Mythological Creatures Reexamined: Part 7 – Nymph to Sarimanok

Mythological creatures can come in all shapes and sizes yet in stories they tend to be cast as the villainous monsters that terrorize villages, has a taste for humans and livestock, and what not. Still, it seems everyone likes to see heroes fighting monsters of one sort or another. Nevertheless, a lot of these creatures are dangerous such as dragons, serpents, and sea monsters, even though they may seem real cool. Still, in this selection, we’ll explore monsters like the six headed Scylla and the giant whirlpool Charybdis from Greek Mythology as well as the Nymph whose personality may vary. We’ll also take a look at fiends like the Headless Horseman you remember from “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” the Succubus, the Jiang Shi from China, the Grim Reaper, the Skeletal Warrior from Ancient Rome, and the Dhampir from the Balkans. On the urban legend angle we’ll see beasts like the British Beast of Bodmin, the Waheela from Canada, and the Lusca from Caribbean Mythology. And last but not least, we’ll examine the Ningyo from Japan which is a Japanese mermaid, the European Fairy, and the Sarimanok from the Philippines which is mostly depicted funky colored chicken. So now without further adieu, I bring you more legendary creatures for your enjoyment.

 

91. Nymph

Nymphs appear a lot in Greek Mythology and have a wide range of personalities. Many of them tend to serve as the companions and assistants to the gods and heroes. Yet, they are a diverse group of beings with a lot of different functions that would take up a whole blog post of its own.

Nymphs appear a lot in Greek Mythology and have a wide range of personalities. Many of them tend to serve as the companions and assistants to the gods and heroes. Yet, they are a diverse group of beings with a lot of different functions that would take up a whole blog post of its own.

Type: Spirit, Humanoid
From: Greek Mythology
Features: Usually are nubile as well as beautiful young maidens and are nature deities. There are several different types like Nereids, Naiads, Dryads, Oreads, Oceanids, and others.
Behavior: Love to dance and sing as well as are allegedly sexually promiscuous, but this doesn’t apply to all of them (there are many legends in which they weren’t as with Daphne). Are immortal but can reproduce and die from unnatural causes (as with Eurydice). Are usually handmaidens or sex partners to many of the gods. Target of satyrs.
Habitat: Any natural setting in Greece.
Is It Dangerous?: Well, they can be if you refuse to have sex with them or honor their patron god as in Orpheus’ case in some legends. Also can turn into other monsters.
Can It Be Domesticated?: Well, they’re humanoid and work for the Greek gods so, no.
How to Get Rid of It: Well, just because they’re technically immortal doesn’t mean you can’t kill them for they can be murdered.

 

92. Ningyo

While western mermaids can be described as having a human upper body and a fish tail, the Ningyo can have a varying amount of human and fish features depending on the story. Sometimes they just resemble a fish with a human face or be seen as hideously ugly or deformed otherworldly nightmares.

While western mermaids can be described as having a human upper body and a fish tail, the Ningyo can have a varying amount of human and fish features depending on the story. Sometimes they just resemble a fish with a human face or be seen as hideously ugly or deformed otherworldly nightmares. Let’s say that the Japanese mermaids don’t fit the traditional stereotype.

Type: Hybrid, Humanoid, Sea Monster
From: Japanese Mythology
Features: Basically they look like mermaids, except their descriptions tend to vary. Some describe it as a giant fish with a human face and a full head of hair. Sometimes depicted with horns or fangs. Sometimes portrayed as ugly or resemble as a human with scaly arms and clawed hands akin to the Creature of the Black Lagoon. At times can be seen as more human but have distorted demonic features, alabaster skin, and voices like flutes or song birds. Tend to portrayed as a Japanese mermaid though.
Behavior: Tend to warn humans about potential disasters and good fortune. Also can shape shift as well as live for a very long time like 800 years. Could cry tears of pearls. Omnivorous.
Habitat: Pacific Ocean and off the Japanese coast.
Is It Dangerous?: Usually helpful creatures but some legends do have them lure people into the ocean to kill them.
Can It Be Domesticated?: Absolutely not since they’re part human.
How to Get Rid of It: Capture on in a net or have it wash ashore without water.

 

93. Charybdis

In the Strait of Messina sailors had to face a tough decision between Scylla and Charybdis, both which would bring harm. Charybdis was known to suck in ships and spit them out. Let's say that Odysseus was lucky to grab onto that fig tree.

In the Strait of Messina sailors had to face a tough decision between Scylla and Charybdis, both which would bring harm. Charybdis was known to suck in ships and spit them out. Let’s say that Odysseus was lucky to grab onto that fig tree.

Type: Hybrid, Sea Monster
From: Greek Mythology
Features: A giant whirlpool or basically a sea monster that creates a giant whirlpool.
Behavior: Solitary. May have been a nymph but was turned into a sea monster for stealing one Hercules’ sheep.
Habitat: The Strait of Messina between Sicily and Italy.
Is It Dangerous?: Yes, she’s a deadly giant whirpool known to swallow waters into the sea and thrust them back 3 times a day. Any ship caught in this devastating whirlpool would be totally screwed. If you can grab onto something like a tree, you may survive.
Can It Be Domesticated?: You got to be kidding me.
How to Get Rid of It: I’m afraid you can’t. However, Odysseus did manage to survive by clinging on a fig tree when his raft was swallowed up.

 

94. Scylla

Opposite of Charybdis was Scylla which was a cave dwelling and six headed sea monster. If you wish to pass her, you'd have to give up six of your sailors. Of course, Odysseus tried to have her mom intervene but lost six sailors anyway.

Opposite of Charybdis was Scylla which was a cave dwelling and six headed sea monster. If you wish to pass her, you’d have to give up six of your sailors. Of course, Odysseus tried to have her mom intervene but lost six sailors anyway. Imagine if that monster worked as a toll booth operator for the Pennsylvania Turnpike. Hey, anything’s better than six men isn’t it?

Type: Hybrid, Sea Monster
From: Greek Mythology
Features: Has six heads with very long necks that stretch from her cave. Depictions of heads vary in appearance. Sometimes portrayed with tentacles.
Behavior: Solitary. May have been a nymph but was turned into a monster over a love affair or something.
Habitat: The Strait of Messina between Italy and Sicily.
Is It Dangerous?: Oh, yes. She was known to devour six sailors with each of her six heads. Odysseus lost six of his sailors this way.
Can It Be Domesticated?: Absolutely not.
How to Get Rid of It: Odysseus didn’t actually do anything but he just asked her mom Crataeis from pouncing on his ship more than once. Yet, she did manage to devour six of his men though.

 

95. Beast of Bodmin (a. k. a. Beast of Bodmin Moor)

The Beast of Bodmin Moor is a little known cryptid from Britain which has been rumored to mutilate livestock. While experts doubt its existence, it didn't stop a big cat skull to turn up (which was found to be a hoax).

The Beast of Bodmin Moor is a little known cryptid from Britain which has been rumored to mutilate livestock. While experts doubt its existence, it didn’t stop a big cat skull to turn up (which was found to be a hoax).

Type: Cryptid, Abnormal Animal
From: Great Britain
Features: A large black panther with red eyes. Sometimes depicted as a dog or a cat.
Behavior: Solitary and active 24/7.
Habitat: The Bodmin area of England.
Is It Dangerous?: Well, it’s been known to attack and mutilate livestock. Might’ve slaughtered 24 people in a jail in 1515. So yes.
Can It Be Domesticated?: No way in hell.
How to Get Rid of It: We’re not sure how.

 

96. Headless Horseman

While best known as the scary ghost that drove out Ichabod Crane from Sleepy Hollow, the Headless Horseman has been a motif in European Folklore since the Middle Ages. Has appeared in the poem "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight" as well as in the tales of the Brothers Grimm.

While best known as the scary ghost that drove out Ichabod Crane from Sleepy Hollow, the Headless Horseman has been a motif in European Folklore since the Middle Ages. Has appeared in the poem “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight” as well as in the tales of the Brothers Grimm.

Type: Spirit, Undead
From: Celtic and Germanic Mythology (though most famous in Washington Irving’s “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”)
Features: Basically a headless ghost man on a horse. May have something to stand in for his head like a gold object or a jack o’lantern.
Behavior: Solitary and nocturnal. Spends a lot of his time searching for his missing head.
Habitat: Europe and the United States (particularly Sleepy Hollow in New York). Tends to live in graveyards.
Is It Dangerous?: Well, according to what happened to Ichabod Crane who was pursued by one on Halloween. Actually we’re not sure whether he died or just skipped town. In Celtic Mythology, it causes a death as soon as it stops riding and calls out a name.
Can It Be Domesticated?: Hell no.
How to Get Rid of It: Try to find his head. Oh, wait, you can’t. Maybe have him chase you through a bridge at a town entrance since he’s incapable of crossing one. Then again, he threw his pumpkin head to Ichabod.

 

97. Succubus

Sure she may look appealing but guys, any sexual intercourse with a succubus could result in sleep paralysis. If a man has sex with a succubus often enough, he could die and suffer eternal damnation as a result. Same goes with women who encounter an incubus which may result in a demon child or Merlin.

Sure she may look appealing but guys, any sexual intercourse with a succubus could result in sleep paralysis. If a man has sex with a succubus often enough, he could die and suffer eternal damnation as a result. Same goes with women who encounter an incubus which may result in a demon child or Merlin.

Type: Spirit, Humanoid
From: Middle Eastern and European Folklore
Features: Sexually appealing human body of a woman and may have demonic features like bat wings. Used to be portrayed being hideously disfigured and having 3 sets of breasts and talon like nails. Descriptions vary from legend and appear most pleasing to their intended victims. Male counterpart is Incubus.
Behavior: They are capable of super speed, strength, and stamina. Can shape shift as well as appear in dreams and are immortal.
Habitat: Worldwide and Hell.
Is It Dangerous?: Oh yes. Feed off of souls of young men in their sleep. Victims are said to feel something sitting on their nether region one night and drained, unable to move, and petrified after experiencing a wonderful erotic dream the night before. Repeated sexual activity with one may result in health deterioration and/or death.
Can It Be Domesticated?: No way in Hell.
How to Get Rid of It: Go to sleep wearing a cross necklace or crucifix. That, or don’t go to sleep at all for a while.

 

98. Jiang Shi (a. k. a. Jiangshi)

The Jiang Shi is basically a Chinese cross between a vampire and a zombie. Like vampires, they're  dressed in aristocratic that is outdated by at least 100 years. Yet, like a zombie it doesn't really have much of personality since it can't speak. Still, wouldn't do well in Michael Jackson's "Thriller" video since it can only move by hopping with its arms outstretched.

The Jiang Shi is basically a Chinese cross between a vampire and a zombie. Like vampires, they’re dressed in aristocratic that is outdated by at least 100 years. Yet, like a zombie it doesn’t really have much of personality since it can’t speak. Still, wouldn’t do well in Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” video since it can only move by hopping with its arms outstretched.

Type: Undead, Humanoid
From: Chinese Mythology
Features: A reanimated corpse with long strong fingernails. Tend to wear very old fashion clothes since they only wake up every hundred years. May have greenish white skin and a long prehensile tongue. Kind of a Chinese version of a vampire or zombie. Appearances vary. Depicted in the fashion of the dynastic Chinese nobility.
Behavior: Moves around with a stiff hopping gait and arms outstretched. Created when the soul refuses to leave a deceased’s body due to improper death, suicide, or just the desire to cause trouble. Have no higher consciousness such as independent thought. Can’t see, speak, or hear so they locate their prey with their sense of smell or breathing detection.
Habitat: China and Japan.
Is It Dangerous?: Yes. Known to hop around and kill the living and absorbing their life essence.
Can It Be Domesticated?: Absolutely not. They’re human, dead, and dangerous.
How to Get Rid of It: Knock it over and it won’t get up. In Japanese legend, if you can hold your breath, you can escape them. You can also ward them off by writing a special spell on thin yellow paper using chicken blood as ink and stick it to its forehead. Another method is throwing rice in their tracks because these creatures can’t pass until they’ve counted every single grain. Mirrors, rooster calls, items made from peach tree wood, Jujube seeds, Azuki beans, Ba gua signs, handbells, axes, brooms, toadstools, and stonemason’s awls are also useful. Same goes for thread stained with black ink, fire, hooves of a black donkey, the I Ching, the Tong Shu, and blood of a black dog.

 

99. Grim Reaper (a. k. a. Angel of Death, Spectre of Death, or Death)

In Western society the Grim Reaper has served as a personification of death. He is known to show up when someone is nearing the last few minutes of life. You may try to get out of it but if you do, it won't be for long. And if you play chess with the Grim Reaper, you'll lose.

In Western society the Grim Reaper has served as a personification of death. He is known to show up when someone is nearing the last few minutes of life. You may try to get out of it but if you do, it won’t be for long. And if you play chess with the Grim Reaper, you’ll lose.

Type: Spirit, Undead, Humanoid
From: 16th Century European Legend
Features: Usually depicted as a skull face wearing a black cloak and hood. Is usually seen carry a scythe or hourglass. Sometimes accompanied by a raven or black crow. Yet, in The Seventh Seal, he resembles a young Max von Sydow. Has hidden wings so he could fly.
Behavior: Very smart second to God and will even beat the best grandmasters in a game of chess. Yet, some stories have him tricked, bribed, or outwitted to retain someone’s life. Can teleport, use telekinesis, and rip out someone’s soul if he or she is condemned to Hell. Could sense living and dead people in his midst. Solitary and active 24/7.
Habitat: Worldwide. Usually hangs out in old folks homes, crime ridden neighborhoods, Third World countries, and hospitals.
Is It Dangerous?: Well, he usually doesn’t show up until it’s your time to die so you can’t really say he’s dangerous. Then again, there are tales in which he could cause the victim’s death.
Can It Be Domesticated?: Absolutely not.
How to Get Rid of It: You can’t. He’s Death so you can’t get rid of or avoid him. Even if you can outwit, trick, or bribe him, he will be back. If he shows up after you, just accept your fate and join him.

 

100. Waheela (a. k. a. Bear Dog)

While the Waheela in this picture may seem happily domesticated by this wolfskin wearing woman in this painting, remember that its home is translated into "The Headless Valley" because of the mysterious decapitations that took place there. Still, it's usually the beast to blame. You don't want to domesticate that, would you?

While the Waheela in this picture may seem happily domesticated by this wolfskin wearing woman in this painting, remember that its home is translated into “The Headless Valley” because of the mysterious decapitations that took place there. Still, it’s usually the beast to blame. You don’t want to domesticate that, would you?

Type: Cryptid, Hybrid
From: Canada
Features: Resembles a cross between a bear and a wolf. Once described as a wolf on steroids with shorter legs. Depictions may vary.
Behavior: Travel in groups of two or three. Said to be capable of supernatural powers and live for over 10,000 years.
Habitat: The Nahanni Valley in the Northwest Territories of Canada.
Is It Dangerous?: It’s habitat is also known as “The Headless Valley” because of the mysterious deaths this creature may have been responsible for resulted in bodies found that had missing heads.
Can It Be Domesticated?: No way in hell.
How to Get Rid of It: We’re not sure how.

 

101. Lusca

No, that's not a sharkoctopus created in some lab experiment but close. It's actually a Lusca from Caribbean Mythology said to live in the blue holes in the Bahamas. Let's say just this monster needs its own franchise if you know what I mean.

No, that’s not a sharkoctopus created in some lab experiment but close. It’s actually a Lusca from Caribbean Mythology said to live in the blue holes in the Bahamas. Let’s say just this monster needs its own franchise if you know what I mean.

Type: Hybrid, Sea Monster, Cryptid
From: Caribbean Folklore
Features: Gigantic and cross between a shark and an octopus. Described as having a shark’s head and huge octopus tentacles. Said to be between 75-200ft. Tales range from them being portrayed as multi-headed monsters, dragon like beasts, evil entities, or some type of extremely large eels.
Behavior: Can change color and blend in to hide their surroundings.
Habitat: Blue holes found in the waters around the Bahamas.
Is It Dangerous?: Known to surge out and attack out of blue holes. Said to have entire ships sunk in such blue holes in giant whirlpools only have the wreckage float back after. Some have never returned. Known to terrorize fishermen and other inhabitants.
Can It Be Domesticated?: You got to be kidding me.
How to Get Rid of It: Have it wash ashore? Torpedoes?

 

102. Fairy

Like nymphs, fairies can come in all shapes and sizes but they're usually depicted small with insect wings as well as be in the form of pretty women. Still, they have appeared in everything in Western literature from Shakespeare, King Arthur, Rudyard Kipling, and Peter Pan.

Like nymphs, fairies can come in all shapes and sizes but they’re usually depicted small with insect wings as well as be in the form of pretty women. Still, they have appeared in everything in Western literature from Shakespeare, King Arthur, Rudyard Kipling, and Peter Pan.

Type: Spirit, Humanoid, Imp
From: Western European Mythology
Features: Human like that’s usually very small and portrayed with insect or butterfly wings. Yet, can be tall, glowing, and angelic. Said to be dead beings, an intelligent species, or demoted angels. Appearances may vary.
Behavior: Have magical powers. May travel in groups or be solitary. At best can be regarded as blessed and holy, eager to seek help from humans in return of kindness with gifts and favors. At worst can be harassing hordes to travelers and lead people astray.
Habitat: Gardens and woodlands.
Is It Dangerous?: Can range from benevolent to malicious. So it greatly depends on the story. At worst, can be known as anything from pranksters to kidnapping children and the elderly.
Can It Be Domesticated?: Once again, depends on the story. Still, even good fairies should be treated with respect.
How to Get Rid of It: I’m not sure if you want to or can.

 

103. Skeletal Warrior

While some skeletons can bring reminders of death and mortality, there are those in undead armies that bring death to people and seem almost indestructible.

While some skeletons can bring reminders of death and mortality, there are those in undead armies that bring death to people and seem almost indestructible.

Type: Undead, Humanoid
From: Ancient Romany Mythology
Features: Weapon wielding humanoid skeleton. Could be armed with daggers, helmets, swords, shields, and spears. Said to be remains of dead heroes and soldiers from previously destroyed armies.
Behavior: Have an arsenal consisting of any weapons by a living soldier of battle from any army that ever existed. Travel in groups. Have supernatural strength and can use magic.
Habitat: Wherever they are called upon by evil magic.
Is It Dangerous?: Have an inhuman strength to conquer all who oppose them. Seen as omens of death.
Can It Be Domesticated?: Only by evil magicians. According to Ancient Roman mythology, they could be bodyguards of the gods.
How to Get Rid of It: I’m not sure how or if they can. Perhaps destroy the person who summoned them.

 

104. Dhampir

Dhampirs are basically children of vampires and humans who don't lead very nice lives. They usually tend to have uneasy tormented childhoods, have no permanent residence, and usually become vampire slayers because it's one of a few good avenues for employment. Also tend to die horribly in some stories.

Dhampirs are basically children of vampires and humans who don’t lead very nice lives. They usually tend to have uneasy tormented childhoods, have no permanent residence, and usually become vampire slayers because it’s one of a few good avenues for employment. Also tend to die horribly in some stories.

Type: Hybrid, Humanoid, Undead
From: Balkan Folklore
Features: Offspring of a human and a vampire. Albanian legends say that they untamed dark or black hair and lack a shadow. Bulgarian Folklore states that they are very dirty from having a soft body, no nails, and bones as well as a deep mark on the back like a tail. They may also have larger than normal ears, eyes, and noses. Sometimes said to have a slippery-jelly like body and only live a short life.
Behavior: Usually nomads who may have rejected their vampire/human blood. Yet, they have a lot of powers associated with vampirism like enhanced senses, psychic powers, and superhuman strength. Many tend to be vampire hunters themselves. May be the only ones to see vampires invisibly. However, they don’t have any vampire weaknesses or watered down.
Habitat: Worldwide.
Is It Dangerous?: Tries not to be, at least to humans. This doesn’t mean they aren’t.
Can It Be Domesticated?: No, they’re actually humans and want to be treated as such. Yet, they could be hired as vampire hunters by villages.
How to Get Rid of It: Though they don’t age after adulthood or die of natural causes, they can be killed. Also, they can be killed with a stake through the heart.

 

105. Sarimanok (a. k. a. Itotoro)

The legendary Sarimanok is a beautiful rainbow colored bird as well as a symbol of the Maranao people of the Philippines. Still, it tends to be depicted as a chicken nonetheless leading some to suspect it as created by someone on psychedelic drugs.

The legendary Sarimanok is a beautiful rainbow colored bird as well as a symbol of the Maranao people of the Philippines. Still, it tends to be depicted as a chicken nonetheless leading some to suspect it as created by someone on psychedelic drugs.

Type: Divine Bird
From: Maranao Mythology (possibly Islamic Legend)
Features: Bird with colorful wings and feathered tail. Sometimes is depicted as a colorful rooster or holding a fish in its beak or talons. Head is decorated with scroll, leaf, and spiral motifs sometimes.
Behavior: Capable of magical powers, shape shifting, and good fortune. May serve as medium to the spirit world via its unseen twin spirit bird Inikadowa.
Habitat: The Mindano Region of the Philippines.
Is It Dangerous?: I’m not so sure but it doesn’t seem to be.
Can It Be Domesticated?: Probably not.
How to Get Rid of It: Since it’s a symbol of the Maranao people of the Philippines that denotes good fortune, I would highly advise against getting rid of this Technicolor chicken.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s