Top 10 Legendary Creatures, Monsters,
& Mythological Species
is the study of connections between myths, stories, and writings from different cultures.The term
myth is defined as a sacred narrative explaining how the world and humankind came to be. Many historical mythologies
have the same legendary creatures, monsters, human races, and Gods.These creatures and individual
species are thought to have inhabited ancient earth. Some common examples include leprechauns, elves, dragons,
and werewolves.I have included a brief history and information surrounding some of the most infamous
legendary creatures, monsters, and various mythological beings.
A gnome is a mythological humanoid creature characterized by
its extremely small size and subterranean lifestyle.Most gnomes are earth dwellers and they built
elaborate underground homes.They will often burrow into the sides of large hills.The
gnomes are a specific species, but often get confused with other similar mythological creatures, most often the
goblins and dwarfs.Goblins are fictional, evil, crabby, and mischievous creatures described
as a grotesquely disfigured.They are similar to gnomes in size, but can also reach the height of
humans.Dwarfs are another mythological humanoid creature that has magical
talents, often involving metallurgy.
are many different races of gnomes, including the kaukis, which is a Prussian gnome, and barbegazi are gnome-like creatures
with big feet that live in France and Switzerland.Further east, tengu are sometimes referred to as
winged gnomes.Many gnomes are hunchback and their individual kingdoms are ruled by a leader.Gnomes are nice creatures by nature.They traditionally are small, bearded, and wear pointed, colorful, conical hats.They live in natural areas close to the Earth and care for wildlife.
Nymph societies are
a staple in Greek mythology. They are described as a female spirit typically associated with a particular location
or landform. Nymphs live in mountains, groves, springs and rivers, also in trees, valleys, and
cool grottoes.They are noble creatures and are frequently associated with the superior divinities.Throughout their history Nymphs were the frequent target of satyrs, who were a troop of primarily male humans
that roamed the mountains.Usually female, they dress in white, with garments decked with garlands
of flowers. They frequently have unnatural legs, like those of a goat, donkey or cow.They are
extremely beautiful creatures.
move swiftly and invisibly, ride through the air, and slip through small holes.They are not immortal,
but their lives exceeded a human's tenfold, and they retained their beauty until death. Nymphs tend to
frequent areas distant from humans, but can be encountered by lone travelers outside the village. Nymphs might
appear in a whirlwind, which can be harmful to humans causing infatuation, madness, or stroke. There are many different
species of Nymphs and some can be found in the oceans.
In Greek mythology, the centaurs are a race of creatures composed of part
human and part horse. They are equipped with the torso of a human joined at the waist of
a horse's neck.Like the mythological satyrs, centaurs were notorious for being overly indulgent drinkers and trouble makers.They were prone to violence when intoxicated
and generally uncultured delinquents, although intelligent and kind centaurs did exist.A great
example is Chiron.Centaurs were said to have inhabited the region of Magnesia and Mount Pelion in
Thessaly, Mount Pholoe in Arcadia and the Malean peninsula in southern Laconia.Females are called
Kentaurides and the species is best known for their fight with the Lapithae, in which they were destroyed. Centaurs
were first described in various Greek literatures and they have been accounted for in various cultural eras.
Kraken are mythological sea monsters of gargantuan size.They are
said to exist off the coasts of Norway and Iceland.The sheer size and dreadful appearance of
these beasts have made them one of the most feared ocean-dwelling creatures. Kraken are one of
the largest species of sea monster and sea serpent. Accounts surrounding the monsters may have originated
from sightings of giant squid.Modern scientists are learning about the habitat and breading populations
of the giant squid, which can grow to the size of 15 metres (50-60 feet).
Kraken usually live in the depths of the ocean, but can
be seen on the surface of the water. Reports claim that the monsters will attack ships in search for food and pure destruction.Kraken are said to have great intelligence, but little is known about them. The monster
is reported to look like a mixture between a giant squid and some form of crab.When a Kraken is in
the area you may see bubbles of water, sudden and dangerous currents, or the appearance of new islets.Norwegian
sailors and American whalers often reported the presence of Kraken.Many historic and mysterious ship
wrecks and disappearances have been credited to the monster, including one famous 1782 incident in which ten British
Dragons are legendary creatures that are typically portrayed with serpentine or reptilian traits. They are featured in the ancient mythology of many different cultures.The
two most common dragon species originated in the European and Oriental nations.They generally
have a body like a huge lizard, or a snake with two pairs of lizard-type legs. The creatures are able to emit fire from
their mouths. The European dragon has bat-like wings growing from its back.Like most mythological
creatures, dragons are perceived in different ways by separate cultures.
They often spit fire, but have been reported omitting poison
or even ice.The dragon’s most definable feature is their large yellow or red eyes.Asian cultures view dragons as primal forces of nature, religion, and the universe.They are
associated with wisdom and magic, wells, rain, and rivers.Dragons can even be taught human speech
in some areas of the world. They are widely used in fantasy novels and film.
ogre is a mythological humanoid monster that is large, cruel, and hideous.Don’t confuse ogres
with giants because they are not related.Ogres have a large head, abundant hair and beard, a
massive appetite, and a strong body.They are extremely dangerous and like to feed on human flesh.Ogres were also known to terrorize various giant and elf populations.No ogre ever has good
intentions and the modern conception of the creatures has been changed due to the light hearted Shrek, who is a fictional
ogre. Ogres have been depicted in numerous classic works of literature and art.They live in the
deep forest, mountain peaks, caves, and are primarily nocturnal.Ogres don’t have magical powers
and are often viewed as dirty creatures.The smell of the ogre is highly distinct and recognizable
from a distance.If you happen to find yourself in the lair of an ogre population it is already too
late. I included a video of the ogre scene from the 1977 cartoon film The Hobbit.
elves are a race of fertility gods, often pictured as youthful seeming men and women living in forests and underground
places, such as caves, wells, or springs.They are immortal beings that often display magical
powers.Folklore strongly suggests that interaction with elves was common among all the Germanic
tribes, and not limited solely to the ancient Scandinavians.The elves are beautiful human-sized
beings.It is a common misconception that elves are small creatures. In
Norse mythology the main population consisted of females, who lived in the hills and mounds of stones.They are typically pictured as fair-haired
creatures that are nasty when threatened. Elves can often be seen dancing over meadows, particularly at night and
on misty mornings. Anglo-Saxon elves were similar to early elves in Norse mythology. They were human-like,
human-sized supernatural beings, but they were predominantly if not exclusively male.In recent history
elves have appeared in modern fantasy novels, including The Lord of the Rings.
Giants have existed in various cultural mythologies for thousands of years.In Indo European
mythologies, gigantic peoples are featured as primeval creatures associated with chaos and the wild nature. Giants
have super-natural strength and gaping size. Giants and Gods have waged many wars in their existence.Giants come in many different forms and classes, including frost giants, mountain giants, and fire giants. Jotun are minuature giants and usually aren't taller then most humans. One of the most
famous is the Cyclops, which is a member of a primordial race of giants.The Cyclops is known for
its unique feature of a third eye in the middle of its forehead. Giants are believed to have built the remains of previous civilizations, thus explaining architectural formations that must have included the Giants massive strength and ability.
They are not the smartest creatures, but are united. Physical proof of their existance does exist and giant
bones are usually classified as human like remains that are 7’5’’ or more in height.
In Irish folklore,
a leprechaun is a type of male fairy that usually seen the form of an old man.They wear a red or green coat and enjoy partaking in mischief.Like other fairy creatures, leprechauns have been linked to the Tuatha Dé Danann of Irish mythology.They are usually perceived as being no larger then a small child and are professional cobblers and shoemakers.According to legend, the great wealth of these creatures accumulated from uncovered treasure crocks that have been buried in time of war.The leprechaun is the son of an "evil spirit" and a "degenerate fairy" and is not completely
good or evil.
Prior to the 20th century it was generally
considered that the species wore read.The leprechaun is a solitary creature that rarely interacts
with others.Nobody really knows exactly what a leprechaun looks like.Modern films,
television cartoons, and advertising have popularized a specific dim-witted image of leprechauns which bears scant resemblance
to anything found in the cycles of Irish mythology.Irish people find the popularized image of a leprechaun
to be little more than a series of offensive Irish stereotypes.
Lycanthropes or Werewolves are mythological humans that have the ability to shift shape into wolves or anthropomorphic wolf-like creatures.They can infect the human population with a
bite and the creature’s transformation is often associated with a full moon.The lycanthropes
mythology originated in Europe, but many accounts are found all over the ancient world.The creature
has extraordinary strength.They are one of the most common species of shape-shifters.Features of the lycanthrope include the meeting of both eyebrows at the bridge of the nose, curved fingernails,
low set ears, and a swinging stride.A human can be identified as a werewolf by cutting into their
flesh to reveal hair or special bristles under their tongue.
In returning to the human form the creature becomes weak and debilitated. Until
the 20th century wolf attacks on humans was a widespread recorded cause of mass death in Europe. Before the
end of the 19th century, the Greeks believed that the corpses of werewolves, if not destroyed, would return to life as
vampires in the form of wolves or hyenas which prowled battlefields, drinking the blood of dying soldiers.