Top Five Mythical Creatures
Mythical creatures can often be traced back to literary works and myths. They are creatures which have become popular over the years due to storytelling and the circulation of literature. Below is a description of five of the most popular mythical creatures.
The phoenix is a mythical bird which has been represented in Greek, Indian and Egyptian mythology. The story goes that the phoenix has a sense of when its 1000 year life is coming to an end. At this time, the bird creates a funeral pyre for itself out of cinnamon or some other aromatic substance, sets fire to it and allows itself to be burned to ashes. Out of the ashes, a new phoenix is born and rises to start its brand new life. The rising phoenix is associated with the rising of the sun in most mythologies and has a close association with a sun god called Ra.
The centaur is half horse and part man. Its upper body looks like that of a man, while it has the legs and lower body of a horse. The centaur comes from Greek mythology and the creature has fascinated mankind for centuries as evidenced by the multitude of stories about the creature. For the most part, due to them being part man, part wild animal, they are portrayed as rowdy creatures who like to fight and drink heavily- causing them to get into no end of trouble with mankind. One exception to this typecasting in Greek mythology is a centaur named Chiron, who is portrayed as a wise respected and wise healer and intellectual being.
Mermaids are described as irresistibly beautiful fish maidens with long luscious hair and unparallel powers of seduction. With the head and torso of a beautiful young maiden and the lower body of a fish, sailors have reported sighting these mysterious creatures since ancient times- at least 3,000 years ago. While some stories have reported helpful creatures who rescued men who had been thrown overboard, other stories are of wicked creatures that lure men to their deaths by singing irresistible beautiful songs which cause them to crash into the rocks and die.
Leviathan is an angry sea creature which is referred to numerous times in the Old Testament. It is described sometimes as a huge sea serpent with scaly skin and glowing eyes and other times as a giant crocodile. Some people believe that God made a male and female Leviathan, but destroyed the female version to avoid more angry sea monsters roaming the seas. Leviathan is known in mythology for crushing ships and killing and eating numerous humans.
The myth of the dragon is at least 4,000 years old. The dragon is depicted as a giant, flying, fire breathing reptile which also shoots poison which can kill from its nostrils. In the West, the dragon is often portrayed in tales as being a monster that kidnaps a young fair maiden, inspiring a brave young knight to take up his weapons in an attempt to slay it and save the maiden. However, in China, dragons are revered as being wise and gentle creatures which protect humans. They are seen as a symbols of courage.