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8 Mythological Creatures That Look Like Real Animals

Legends about mythological animals circulate around the world since antiquity and bring beings that have peculiar shapes and magical powers. Despite the danger they pose, the dream of many people has always been to find these creatures. And oddly enough, many mythological beings resemble animals that inhabited or inhabit the Earth and that probably served as inspiration for explorers of the past.

O awesome.club found 8 real animals that have characteristics similar to mythological creatures and that may have inspired their creation.

1. Unicorn — Narwhal

One of the most fascinating mythological creatures is the unicorn, which is often depicted as a white horse with a long horn. Ancient depictions also included antelope feet. During the Middle Ages, it was considered an animal so powerful that it was capable of knocking an elephant down; moreover, people thought that its horn had properties capable of curing all sorts of diseases.

The unicorn legend may have arisen in the midst of explorations by the Greeks and Romans in Thailand — some people say it was an attempt to describe the Indian rhinoceros. Sometime later, the Vikings used these accounts to market the supposed unicorn horn. However, what they used were the tusks of a marine animal called a narwhal, which has a long “horn” similar to that of the mythological animal. It lives in the Arctic and North Atlantic seas.

2. Dragon — Komodo Dragon

Dragons are present in many cultures, which is why some researchers claim that this mythological creature arose after the discovery of dinosaur bones. In this sense, each culture has developed its own stories about dragons. If for Europeans they were evil creatures, for Chinese and Japanese they were gods who symbolized above all fortune.

The representation of dragons is inspired by reptiles such as alligators, snakes and crocodiles. However, the animal that most resembles the mythological being is the Komodo dragon, a species of lizard that lives in Indonesia and whose size has made it one of the most popular animals in zoos.

3. Lernaean Hydra — Hydra

Greek mythology describes the Lernaean Hydra as a terrifying animal that had many serpent heads that regenerated when decapitated. The creature appears in the story of Hercules, the hero who had to face 12 tests imposed by the gods, one of which was fighting the Lernaean Hydra.

While the idea of ​​an animal with regenerating snake heads seems far-fetched, in nature there are certain species that have the ability to regrow limbs. One of them is the hydra, a freshwater invertebrate animal that, like the mythological being, manages to recompose its parts when cut into different pieces.

4. Kraken — Giant Squid

The Kraken has been described by several writers, including Jules Verne and Alfred Tennyson, as a large marine animal capable of overturning all types of boats. The creature appeared in Scandinavian mythology and was described as an octopus or a giant squid. Some depictions used to show her as an island-sized jellyfish.

The ocean has always hidden many mysteries related to nature, even more so in ancient times, when the sea seemed very scary to navigators. That is why many researchers argue that the sea monster has its real inspiration in the giant squid, which can reach 10 meters and lives in the depths of the oceans.

5. Sea Serpent — Oarfish

There is a monster in the Bible called Leviathan, which is described as a huge sea serpent. For many centuries, sea serpent-like creatures were seen in the Atlantic Ocean, mainly in the 17th century, in New England, which gave rise to the belief in the discovery of a new species in the region.

Today, many people say that observers have mistaken the mythological monster for a giant oarfish, the largest of the vertebrate fish in the world, which can reach 11 meters. The species is found in the pelagic zone of the ocean and although it is a migratory animal it is mostly found in tropical zones.

6. Mermaids — Sirenias

The mermaid has always been a source of inspiration for writers and filmmakers. She appears, for example, in films like The Little Mermaid, where it takes on the image that most people have of these mythological beings: a woman with a fish tail. Interestingly, in Greek mythology, she is represented with bird wings and has a voice capable of hypnotizing sailors and taking them to the bottom of the sea.

It is said that the origin of the stories is in the observation of a species of aquatic mammals known as sirenians, which live in tropical waters. When females suckle their young, the limbs look like hands, which confused sailors watching from afar. In Kenya, they are known as “Queens of the Sea”.

7. Yeti — Bear

If you’ve ever seen a movie or series about explorations in the Arctic or Everest, you must have seen some mention of the Yeti. He is represented as a giant white primate that walks on two legs, like a normal human being. For decades, research has been carried out with the hope of finding this species and turning the famous legend into reality.

For the most skeptical, the Yeti is actually a polar bear, as primates live in tropical regions. Other people call it a Himalayan brown bear because, like the mythological creature, it also stands upright and is a solitary animal that only joins other animals of the same species for breeding.

8. Chupacabra — Coyote

The myth of the chupacabra appeared on the island of Puerto Rico in 1995. Today, many people claim that they have seen it in distant regions of the world, and not just on the American continent. It is usually represented as a reptile with green skin and scales, although some people describe it as a hairless wild dog with a well-marked spine and sharp claws.

The most skeptical claim that the mythological creature is actually a coyote from Central America and that it possibly suffered from mange. When sick, they are unable to hunt and therefore approach regions with humans to receive food. They are thin animals and often lose their fur when they suffer from skin problems.

What other mythological creatures that look like animals do you know? Of all these, which surprised you the most? Tell in the comments.

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