List of mythical creatures: Bizarre animals from history misidentified as mythological beasts


Mythical creatures have fascinated folklore and supernatural stories for thousands of years.

With variations in appearances and names, mythical animals or mythical beasts have been used as a symbol of both culture and religion of a society, where some have their own unique interpretation.

Mythological creatures didn’t just appear out of nowhere, but their conceptualization and naming were based on observations throughout history.

However, some of these sightings have misidentified real but bizarre animals as a supernatural creature or something else.

List of mythical creatures

(Photo: David McNew via Getty Images)

According to Ranker’s website, here are some bizarre animals misidentified as mythical creatures:


The colossal size and tentacles of this sea monster depicted in pop culture and folklore would have terrified sailors in the past.

Unverified accounts suggest that the Kraken can sink an entire ship in the ocean.

However, the discovery of giant squid resembles this to the appearance of the Kraken.


A woolly rhinoceros The skull was thought to come from the mythical fire-breathing, winged dragons.

In 1840, Austrian paleontologist Franz Unger reportedly traveled to Klagenfurt, Austria, and discovered that the dragon skull once considered actually belonged to the woolly rhinoceros, according to the Ranker site.


River spirits have been the center of folklore in Japan, but they have proven to be the giant salamander which can grow up to five feet in size.

Additionally, giant salamanders also live near rivers and other bodies of water.

Sea serpent

Once considered a mythical serpent-like creature that dates back to ancient Greece, sea serpents were potentially based on observations of the rowing, considered the longest bony fish (Osteichthyes). The oar can reach up to 50 feet in length.


People in the ancient Roman Empire and the Middle Ages misidentified the defense of a Narwhal whale belonging to a unicorn horn.

The description of unicorns is similar to a horse but with a defense on the forehead.


This mythological beast is described in ancient times as having the appearance of a lion and an eagle in the landscape of what is now Europe and Asia.

The discovery of the dinosaur protoceratops fossil was misidentified as a griffin.


In Greek mythology, the Cyclops is a giant one-eyed humanoid described as possessing enormous strength.

However, Austrian paleontologist Othenio Abel has proposed that the source of the Cyclops legend came from the remains of an ancient elephant called dwarf mammothaccording to Research Gate.

Read also : Is Bigfoot real? The discovery of a strange footprint sparks debate

culture and religion

Drawing on research on mythology published by the National Research University Higher School of Economics, the study points out that mythology is embedded in cultural and religious aspects of society, especially during ancient times.

When it comes to mythical creatures, misidentification of real living animals occurs.

Although modern technology and recent studies have debunked the existence of mythical creatures, the attribution of a living or extinct animal as a mythical beast may still transpire in modern times.

According to an article published in National Geographic in 2011, some scientists believe that around 86% of Earth’s terrestrial and aquatic species remain undiscovered.

Over the past decade there has been a gradual discovery of new species of living and extinct animals.

Related article: Mermaid Hoax Documentary Draws Biggest Audiences On Animal Planet

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