As if real, earthy creatures weren’t bad enough – spiders, snakes, grizzly bears, bats for christsake – we also have mythical, unreal-until-proven-real, creatures to contend with. Throughout the history of the world, across different continents and cultures, people have been obsessed with otherworldly creatures. These mythical beasts may not exist but that doesn’t stop them from leaving traces of their presence behind or even allowing themselves to be spotted.
The ancient Greek’s believed that the first amphisbaena was spawned from blood that dripped from Medusa’s head. Subsequent generations of this hideous serpent beast stayed alive by feeding off corpses found it in its territory of the Libyan Desert.
Although often referred to as an elf, the Nuckelavee was first thought to be a horse-like demon and originated in Norse mythology. The most horrible demon of the Scottish Islands, the Nuckelavee may have been related to Old Nick himself.
The Taniwha is a whale-like monster from Māori mythology that is thought to live in deep pools or in the sea. Thought to favour places with dangerous currents or giant waves, the Taniwha were thought of as predatory beings who could even kidnap Māori wives for their own.
A creature of Russian legends, Sirin were generally believed to have the head and chest of beautiful women but the bodies of birds, usually owls. Sirins were thought to live near the Euphrates River and were frequently accused of having purposefully led men to their deaths.
According to Angolan legend, a kishi has a man’s face on one side of its head and a hyena’s on the other. After smooth-talking young women into being alone with them, the kishi are said to turn their heads to the hyena side and eat their prey’s face. That’s one way to get your teenage daughter to stay home.