The 7 Most Famous Mythical Creatures on Earth (That Some People Believe Are Real)

There are all kinds oflegendary creatures, mythical beasts, and supernatural beings we read about in books or watch in films and television shows. At one point in history, these mythical creatures were believed by many to be real. Amazingly, there are some people today who strongly believe these creatures still exist, even though there is no substantial evidence to back up their theories.

So, here are the 7 most famous mythical creatures (that some people still believe are real).

1. Unicorns

This beautiful and legendary creature is certainly one of the most beloved beasts among many, especially young girls.

The unicorn is described as an animal that resembles a horse, but with a large, spiraling, and pointed horn projecting from its forehead. While the unicorn is not necessarily recognized in Greek mythology, it is indeed mentioned in accounts of natural history.

The Bible also describes an animal in Deuteronomy that was once thought to be a unicorn. However, thatparticular description is now associated witha wild ox or rhinoceros.

During Marco Polo’s travels, he also believed to have stumbled across unicorns. He wrote, “They are very ugly brutes to look at. They are not at all such as we describe unicorns.” The reason why they were so ugly is because he was actually looking at rhinoceroses.

During The Middle Ages and The Renaissance period, the unicorn was a symbol of grace and purity. In fact, it was believed that a unicorn could only be captured by a virgin. According to manylegends, virgins had great power over these creatures.

The unicorn horn was thought to have special medicinal properties. It was also a legend that the horn could counteract poison and purify water. That’s why the unicorn horn was literally worth 10 times its weight in gold at one time.

While some believe that unicorns may have existed but were driven to extinction, there is no proof of this theory. Either way, this mythical creature continues to capture the imagination of many.

2. The Loch Ness Monster

This mythical creature is a lake monster, which supposedly resides in the Loch Ness, a lake in the Scottish Highlands.

The Loch Ness Monster, often affectionately referred to as “Nessie,” is described as being large in size, with a long neck and one or more humps that protrude out of the lake. Some believe Nessie is a plesiosaurus, a type of dinosaur, which roamed the earth 205 million years ago.

Dr. Kenneth Wilson is recognized for capturing the most famous image of the Loch Ness Monster (above). The Surgeon’s Photograph was published in the Daily Mail on April 21, 1934. However, the Sunday Telegraph called out the Surgeon’s Photograph as “fake” on December 7, 1975. According to the Telegraph UK:

“Nessie – the Surgeon’s Photograph Exposed, a 1999 book, explains that the hoax was accomplished using a toy submarine purchased from Woolworths and a fake head and neck. The model was sunk after being photographed, and is presumably still somewhere in the loch.”
Nessie gainedworldwide attention in the 1930’s and 40’s, but the earliest sighting of the monster was thought to have occurred in the sixth century AD in the Life of St. Columba by Adomnán, an abbot of Iona.

The famous creature continues to be a phenomenon in Western media. In fact, there are 200,000 searches for the Loch Ness Monster every single month. Nessie was also named the most famous Scot in a 2006 survey.

Although, there have been over different 1,000 recorded sightings of the monster, the science community only recognizes Nessie as god old-fashioned folklore. Modern day sightings are explained to be “hoaxes, wishful thinking, or misidentified objects.’” Many people have even attempted to create false images of Nessie, using bales of hay to create humps, or stuffed hippo feet to make a trail of fake footprints. Yet, there is very little evidence to prove the creature’s existence, according to scientists.

Either way, Nessie has inspired many films such as “Loch Ness” (1996) and “Water Horse” (2007).

3. Mermaids

Another incredibly popular mythical being, the mermaid is a legendary aquatic creature with the head and upper body of a female human, and the tail of a fish. Mermaids are notorious for their beauty and melodious singing. Also, according to folklore, a mermaid’s kiss is said to empower a human with the ability to travel underwater.

Mermaids can certainly be found in legends in many countries around the world. The first appearances of these aquatic goddesses were traced back to ancient Assyria. After accidentally killing her mortal lover, the goddess Atargatis shape-shifted herself into a mermaid out of shame. She plunged into a lake, transforming herself into a creature with a head of a human and tail of a fish.

Since then, mermaids have often appeared in many stories associated with floods, storms, shipwrecks and drownings. Merman, the male version of a mermaid, is also a figure found in folklore, although less common than their female counterparts.

While there is no evidence to prove that mermaids truly exist, there have been reports of mermaid sightings in many parts of the world.

Either way, they are still an incredibly fascinating subject found in art and literature as they are depicted in many paintings, books, and films. In fact, affection for mermaids surged in 1989 when Walt Disney Pictures released its production of the “The Little Mermaid,” which inspired just about every little girl to dress up in a fishtail like the famous Disney mermaid, Ariel.

4. Werewolves

A werewolf or “wolf person” is legendary folkloric human who has the ability to transform into a wolf, either intentionally or after being subjected to some type of distress or a curse. It is also said that the human could transform into a wolf during the full moon and were immune to any kind of weapon except those made of silver.

Werewolves are often referred to as “Lycanthropes,” which is a term derived from Ancient Greel. Lukos means “wolf” and Anthropos means “human”. The origin of Lycanthrope dates back to the 5th century, when the Greek historian Herodotus described a tribe from Scythia that transformed into wolves once a year for many days, and then morphed back into their human shape.

The werewolf is also a very popular phenomenon in European folklore andexists in many different forms. It developed in Europe during the Medieval Period and then later spread to America along with the colonists. Belief in werewolves often correlated with the belief in witches and the “witch hunt” era, especially during the Late Middle Ages and the Early Modern Period. However, after the witch trials ended, the werewolf became a popular subject of folklore studies.

Today, werewolves continue to be a part of the horror and imagination of our modern pop culture. In fact, the werewolf is depicted as the “good guy” in movies like Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight series, where this mythical beast protects humans from evil vampires.

5. Bigfoot

This popular mythical beast, Bigfoot or “Sasquatch” is often described as a large, dark brown, hairy, bipedal ape-like beast with large eyes, a pronounced brow ridge, and a low-set forehead. In fact, its head is often said to resemble that of a male gorilla. Bigfoot is also reported to have an unpleasant smell. Some of its footprints have been measured to be as large as 24 inches long and 8 inches wide, hence its name. Bigfoot isalso believed to be omnivorous and nocturnal.

This creaturelives in forests, especially in the Pacific Northwest. However, many cultures have their version of Bigfoot, including the Yeti of the Himalayas. There are also more than 12 different types of Bigfoot residing in Appalachia, ranging from a human-looking Grass Man to an eight foot tall Midnight Whistler. Not to mention the fact that Native Americans have had their own reports of sightings.

Though there have been photographs proving Bigfoot’s existence, scientists often discount the physical evidence and consider it to be either: folklore, misidentification, or a hoax. However, a small group of investigators have maintained interest in the subject.

Either way, Bigfoot is basically a giant, hairy human with an enormous footprint, and a scary creature with the ability to scare the beans of campers.

6. Vampires

These legendary beings are notorious for wandering the countryside and sucking the blood out of unsuspecting victims.They are often described as pale and gaunt with fangs for teeth.

Vampires are popular in many cultures worldwide. According to European folklore, theywere often depicted asundead beings that often visited family members and wreaked havocin places they lived when there were alive.

Early belief in vampires also sometimes had to do with a lack of understanding of the decomposition process after death. But in modern times, Bram Stoker’s highly successful 1897 piece Dracula popularized vampires, and the book became the blueprint for the modern vampire legend. As a result many other vampire books, films and television shows have become very popular, including Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight series.

Interestingly, the famous vampire on Sesame Street, Count von Count, originated from an actual vampire myth that vampires are compelled to count seeds or holes. So, a method of deterring a vampire is to throw seeds (usually mustard) or a fishing net outside a door or place for a vampire to count as a way to stall the vampire until the sun comes up.

Other ways of repelling vampires include: garlic, rowan trees, iron bells, a rooster’s crow, peppermint, running water, holy water, crucifixes, and Eucharist wafers. However, these methods often depend on the belief of the user.

7. Phoenix

The phoenix is colorful bird that originated from Greek mythology, and was associated with the sun god. It was also an early symbol of Christianity because it represented being born again into a new life. Ultimately, the phoenix symbolizes immortality, resurrection, and resurrection after death.

According to the Greeks, the phoenix lived in Arabia, near a well. Every morning the sun god would stop his chariot to listen to it sing a beautiful song as it bathed in the well.

Also according to legends, the phoenix lived a long life, died in a show of flame and combustion, and then received new life by arising from the ashes of its predecessor to begin eternal life. Some stories claim that the phoenix could live over 1,400 years before rebirth.

Only one phoenix was said to live at a time. Gold and red in color, this male bird gathered twigs and spices and built its nest. Then it sat on the nest and waited for a ray of sun to set the nest on fire. It never tried to escape its fiery death because from its ashes a new, beautiful phoenix would rise out. The newly risen phoenix would live a long life and then the cycle would repeat.

As revered as it was, the phoenix never truly existed. It was simply a large bird resembling an eagle that was written about in Greek mythology and ancient Egyptian legends.Yet, it still makes a great example today of survival, renewal, strength, and victory.

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