayed as a very shaggy dragon.
Behavior: Solitary and extremely aggressive.
Habitat: Huisne River in France. Resides in a cave where it waited out the Great Flood.
Is It Dangerous?: Absolutely. Has extremely poisonous quills it could fire off like arrows, breathe fire, wither crops with a searing breath, create floods by stepping into rivers, kill a full grown man with a single stroke of its tail, spit out a powerful stream of water or acid, and is practically invulnerable except in its tail. Has been known to terrorize Le Ferte-Bernard, France and devour humans and livestock.
Can It Be Domesticated?: No way in hell.
How to Get Rid of It: Simple, cut off its tail. One guy did this when the dragon killed his fiancée. Messed with the wrong dude there.

17. Lernaean Hydra (a. k. a. Hydra)

Of course, contrary to the Disney movie, the head slicing of this Hydra in the original myths went a lot differently. Still, Hercules knew what he was dealing with so he enlisted his nephew to help.

Of course, contrary to the Disney movie, the head slicing of this Hydra in the original myths went a lot differently. Still, Hercules knew what he was dealing with so he enlisted his nephew to help.

Type: Hybrid, Sea Monster, Serpent
From: Greek Mythology
Features: Gigantic water serpent with one large head and eight smaller ones. Largest head was immortal. All heads sprout very sharp razor fangs overflowing with deadly venom. Has very thick and strong body, webbed feet, and serpent tail.
Behavior: Solitary and extremely ferocious.
Habitat: Lerna in Ancient Greece, where he was blocking the town’s only water source when Hercules came along. Lives in a swamp.
Is It Dangerous?: Absolutely. Breath is extremely poisonous which could kill all living things in his territory. Blood and saliva are also poisonous.
Can It Be Domesticated?: You can forget about that. He hates humans.
How to Get Rid of It: You can forget trying to kill him in the conventional way because battle wounds would just make it stronger especially if you resort to decapitation. That only leads it to sprouting more heads. Hercules couldn’t defeat this monster without the help of his nephew Iolaus who burned the flesh from every hydra head his uncle decapitated. Hercules proceeded to bury the remaining immortal head deep underground. Hercules would use the monster’s poisonous blood for his later labors.

18. Nemean Lion

Of course, this may be a magnificent lion but its a real destructive force and has skin that's almost indestructible. That's why Hercules strangled it with his bare hands and wore its skin for armor.

Of course, this may be a magnificent lion but its a real destructive force and has skin that’s almost indestructible. That’s why Hercules strangled it with his bare hands and wore its skin for armor.

Type: Abnormal Animal
From: Greek Mythology
Features: Just a large lion with golden fur with very sharp claws (sharper than any mortal’s sword). Often depicted with a man which means he’s probably a male.
Behavior: Solitary but not looking for a group of lionesses to bang, which is outside of normal lone male lion behavior.
Habitat: Nemea in Ancient Greece. Lives in a cave.
Is It Dangerous?: Yes. He’s extremely strong with impenetrable skin. Can kill any human with a swipe of his claw. Has a ravenous taste for blood. Known to terrorize Nemea.
Can It Be Domesticated?: Don’t even think about it.
How to Get Rid of It: Strangled by Hercules’ bare hands. Skinned the beast with one if his claws and made a cloak he used as armor.

19. Frankenstein (a. k. a. Frankenstein’s Monster)

Of course, I know people would have a problem if I didn't go with the Boris Karloff edition of Frankenstein's Monster. Still, even if he did burn a windmill and drown that girl, you kind of have to feel pretty bad for him since everyone in the village was being a complete jerk. Still, what Dr. Frankenstein did to him was just cruel.

Of course, I know people would have a problem if I didn’t go with the Boris Karloff edition of Frankenstein’s Monster. Still, even if he did burn a windmill and drown that girl, you kind of have to feel pretty bad for him since everyone in the village was being a complete jerk. Still, what Dr. Frankenstein did to him was just cruel.

Type: Undead (created in a freak experiment by a medical student named Victor Frankenstein but calls himself Adam)
From: Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein from the 19th century.
Features: A hideous monster made out of deceased body parts from various corpses. About as tall and muscular as an NBA player. Often depicted as green with bolts in his neck and surgical all over him. Mostly portrayed as having a flat-looking head, sunken eyes, and wearing ragged clothes. Movies have him possess an abnormal brain.
Behavior: Solitary but not by choice yet is also emotional and sensitive. In the novel, he is extremely intelligent, eloquent, well-mannered, and knows how to read as well as eager to learn and experience life. He’s even fluent in three languages. Seeks to connect with people but has a hard time due to his hideous appearance that makes people want to run away and shun him. Movies have him mute and almost infantile as well as afraid of fire.
Habitat: Germany but roamed the Arctic.
Is It Dangerous?: He’s generally peaceful but can be easily provoked with rage. Still, he’s very strong. The reason why he becomes so violent later on is because he’s very bad with first impressions which leads to him scaring people who ostracize him. Of course, he probably wouldn’t have killed Victor’s brother and bride if Victor had just at least accepted him or at least gave him a girlfriend. Victor is just revolted that his creation isn’t beautiful.
Can It Be Domesticated?: Well, not like a pet, but he could live in human society if Victor (or anyone else) just accepted him.
How to Get Rid of It: In the book, he perishes with Dr. Victor Frankenstein in the Arctic weeping over Victor’s corpse. Movies vary.

20. Aetus Caucasius (a. k. a. Caucasian Eagle, Griffin-Vulture, or Ethon)

You may not have heard of this creature, but this is the giant bird that pecked Prometheus' liver every day after Zeus punished him for giving fire to humans. Well, until Hercules killed it during his labor for the golden apples.

You may not have heard of this creature, but this is the giant bird that pecked Prometheus’ liver every day after Zeus punished him for giving fire to humans. Well, until Hercules killed it during his labor for the golden apples.

Type: Divine Bird
From: Greek Mythology
Features: A gigantic demonic eagle. Sometimes said to be automation by Hephaestus. Sometimes depicted as a vulture.
Behavior: Solitary. Basically is sent by Zeus to fly to Mount Kazbek to disembowel Prometheus on a daily basis as punishment for stealing fire for humanity.
Habitat: Mount Kazbek in the Caucasus.
Is It Dangerous?: Well, there’s no sign that it has ever harmed mortals. However, I’m sure that nobody in their right mind would want to go near it.
Can It Be Domesticated?: Only by Zeus.
How to Get Rid of It: Killed by Hercules with an arrow.

21. Gorgon

Of course, Medusa was best know for not being much to look at. Well, I don't mean she was ugly. It's just when people would look at her and her sisters, they'd turn to stone, literally.

Of course, Medusa was best know for not being much to look at. Well, I don’t mean she was ugly. It’s just when people would look at her and her sisters, they’d turn to stone, literally.

Type: Hybrid, Serpent, Humanoid
From: Greek Mythology (Medusa’s the most famous)
Features: Usually depicted as a woman with snakes in her hair or having snakes as hair. Traditionally they had a woman’s upper half, fangs, snake as hair (or in hair), and a serpent’s lower body. Have long pointed nails and forked tongues. Sometimes described as having golden wings, bronze claws, and boar tusks. Stheno and Euryale may be immortal while Medusa is certainly not. Either seen as completely hideous or beautiful but their looks were still pointless anyway.
Behavior: There are three of them named Stheno, Euryale, and Medusa who are sisters living together. Were originally humans but were transformed to such beasts because of excessive vanity (well, that or just born that way. Or Medusa became one after sex with Poseidon {though consent may vary}, thanks to Athena). Basically have hated them since.
Habitat: Greece.
Is It Dangerous?: Yes, anyone who looks at them turns to stone and they’d use such tactic to satisfy their complete hatred for humans and Stheno was said to kill more people than her sisters combined. Of course, if they look at you, then you’d just be petrified.
Can It Be Domesticated?: Since they used to be human, no.
How to Get Rid of It: Well, in Medusa’s case, Perseus basically beheaded her while using his shield as a mirror. The others may be immortal.

22. Minotaur

Of course, you don't want to face this man eating bull headed monster. Seriously, this guy is almost unstoppable for a human and bovine hybrid. Still, he was the monster in the original Hunger Games in the Ancient Greek legends.

Of course, you don’t want to face this man eating bull headed monster. Seriously, this guy is almost unstoppable for a human and bovine hybrid. Still, he was the monster in the original Hunger Games in the Ancient Greek legends.

Type: Hybrid, Humanoid
From: Greek Mythology
Features: Body of human male with head and tail of a bull. Named Prince Asterion. Medieval depictions have him with a bull body but a human torso and/or head. Has long sharp pointy nails. Sometimes depicted as hairy, sometimes not.
Behavior: Solitary but not really by choice. Has more to do with his stepdad (or biological dad) sealing him up in a Labyrinth for being bull headed and tailed.
Habitat: Crete in Ancient Greece. Sealed in a Labyrinth under Knossos palace.
Is It Dangerous?: Well, it’s known to have an insatiable appetite for human flesh which might have more to do with the fact that Minos tends to feed him slaves from Athens every year. Still, he’s very strong and extremely ferocious.
Can It Be Domesticated?: Unless you keep him in a Labyrinth under the Knossos like Minos would. Then again, he’s technically a man, so no.
How to Get Rid of It: Killed by Theseus with his bare hands.

23. Sphinx

Of course, the moral story of Oedipus and the Sphinx is that all those years in Quiz Bowl could amount to saving Thebes. Still, after Oedipus successfully answered the Riddles of the Sphinx, thinks don't go so well when he marries Jocasta and becomes King of Thebes. Still, Oedipus's tragedy would've been avoided if his legal parents just told him he was adopted.

Of course, the moral story of Oedipus and the Sphinx is that all those years in Quiz Bowl could amount to saving Thebes. Still, after Oedipus successfully answered the Riddles of the Sphinx, thinks don’t go so well when he marries Jocasta and becomes King of Thebes. Still, Oedipus’s tragedy would’ve been avoided if his legal parents just told him he was adopted.

Type: Hybrid, Humanoid
From: Greek, Mesopotamian, and Egyptian Mythology
Features: Head of a woman, body of a lion, feathered wings, and snake tail. Sometimes depicted with dragon wings. Sometimes depicted with a mane. Mesopotamian and Egyptian Sphinxes are usually male. The Greek Sphnix is always female. Some accounts have it containing the body of a wolf or head of a ram with massive horns. Tends to be portrayed with a woman’s upper body.
Behavior: Can talk but speaks in riddles which she’s absolutely confident you won’t answer. Solitary.
Habitat: Mount Phicium near Thebes in Ancient Greece.
Is It Dangerous?: Well, she terrorized Thebes and wouldn’t let people leave unless they could answer her riddles. She strangled and devoured those who didn’t.
Can It Be Domesticated?: Absolutely not.
How to Get Rid of It: Leapt to her death off a cliff in a rage after Oedipus answered her riddles successfully.

24. Manticore

Of course, this may be magnificent but he's a man eater who nobody has been able to subdue. Seriously, if you see a lion with a man's face and scorpion tail, head for the hills. Oh, wait, too late for that.

Of course, this may be magnificent but he’s a man eater who nobody has been able to subdue. Seriously, if you see a lion with a man’s face and scorpion tail, head for the hills. Oh, wait, too late for that.

Type: Hybrid, Humanoid
From: Indian and Persian Legend
Features: Has lion’s body, a man’s head, and a scorpion like tail with poisonous spikes (or dragon’s). Has three rows of shark like teeth and an oversized mouth. Huge and muscular with a lion’s mane. Equipped with extremely long and sharp claws as well as a trumpet sounding voice. Sometimes is depicted with bat like wings. Can be portrayed with a tiger’s body as well as well as just a lion’s head.
Behavior: Solitary and very ferocious.
Habitat: Asia
Is It Dangerous?: Oh yes. Tail is poisonous and capable of shooting spikes at its victims at a distance which paralyzes them. Can kill and devour any man with a few simple bites. Has a hunger and taste strictly for human flesh. Leaves no clothes, possessions, or bones of prey behind.
Can It Be Domesticated?: No way in hell.
How to Get Rid of It: When you encounter a manticore, you’re basically screwed since its mythology states that not one victim has ever escaped its grasp to tell the tale.

25. Centaur

Some say that the Greeks' concept for a centaur came from seeing a bunch of guys mounted on horseback from Eastern Europe. Of course, these creatures have certain human and animal personality traits.

Some say that the Greeks’ concept for a centaur came from seeing a bunch of guys mounted on horseback from Eastern Europe. Of course, these creatures have certain human and animal personality traits.

Type: Hybrid, Humanoid
From: Greek Mythology
Features: Top half body and bottom half horse. Often depicted with long hair and sometimes with wings or antlers.
Behavior: Often live in herds with up to 50 members. Actively avoid humans. Can be pretty wise as well as be quite skilled with herbal healing, astronomy and archery.
Habitat: Greece. Tend to live in deep old growth forests and mountain areas.
Is It Dangerous?: Well, they’re not man eaters but they have enhanced strength, speed, and combat skills. Yet, they could also be wild and crazed creatures that could wreak havoc and pillaging with improvised weapons to satisfy their lusts. And yes, they can rape women (so think about that for a second when you read Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix). Either way, you don’t want to mess with them.
Can It Be Domesticated?: Absolutely not, since they’re semi-humanoid and prefer their own kind, socially.
How to Get Rid of It: Drive them off a cliff when they’re angry or horny since they aren’t easily defeated with weapons.

26. Pegasus

Now Pegasus was one of the coolest horses in Greek Mythology, and no, he didn't get his wings from drinking a bunch of Red Bull. Still, I can see why Zeus kept him after Bellephron fell off of him.

Now Pegasus was one of the coolest horses in Greek Mythology, and no, he didn’t get his wings from drinking a bunch of Red Bull. Still, I can see why Zeus kept him after Bellephron fell off of him.

Type: Divine Horse
From: Greek Mythology
Features: Magnificent white horse with feathered wings. Can be depicted other colors and with a horn.
Behavior: Solitary and is often used as a sidekick. Also, brings lightning and thunder from Mount Olympus under Zeus. Creator of the Hippocrene fountain at Mount Helicon.
Habitat: Greece and later Mount Olympus.
Is It Dangerous?: Not to humans and is perfectly tame.
Can It Be Domesticated?: Yes, goes through three owners in Greek mythology. First by Perseus after slaying Medusa and then captured by Bellephron. After Bellephron’s fall, Zeus keeps him.
How to Get Rid of It: He’s immortal so you can’t and so cool you don’t want to.

27. Siren

Contrary to most depictions, the Sirens weren't mermaids. They were birdwomen whose songs drove sailors to their gory demise. Also, they aren't very suited for the water anyway and were known to have drowned.

Contrary to most depictions, the Sirens weren’t mermaids. They were birdwomen whose songs drove sailors to their gory demise. Also, they aren’t very suited for the water anyway and were known to have drowned.

Type: Hybrid, Humanoid
From: Greek Mythology
Features: Head and body of a woman as well as legs and wings of a bird. Sang beautiful and hypnotic songs that no man can resist (except Odysseus). Said to be very beautiful and rather angelic looking and are sometimes depicted with golden wings and feathers. They aren’t mermaids but often mistaken as such. Sometimes they’re just depicted as women, usually naked though.
Behavior: Travel in groups. Odysseus encounters three of them. Were Persephone’s handmaidens and were transformed to their present state by Demeter after Hades kidnapped her daughter. Whether it was to punish them or help her search for Persephone is anyone’s guess. I mean Demeter is one of the nicest goddesses but she didn’t take her daughter’s abduction very well at all.
Habitat: Mediterranean Sea. Contrary to popular belief, they aren’t fully aquatic.
Is It Dangerous?: Well, their songs have led to many drownings and shipwrecks on their island. They would also kill and devour survivors. Odysseus was the only guy known to hear their songs and tell the tale. Still, despite being beautiful and angelic, they’re evil little buggers.
Can It Be Domesticated?: They’re bird women so certainly not. Nor are they women you want to bring home, especially if you’re a married man.
How to Get Rid of It: Some say that when a Orpheus sang his song, they were so heartbroken at being outdone that they threw themselves from their island, died, and turned into rocks. Those ships who passed them unharmed would compel these beauties to drown themselves.

28. Mermaid

Of course, everyone's familiar with mermaids since they appear in Disney movies, tuna labels, fairy tales, and so much more. Of course, many of the legends are kind of in the reverse Disney's Little Mermaid but they don't end well.

Of course, everyone’s familiar with mermaids since they appear in Disney movies, tuna labels, fairy tales, and so much more. Of course, many of the legends are kind of in the reverse Disney’s Little Mermaid but they don’t end well.

Type: Hybrid, Sea Monster, Humanoid
From: Various Worldwide Mythologies.
Features: Has upper body of a woman and a fish like torso and tail. Said to be beautiful with long hair and semi-divine. Have sharp claws and teeth as well as underwater respiration. Known for singing their songs.
Behavior: Can be solitary or travel in groups. Can see in the dark and resist the cold. They can even read people’s thoughts.
Habitat: Seas and Oceans.
Is It Dangerous?: Well, they have been known to lure lonely sailors by overcoming them with lust and dragging them to their underwater kingdoms. The sailors usually drowned. Yet, whether they caused their deaths accidentally or out of pure spite, depends on the story. Also known to cause horrible storms that led to shipwrecks and a lot of sailors’ deaths. Have enhanced strength and are fast swimmers.
Can It Be Domesticated?: Well, they’re part human so no.
How to Get Rid of It: I don’t know, either break her heart, fish net, harpoon, or run her aground.

29. Harpy

Now while the Sirens may sing sailors just to eat them, these fearsome ladies tend to snatch and torture those on a one way ticket to Tartarus or Ancient Greek Hell.

Now while the Sirens may sing sailors just to eat them, these fearsome ladies tend to snatch and torture those on a one way ticket to Tartarus or Ancient Greek Hell.

Type: Hybrid, Humanoid
From: Greek Mythology
Features: Has the top half of a witch with extremely claws and wings of a vulture. Sometimes depicted as ugly hags with long greasy hair and faces covered in warts or beautiful women. Reek of decay and death and nearly impossible to bear everywhere they went.
Behavior: Travel in groups. Willing to steal any scrap of food they set eyes on and foul anything they didn’t consume. Charged with abducted and torturing souls on the way to Tartarus.
Habitat: Greece
Is It Dangerous?: Tended to torture the wicked by pecking and scratching their bodies endlessly as well as prevented a guy from eating his food by vomiting on it (or stealing it). Also, though they’d usually snatch the dead souls, sometimes they’d sneak out the Underworld in search of living prey. A lot of mysterious disappearances in Ancient Greece were blamed on them.
Can It Be Domesticated?: Since they’re part human, not really.
How to Get Rid of It: You can’t they’re immortal.

30. Griffin

Yes, these are awesome birds that guard treasure as well as eat horses. Still, pretty cool though despite the viciousness. Yes, I'd want a statue of one on my front door bannister.

Yes, these are awesome birds that guard treasure as well as eat horses. Still, pretty cool though despite the viciousness. Yes, I’d want a statue of one on my front door bannister.

Type: Hybrid, Divine Bird
From: Egyptian and Mesopotamian Mythology
Features: Has head, claws, and wings of an eagle and body and tail of a lion. Large, powerful, and majestic. Sometimes depicted with lion ears.
Behavior: Solitary. Fond of treasure and are eager to dig and guard it in their mountain lairs.
Habitat: Middle East as well as parts of Europe and Asia. Lives in the mountains near their treasure troves.
Is It Dangerous?: Oh, yes. They don’t take well to treasure seeking humans invading their nests, especially on horseback. They are prone to killing horses on sight, though they may occasionally mate with some of them. These birds are aggressive, very strong, and will use their claws if they have to.
Can It Be Domesticated?: No way in hell.
How to Get Rid of It: C’mon, despite killing horses, these birds are cool. I mean you don’t want to get rid of them.

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3 responses to “Mythological Creatures Reexamined: Part 2 – Peluda to Griffin

  1. Copyright infringement. Why my work on your site? You have a contract with me or the license? Even on the right of noncommercial use of my works the license is got! In this case purchase of the license Web Usage (W-EL). If that license you don’t have I demand to remove images!

    28/Mermaid

    • I’m sure you’ll be pleased to know that I took down your mermaid painting from my site and replaced it with one by John William Waterhorse from 1901 just to be safe. Nevertheless, I put that image on my site in September since it would go great for my series on mythological creatures just to get some idea of what they look like. I just saved the image from Google since I thought it was the best image I could find. And for my mythology posts, I usually use works of art. Still, I didn’t think about copyright infringement at the time since nobody complained about it before. I must’ve gotten it from some other site which used it without your permission as well. Thankfully, I can replace a mermaid painting without much fuss since they’re plenty mermaid paintings out there. With some of the other creatures, I wasn’t so lucky (such as the siren one since they’re usually depicted as mermaids which they’re not).

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