A Modest List of Rare Mythical Creatures

alicorn, rare mythical creatures

There are a ton of mythical creatures out there, from ancient civilizations to modern times. Rare mythical creatures stand to be known, whether you like it or not. Well, some are just not as known as your typical creature, but they are still a part of history and certain cultures. These are some of the lesser-known mythical creatures that you may not ever see in media.

Some rare mythical creatures share the fame with family

While some of these are just cousins to the main mythical creatures you know of today, some are privy to just not being well known. Because there are many culturally linked lesser-known mythical creatures, some of these on the list are link to one myth in one area. Luckily, cultures tend to repeat some creatures, so you may recognize the monster from another time or area.

You can’t really know why a creature just became more popular than other, but there are cultural influences. Some derived from the same creature and an amalgamation was chosen, or one had a higher influence than the others. Either way, the rare mythical creatures of our time still should have some spotlight on them.

Akuma

Now, this one has been in media, but is rarely given the name. It is a Japanese fire spirit and is seen as bad news, literally. If you see one, you’re going to have misfortune and just an overall bad time. Some reports state that it carries a sword, but this statement may have been changed due to modern media.

Alicorn

You’ve heard of the unicorn in many ways, but the alicorn is something quite special because of its many meanings. While it has been used to describe the horn of a unicorn, it also means a winged unicorn. This could also be a Pegasus that has a horn.

Babaroga

Since you’ve heard of the Baba Yaga, you may not know of the other witch in the Slavic wild, the Babaroga. It isn’t just a gaming company, but a mythical creature. She kidnaps bad children and takes them to her cave. She is described as a hag, or an old and ugly woman.

Depiction of a hag, babaroga as a rare mythical creatures
Depiction of a hag.

Cockatrice

This creature is also a cousin to a more known mythical monster: the basilisk. It shares many of the same features of the basilisk, but instead has the head of a rooster. It is the result of a chicken egg with a rooster embryo that hatched after 7 years by a snake or a toad.

El Sombrerón

Who needs the Boogeyman when you have this creature? Looking like an amalgamation of the Babadook and a wicked witch, El Sombrerón is a major legend in Guatemala. Also known as Tzipitio or Tzizimite, he carries a silver guitar with him, swooning over girls with long hair and big eyes. He will only serve his victims dirt and is obsessed with braids.

Ewah

The Ewah myth is from the Cherokee Native Americans and is the most terrifying thing I’ve seen in a while. Being a more frightening version of the Boggart in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, the Ewah is an invisible creature, created by the one who imagines it. When the person imagining it dies, the Ewah is born and terrorizes anyone it sees fit.

Gaasyendietha

I’ve spoken about this one before, but that doesn’t make it unsuitable for this list. This creature is a giant serpent who lives in Lake Ontario. This 45-meter-long dragon serpent hangs out in the lake and eats fish all day, occasionally being seen by fisherman. It has been rumored to breathe fire upon occasion, but it hasn’t been verified.

Gorgons

Yes, yes, Medusa is all over fantastical media, but there are other gorgons out there. Homer wrote only about the one that we all know and fear, but there are two others, thanks to Hesiod. These two are Stheno and Euryale. The two are depicted as immortal, unlike Medusa, and share the snake hair look that their sister does.

gorgon as rare mythical creatures
Gorgon by Gordon Johnson from Pixabay

Hybrids

There are some majorly known hybrids, such as griffins, mermaids, and the minotaur, but these are a few in what the real list of hybrids are. There are dozens of different kinds of human-fish, human-animal, animal-animal, and even celestial-animal hybrids out there, like the Kemetic Horus or the Wiccan Horned God. The others include:

  • Naga, a snake-female human hybrid
  • Lamia, a duck-human hybrid
  • Krampus, a German goat-human hybrid
  • Tatzelwurm, a European snake with a cat head hybrid

Kelpie

I will say that this one is in media, but like the Akuma and Gaelic Merrow, it isn’t exactly known by its name. This Scottish creature is a shapeshifter and is mostly known for taking the shape of a horse. They are known for dragging children into a river and eating them. They can also take the shape of a woman to lure men to their death, like a mermaid.

Mapinguari

Oddly enough, there are two types of creatures with this name. One is the sloth. Big sloths are a real thing, or at least were a real thing before extinction took them. These monstrous creatures were giants of their time, named Megatherium sloths, existing about 11,000 years ago. They lived in the Amazon rainforests. The other is a hairy cyclops, who lives closer to Brazil in the Amazon. They could very well be the same, just with different cultural stories connected to them.

Monopod

Of course, there is a creature who would be exceptionally good at the one-legged-race, and it is this one. This creature is of the dwarves in both Canada and Greece, but it did have documentation from the latter by Pliny the Elder. The Monopod is said to have one leg that protrudes from its torso. There are others like this one, like the Patasola, a one-legged vampire in South America.

Nando-baba

It may be because I have a small obsession with the word “baba”, but this creature deserves their spot on this list. The Nando-baba is also deemed as a hag. This Japanese creature hangs out in storerooms and closets that aren’t typically used. Unlike the other baba creatures, they aren’t keen to murder and mayhem. They will chase you around the house if you open the door to their domicile too quickly, though, screaming.

Nymph

The ‘nymph’ is the main name of hundreds of creatures and are mainly from Greek mythology. Nymphs are inferior creatures, mostly being women. They live long lives like elves and enjoy nature, having different names for each area they live in. They have the temperament of fairies at times.

Orang Pendek

Because Bigfoot has yet another cousin, Indonesia’s Orang Pendek gets settled in a spot on the list. Reports have sprung up for about a hundred years as an ape that moves around like a human being. Starting around 1910, this creature has been seen walking around with as much evidence of existing as the big man, er, foot himself.

Ouroboros

While this one has a use in modern media, it is not as common as one would think. This snake creature is seen eating its own tail. You may have seen the symbol at some point in your life. It is from ancient Greece and Egypt, with the oldest depiction around 1,400 B.C. in the latter. It is the symbol of unity of all things.

Ouroboros
Ouroboros by Gustavo Rezende from Pixabay

Rainbow Fish

This massive fish is from the Hindu culture and is said to be as big as a whale. It is said to have eaten Buddha but was slain by fisherman and he was freed. It is said to have given food to the area for a year. The colors on the fish were to represent the elements.

Revenant

A cousin to the zombie, these European creatures were said to be malevolent and could possibly reanimate their corpses. They could come back as other paranormal monsters such as the werewolf or witch. Culturally, they shared a likeliness to the vampire, which, oddly enough, they weren’t keen on coming back as.

Seven-headed creatures

You’ve probably heard of creatures and mythical beings with 7 heads, like the Hydra, Sumerian’s 7-headed Serpent, the Christian Bible’s Revelations dragon, and the Hindu goddess Manasa, who has 7 cobras behind her head. In cultures from around the world, the 7-headed idea is very much a common aspect, but rarely shown in much of media. I guess 7 heads would be too expensive for CGI.

3 headed dragon, rare mythical creatures
Photo by aisvri on Unsplash

Vardøger

If you thought doppelgängers were scary, wait until you hear about their cousins from the dead. Known in Scandinavia, the Vardøger are ghostly figures that imitate someone before they are actually there. They don’t seem to be aggressive creatures, but ones who mimic the living before their arrival. It is more jamais vu, the opposite of déjà vu.

Were-creatures

Besides the werewolf, there are many other were-creatures out there that are lesser known. Some have media presence, while others are just in mythology. These creatures are always half-human, half-something, but with a twist of turning into them through an outer influence. These include Finland’s werebear, Africa’s werehyena, India’s weretiger, and Mesoamerica’s werejaguar.

Were-creatures can be anywhere.
Were-creatures can be anywhere.

Zilant

To end the list, I chose one off of its looks alone. The Zilant is from the Tartar culture, one that is massive widespread across eastern Europe, the Middle East, and other parts of Asia. This creature is that of a dragon, a wyvern, a chicken, and a dog. His story is that of eating like an herbivore but having some omnivore tendencies with children and virgins. His story is very similar to Smaug from The Hobbit.

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