Check out these mythical creatures that actually existed! Who knew that animals like griffins, cyclopes, unicorns, dragons, rocs and big foot could actually be real!
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List of Mythical Creatures that actually existed:
Scythians were nomads and warriors, and some of The first people to master war on horseback. Over 1,000 years ago they were searching for gold in the vast Gobi Desert of central Asia. In the heat of the desert while mining for gold, the miners not only battled the blazing sun but also the mighty griffin: A fierce mythical creature that was half-eagle, half lion that guarded fantastic treasures of gold. Greeks wrote down the stories of travelers who reported having heard of these great battles between the Scythians and Griffins and Brought back evidence of these large beaks and bones that proved that this had to be true.
Millions of years before humans arrived in the Gobi, some parts of the desert were home to strange animals that Seemed to combine body parts of eagles and lions. But these animals weren't griffins--they were dinosaurs. Certain areas in the Gobi are littered with dinosaur bones, including those of The four-legged, beaked Protoceratops. For thousands of years, Protoceratops fossils, like the one pictured here, could regularly be seen eroding out of hillsides. Ancient gold miners working in the desert may have seen these fossils--and Tried to come up with a rational explanation of what that animal must have looked like. Probably pretty terrifying!!
There’s An enormous amount of stories with cyclopes littered throughout mythology. I also just learned the plural form of cyclops was cyclopes. From getting their eyes jabbed by Odysseus to Hercules uppercutting them to the moon, to the new God of War games, where Kratos tears out their eyes by the dozen. The point is, cyclopes are everywhere, and the ancient Greeks are to blame. But ancient Greeks were Unfamiliar with the idea of massive animals that no longer existed, and many believed that the enormous bones they found were the remains of human-like giants. Any nonhuman traits in the bones were Thought to be due to the grotesque anatomical features of giants.
Those skulls that spawned the very myth of the one-eyed giants weren’t cyclopes skulls at all. They belonged to an Ancient elephant-like species known as Deinotherium giganteum, and it looked like this.
If you see this skull, what are you supposed to think? If that's what the skull looks like, what if you come across a live one??
The “eye socket” in its skull is really where it's trunk was, and it’s hard to imagine something so simple being the reason that myths about the cyclopes first started.
The ancient Greeks took the idea of these skulls and ran with it, Telling stories of giants, describing them as flesh-and-blood creatures who lived and passed, and whose bones could be found coming out of the ground where they were buried long ago. Even today Large and surprisingly human-like bones can be found in Greece. Modern scientists understand these bones to be the remains of mammoths, mastodons, and woolly rhinoceros that once lived in the region. The long bones of elephant relatives and humans are Similar enough to be confused. Geological events tend to destroy the skulls of prehistoric elephants, leaving only enormous, human-like long bones, ribs, and vertebrae. Ancient stories often Reported finding the remains of giants hundreds of feet tall--much bigger than an elephant or any other animal. These reports may represent attempts to reconstruct the bones of several animals found jumbled together as a single giant.
The people of Tingis (modern-day Tangier, Morocco) once Boasted that their city's founder was a giant named Antaeus who was buried in a mound south of town. To test the claim, Roman soldiers dug into the mound in 81 BC. Much to their surprise, an enormous skeleton surfaced-- which they then reburied with great honors. Modern scientists confirmed that it was an ancient elephant fossil.
These majestic creatures Symbolize all that is pure and good in the world and possess magical power. While no unicorn remains have been found, in 1663 a German archaeologist decided to Create a unicorn skeleton using mammoth and rhinoceros bones. His work, which he claimed was a true unicorn skeleton, was eventually discovered to be false but stories of unicorn sightings persist to this day. Unicorns have been seen in Scotland, and A unicorn lair has been reportedly found in North Korea. While most admit unicorns to be a creature of pure fiction, some continue to insist that they do or did exist.