The mythology of every nation is replete with monsters that used to scare children and which many adults were afraid of (and someone is still afraid). These monsters become heroes of fairy tales and ballads, and films and books are written about them . Today we will talk about 10 of the most terrible monsters from around the world, touching upon the myths of Greece, Slavic culture, and even talk about the monster from Abkhazia.
- 10. Ayustal
- 9. Kraken
- 8. Mananangal
- 7. Cyclops
- 6. Koschey
- 5. Shikome
- 4. Voyivre
- 3. Griffin
- 2. Yrka
- 1. Cerberus
Table of Contents
A vile and unpleasant creature from Abkhaz mythology, which is very similar to our devil. Small, with hooves and claws, he does not have great strength, but he likes to offend the weak and even knows how to move into sick and infirm people. Quarrels in the family, illness , death – all this in Abkhazia is considered the work of Ayustal .
The Scandinavians were experienced sailors and navigators. But during their travels, they often came across things they couldn’t explain, including sea monsters. One such sea monster, the Kraken , has become firmly established in Norse mythology for its sheer size and habit of attacking ships and devouring sailors.
Norse and Viking legends describe the Kraken as a giant tentacle creature with eyes the size of dinner plates. Most “eyewitnesses” compared the Kraken to a squid or octopus, but noted that it was much, much larger. Some stories claim that the Kraken’s tentacles are hundreds of meters long. Others say that the sea monster is so big that it could be mistaken for an island.
Legend has it that Mananangal is a beautiful woman by day, who turns into an evil, blood-drinking monster at nightfall. It is said that Mananangal will crawl out of his house around midnight to hide in the bushes or maybe in a grove of banana trees. There, she rubs her body with a certain type of oil, and after a few minutes, she grows out wings similar to those of a bat, and her body splits in half at the waist. The body from the navel downward will remain in place, and the upper half flies in search of something to eat.
With her keen sense of smell, she can smell a sick person or a pregnant woman even several kilometers away. In the Philippines, this monster is really afraid, because despite the year 2020, the people there are still quite superstitious.
Cyclops are gigantic one-eyed monsters, a savage race of creatures that possess neither social manners nor fear of gods. Cyclops means round eye. Considered the sons of Uranus and Gaia, they served Hephaestus, whose workshop was located in the heart of the volcanic Mount Etna. According to Homer’s Odyssey, where he introduced probably the most famous Cyclops, Polyphemus, the Cyclops were the sons of Poseidon, not Gaia.
Homer described the Cyclops as savages who abstained from agriculture and laws and were shepherds who lived in the southwestern part of Sicily, actively fed on humans, and lived with their wives and children in caves.
“There is an island on the sea on the ocean , on that island there is an oak, under the oak there is a chest, a hare in a chest, a duck in a hare, an egg in a duck, a needle in an egg, – the death of Koshchei” – these words are familiar to everyone from childhood child, since Koschey , along with Ivan, is perhaps the most popular fairytale character from Slavic culture. An evil sorcerer who loves to ride a magic talking horse and kidnap other people’s brides.
Shikome is a broad term describing monsters that look like ugly women. In addition to being ugly, they often have bestial features such as claws, paws, pointed ears, or clumps of fluffy hair. They usually have long black hair, sagging misshapen breasts, and wide, twisted smiles. Shikome spends a lot of effort trying to make herself beautiful by applying thick white makeup to her face and wearing layered kimonos. Their excessive self-care only accentuates their ugliness, making them a satirical mockery of high fashion.
They are servants of the land of the dead, and they are quite dangerous. They are fast, capable of jumping a thousand ri (approximately four thousand kilometers) at a time. They are also always hungry and can consume food at an incredible rate. And they love, as you know, not pizza or sushi.
Vuivre has been an integral part of French heritage since the 12th century. It is described as a water snake with two legs, two wings and no arms, which sets it apart from what it is often compared to – the dragon. Like the dragon, Vuivre is the guardian of treasures. Its hiding place is underground, and you can see how this creature washes its shining wings at the water’s edge only once a year, when it goes out to drink and fish in lakes or rivers.
At this particular moment, he places a carbuncle in the reed, that is, a giant gem that he wears on his forehead. This carbuncle in legends is the unique eye of the wyvern. Obviously, this fascinates the men in all the legends, and sometimes those who manage to grab him will find out that he is capable of turning iron into gold.
The griffin is a composite mythological creature with the body of a lion (winged or wingless) and the head of a bird, usually the head of an eagle. The griffin was a favorite decorative motif in the ancient Middle Eastern and Mediterranean lands. Probably originating in the Levant in the 2nd millennium BC, the griffin spread throughout Western Asia and Greece by the 14th century BC. The Asiatic vulture had a crested head, while the Minoan and Greek vultures usually had a mane of spiral curls. Most often he was portrayed either lying or sitting, often paired with a sphinx.
The ancient Slavs did not approve of suicide and believed that a person who cut off his life himself turns into Yrku in a year . Where they got this word and why they called it that way is unknown. Yrka is, in fact, a kind of analogue of a zombie and a vampire in one person: a terrible, half-decayed monster that wanders the Earth with only one purpose – to drink human blood. This monster did not always hunt people alone: he also had a partner Ukrut, who played a secondary role in their tandem and brought sacrifices to Yrke.
Cerberus – also known as the “Hound of Hades” – was a multi-headed dog who guarded the gates of the underworld, kept the dead from escaping, and made sure those who entered never left. Child of Typhon and Echidna, he was part of a monstrous family that included Orthus, Lernaean Hydra, and Chimera. On only three occasions Cerberus was deceived by visitors to Hades: Hercules did it with his strength, Orpheus with his music, and Sybil Kumae with honey cake.
According to Hesiod, Cerberus was the second of the four monstrous children of Typhon and Echidna, born after Orth, the two-headed dog who guarded Geryon’s cattle, but before the Lernaean Hydra and possibly the Chimera, they are all multi-headed. Later authors list many other monsters among the siblings of Cerberus, including the Sphinx, Nemean Lion, Caucasian Eagle, Sow Crommyonian, Colchis Dragon, Ladon, and even Scylla and the mother of the gorgon. A wonderful family, what can I say.