Thursday, October 29, 2015

5 Most Bizarre Mythological Creatures

It's been a while coming, but this is a post I've been longing to write -
the worlds strangest and funniest mythological creatures!

The Ant Lion.

Yes, it's really as silly as it sounds.

Image Courtesy: B. Rosen, "The Mythical creatures bible".
Hailing from an early Greek Bestiary, the Ant-lion is a strange creature with the head of a lion and the body of an ant... This is because the Ant-Lion's father is indeed a lion and its mother a tiny ant. Really, the mind boggles at the physiological impossibility of it all. Considering a male lion has a penis about 6-9 inches that is covered with barbs, and the average size of  queen ant (the only ant capable of having young) is a meagre 8 mm - copulation simply could not occur without the assistance of a shrinking ray...which hasn't yet been invented... 
This all aside, it was said in those early Greek bestiaries that because the ant-lion's father is a carnivore and its mother a herbivore... all ant-lion's die shortly after birth.

The Jackalope

Image Courtesy: Museum Of the Weird. 
The Jackalope is a cryptid that comes from America, notably Wyoming. It is said to be a cross between the pygmy deer and a jack rabbit.  In the 16th - 18th Centuries, European bestiaries indicated a strong belief in horned rabbits. According to legend Jackalope milk has medicinal properties (unsurprisingly as an aphrodesiac), and the beasts can only breed during electrical storms that include hail (very specific). The Jackalope can imitate human voices and does so to lead hunters astray.
Interesting to note, it has been suggested that the Jackalope is in fact a jack rabbit suffering from a wart virus, the warts developing into horny growths that may (or may not) appear as 'antlers'.

The Amphisbaena
Image Courtesy: Theoi
The Amphisbaena is a Libyan mythological beastie, said to help women during childbirth. It comes in the form of a double headed snake or dragon - with the heads at either ends of its body.
What's that you say? 
It has a head where its bum should be?
Yes indeedy.
If you're anything like me (which I'm presuming you are because you're reading this), if it really existed how the hell did this critter do its pooping?

Well... If there was any chance of this biological anomaly even reaching existence it would have to have an two sets of internal organs meeting at an anus / vent somewhere in its middle. Generally speaking  reptiles have a multi-purpose orifice called a cloaca - which serves the purpose of common outlet into which the intestinal, urinary, and genital tracts open and that opening is almost always at its tail end.

 When googling this creature I did indeed find images that looked like two headed snakes (heads at each end). They were in fact Eryx johnii, or sand boa snake that has a tail resembling its head. These creatures are found in India, Pakistan and the Middle East... and are possibly what the Amphisbaena really is.

The Batibat

Image Courtesy: Tumblr

This bad girl is found in the Philippines. She is essentially an overweight female wood nymph.
If her tree is cut down to build a bed, she will hunt down the owner of the bed and smother their faces at night until they are dead. It is said that she can be deterred from squashing you if you bite your own thumb... Remember that... It might come in handy.

The Asiman or Obayifo

Image Courtesy: Pieter Hugo

This mythological beastie hails from West Africa and is known as the Asiman or Obayifo by the Ashanti people. Generally considered a vampiric beast, it is  described as having shifty eyes and being obsessed with food.... (Wait I think I know some of these!) The Asiman are often believed to be witches who feed of despair, but also the blood of children.
This isn't funny or bizarre is it? 
 It gets better... When travelling at night they are said to turn into orbs of light. 
Still not bizarre enough? 
Well in Joseph William's 2003, book Psychic Phenomena of Jamaica.,it states that rather than turning into an orb of light, the Obayifo emit a phosphorescent light from their armpits and anus instead.
Mooning animated emoticon
Which makes you think they'd wear thick pants and woolly jackets to prevent giving themselves away.

Enjoy your weekend!

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