Mythical Creatures! Done by: Kai Xiang Shi Yi Nathanael Benedict
Contents Greek/Egyptian Mythical Creatures: -Medusa -Sphinx Japanese Mythical Creatures: -Nukekubi -Jikininki Melanesian Mythical Creatures: -Abaia Western Mythical Creatures: -Dragon (Chinese one too) -Basilisk -Chupacabra
Medusa Medusa was a mythical creature associated with the legend of Perseus. One of the Gorgons of Greek mythology, she was usually depicted as a woman with snakes for hair, fangs and could turn people to stone with her gaze, but was the only Gorgon who was mortal. The story goes that Perseus used a shield polished like a mirror to avoid getting turned to stone and beheaded Medusa. Medusa’s head was eventually presented to the Greek goddess Athena, who placed it on her shield. Some historians think that Medusa was a normal mortal until she compared her beauty with Athena’s, causing Athena to fly into a rage and curse Medusa to be so ugly that anyone who looked at her would into stone. Others think that Medusa was Poseidon’s girlfriend and they had agreed to meet in the temple of Athena. This was highly disrespectful to Athena and she turned Medusa to a gorgon.
Sphinx A Sphinx is a creature that is usually depicted by its lion body and its human head. There are two main variations of the Sphinx: The Egyptian Sphinx (Good) and the Greek Sphinx (Bad). The Egyptian Sphinx is known as a guardian to many Egyptians in the past. Its statue is carved with a lion’s body and the head of a pharaoh. This is for the pharaoh to show his close relationship with the powerful deity, Sekhmet. To present the Sphinx in a way like this, actually symbolises that the Sphinx bring to the people of Egypt more good than bad. A very famous Sphinx in Egypt is The Great Sphinx of Giza. It is the largest monolith statue,
Sphinx (continued) On the other hand, the Greek Sphinx symbolises bad luck and destruction. It is said that it guarded the city of Thebes. It would question a traveller, and if the traveller answered it wrongly, it would strangle him or her and devour the body. A famous question it asked is: “What has four legs in the morning, two legs in mid-day and three legs at night?” Only a man named Oedipus could solve its riddle, and when he did, it became so angry that it committed suicide by throwing itself from a high rock.
Nukekubi Nukekubi are monsters found in Japanese folklore. During the day, Nukekubi appear to be normal human beings. At night, however, their heads and necks detach from their bodies and fly about searching for human prey. Their heads attack by screaming, thus increasing their victims' fright, and then closing in and biting. While the head and neck are detached, the body of a Nukekubi becomes inanimate. In some legends, this is one of the creature’s weaknesses; if a nukekubi's head cannot reattach to its body by sunrise, the creature will die. Legends say that some people kill the creatures by waiting until their heads have flown off, and then destroying the body. The only way to tell a nukekubi from normal humans is a line of red symbols around the neck where the head comes off. However you cannot really rely on this as these symbols are easily concealed beneath clothing or jewellery. By day, Nukekubi blend into human society. They may live in groups, pretending to de normal human families.
Jikininki In Japanese Buddhism, Jikininki are the spirits of greedy, selfish individuals who are cursed after death to seek out and eat human corpses. They do this at night, scavenging for newly dead bodies and food offerings left for the dead. They sometimes also loot the corpses they eat for valuables, which they use to bribe local officials to leave them in peace. Nevertheless, jikininki lament their condition and hate their repugnant cravings for dead human flesh . Often, Jikininki are said to look like decomposing corpses, perhaps with a few inhuman features such as sharp claws or glowing eyes. They are a horrifying sight, and any mortal who views one finds themselves frozen in fear. However, several stories give them the ability to magically disguise themselves as normal human beings and even to lead normal "lives" during the day . Jikininki may be viewed as a sort of demon, the punished souls of selfish people .
Abaia In Melanesianmythology there is a creature known as the Abaia. This creature is said to be a giant eel-like monster that dwells at the bottom of lakes in Fiji, Solomon and the Vanuatu Island. The Abaia is very protective of any creature that lives in the same lake as it. It considers all animals in the lake as its children and will attack anyone who harms or disturbs them. It is said that those who try to catch the fish from a lake containing the Abaia are immediately faced with a tidal wave caused by the thrashing of the Abaia’s powerful tail. However, another version of the legend says that if someone harms a creature living in the Abaia’s home, the Abaia would cause a huge storm that floods the land and drowns those who caused the harm. One story goes like this:
Abaia (continued) One day a man discovered a lake where there were many fish to be caught. At the bottom of the lake though, there lived a magic eel, however this man did not realise it. He caught many fish and went back the next day with the people of his village whom he had told of his discovery, and they also were very successful. The Abaia was angry that his fellow fish companions were caught, so he caused monsoon rain to fall on the village that night, and the lake flooded, and all the people drowned except an old woman who had not eaten of the fish and who saved herself in a tree. "Melanesia", an umbrella term used for the islands of New Guinea, the Torres Strait Islands, the Admiralty Islands, Solomon Islands, New Caledonia, Vanuatu.
Dragons Dragons are the most well-known mythical creatures, and, as such, there are many differing descriptions of dragons in numerous cultures. The most commonly known dragon is the European dragon, usually depicted as a giant flying lizard with bat wings that breathes fire, lives in a cave and hoards gold to sleep on. Most European dragons in stories are hostile and aggressive, and a symbol of evil. For example, in the story of St. George and the dragon, where St. George is held as a paragon of virtue in contrast to the malevolent dragon demanding human sacrifice. The Asian dragon is quite a different entity altogether. According to Chinese scholars, the dragon had nine anatomical resemblances to other creatures, including the antlers of a stag, the eyes of a demon, the head of a camel, and the scales of a carp, among other things. Generally, Asian dragons are long and snake-like, scaled, have four legs and five claws, and a beard. In many Asian cultures, the dragon has a deep significance. In Chinese culture, the dragon was a symbol of the Emperor and seen as powerful and warlike. In Japanese myth, dragons were seen as water gods or spirits associated with rain and bodies of water.
Dragons (continued) Dragons have also appeared in modern literature, such as Smaug in J.R.R.Tolkien’s novel ‘The Hobbit’, and the popular books by Christopher Paolini, ‘Eragon’, ‘Eldest’ and ‘Brisingr’. Nowadays in modern fantasy, dragons are still seen as powerful, but not necessarily evil or good, and some have acquired the trait of vast wisdom and intelligences.
Basilisk The basilisk is an ancient creature which is extremely dangerous. It can kill with a stare or just anything is breathes upon. It is said that it was so hideous that when it looks at itself, it could die instantly. It is born when a snake looks after a cockerel’s egg, and that is also the reason why the basilisk looks like a fusion between a cockerel and a snake. Its poison is so strong that it can not only kill the object that is touching it, but also the thing that is touching the poisoned object and so forth. For example, a man on a steed who killed a basilisk with his spear will get infected with the poison through his spear and the horse will get infected by the man, causing him and his steed to go down with it.
The only thing that can kill a basilisk is a weasel because of its urine's smell and a rooster's crow. Unfortunately, the weasel will die too because of the basilisk's strong poison but a rooster's crow is instantly fatal to the basilisk and can kill it without harming others. It is also rumored that it can be killed through mirrors as it looks at its hideous face. Not many who encountered the legendary creature had survived but those who did had lived to tell the story of this threat to animals, humans and plants.
A mermaid is half-woman, half-fish. Mermaids that are depicted in art and legends are usually holding a mirror or a comb; they sometimes sit on the rocks and sing, which lures sailors to their doom. This is why they are occasionally mixed with sirens. Many people have seen pictures of them. Almost every culture that includes seafaring has spotted them. Early sightings of mermaids by the Arabs, the Greeks, the medieval sailors and the famous Christopher Columbus and sightings have even been reported in the Twentieth Century. They are also shown in television shows like “Sponge Bob Square Pants” and “The Little Mermaid”. Some people still believe the mermaids still exist. They are probably dugongs or manatees in real life.
Chupacabra A Chupacabra is a weird mythical creature that exists in our century. It is reported for draining farm animals' blood in Puerto Rico 1995 to Texas and Brazil 2007. It is said to come out at night to catch its prey with stealth to avoid detection by humans. Chupacabra bites are usually the same in the animals of the same farm. It is also often mistaken as coyote, like when a farmer thought he shot a Chupacabra down in July 2004, it was actually a coyote with a disease known as mange.
Chupacabra (continued) Chupacabras are often described differently, but with the same features each time. It is said to be kangaroo-like,a reptilian and has big red eyes and sharp, long fangs. Although this creature may seem almost impossible to exist, scientist are finding tactical ways to capture it on film and in real life. If you see a weird, alien-like creature hanging around the farm, you might want to consider taking the creature down as it may be the fearsome Chupacabra.
References • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jikininki - The information on scary and disgusting looking Jikininkis. Retrieved on 23 February 2009. • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abaia -How the Abaia’s devastating attack killed many and information about it. Retrieved on 16 February 2009. • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basilisk - The information on dangerous Basilisks which can split a rock into half with just one stare. Its poison is very strong and can easily kill. Retrieved on 17 March 2009. • http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Rijeka056.jpg –Picture of green • basilisk statue. Retrieved on 9 April 2009. • http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Wenceslas_Hollar_-_The_basilisk_and_the_weasel.jpg#filelinks – Basilisk picture of a weasel chasing it. Retrieved on 9 April 2009. • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chupacabra - Information of the alien-like Chupacabra which varies in forms. Known for sucking blood out of sheep in farms. Retreived on 18 March 2009. • http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Chupacabras.svg – Picture of creepy green Chupacabra. Retrieved on 10 April 2009.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nukekubi - Information on deadly Nukekubis which can detach their heads from their bodies to find human preys at night. Retrieved on 16 March 2009. • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Yumoto_C_Nukekubi.jpg – Picture of Nukekubi with detached head. Retrieved on 11 April 2009. • http://www.draconian.com – Pictures of Chinese dragon and internal skeleton of a western dragon. Retrieved on 29 April 2009. • http://eaudrey.com/myth/mermaid.htm - Information of the common mythical creature known as mermaid. Retrieved on 30 April 2009. • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Vilhelm_Pedersen-Little_mermaid.jpg – A picture of the classic little mermaid. Retrieved on 1 May 2009. • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Rubens_Medusa.jpeg – Picture of the bloody, beheaded Medusa. Retrieved on 1 May 2009. • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medusa - Information about the snaked-haired, hideous-looking Medusa who could turn people into stone. Retrieved on 26 March 2009. • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sphinx - Information about both the Egyptian Sphinx and the Greek Sphinx. Retrieved on 1 May 2009. • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Egypt.Giza.Sphinx.02.jpg – Picture of the Great Sphinx of Giza against Khafra’s pyramid. Retrieved on 1 May 2009. • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:028MAD_Sphinx.jpg – Picture of the evil Greek Sphinx statue. Retrieved on 1 May 2009.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:China_Qing_Dynasty_Flag_1862.png – Picture of Chinese dragon on China’s Qing Dynasty Flag (first page). Retrieved on 1 May 2009. • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Coat_of_Arms_of_Moscow.png – Picture of Coat of Arms Moscow which shows a man on a horse battling a basilisk with his spear. Retrieved on 1 May 2009.
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