There are many mythical creatures in history that almost everyone knows about, like the kraken, unicorns, mermaids, the loch ness monster, etc. However, there are others that are not discussed as frequently or aren't as popular as those. Here are just some of the other mythical creatures that were believed to have existed in history.

THE GRIFFIN

Griffins were legendary creatures whose body was half lion and half eagle, the eagle part being toward the front, with claws and talons and wings. That is the tradition look, but there are many different versions of what they looked like, with one part changed here or there and then called something else. They often guarded treasures or valuable possessions, and were protectors against evil and witchcraft.

According to the legend, they would only have one mate for life, one living alone if the other died. Their feathers could supposedly cure blindness and their claws could be used for medicinal purposes as well. Griffins were the embodiment of courage, strength and leadership, as it was considered the king of all animals. There have been numerous statues made in their image, and usually they sit at entrances to buildings or as a family crest or mascot of some sort.

 

CENTAURS

Centaurs had a horse's body, with the top half of a man where the horse's shoulders and head should be. They are mostly included in fantasy novels as wise, strong teachers or fighting fiercely in battles using archery. It is said that wine would drive them crazy, causing them to fight and/or go mad. Not only have they appeared in books, but in movies also, like Harry Potter and The Chronicles of Narnia. A more well known centaur, Chiron, was considered to be the best of his kind and was proficient in many skills, teaching youths. Like the griffin, there are variations of what they looked like.

 

THE KAPPA

The Kappa are demons found in Japanese folklore that have a small area of water on top of their head, which signified where they always lived. They have many names, depending on which region it is who's discussing them. Its skin was said to range in color from blue to yellow or green, they had webbed feet and hands, and lived in the rivers and ponds in Japan. It could swim like a fish and if it was out of water, it had to retain the water on top of its head or it might become weak or even die.

Kappa supposedly were tricksters, with some being innocent and others drowning or kidnapping people or eating their flesh. Even today there are signs by some bodies of water that warn about them. They were said to rape women as well, sometimes impregnating them. If someone came into contact with a Kappa, they could be fooled with politeness and if you bowed down, so would they. That in turn would empty the water from their head and they would not be able to get back up until it was refilled. If you yourself refilled the water, the Kappa would serve you for eternity.

According to legend, Kappa spoke Japanese and even became friends with humans. In exchange for the friendship, they would perform tasks to help farmers with their crops and they, in return, would seek out cucumbers (their favorite food). There are festivals and shrines dedicated to them in Japan, with the hope that the people will have a good harvest.

 

CERBERUS

Cerberus was the multi-headed hound of Hades, guarding the gates of hell so no one could leave and would eat them if they tried. They had 3 canine heads and the tail of a serpent. It was related to the Lernaean Hydra and other multi-headed creatures, ate raw flesh and had eyes that could flash fire. There is a very long story of it being captured by Heracles (a hero in Greek mythology, also the son of the god Zeus and later name Hercules) as a final task to complete his twelve labours in exchange for advice from the god Apollo.

The Cerberus also appears in God of War games, along with Zeus, Hades, and other gods/creatures that are well known in Greek mythology. In the game, they can claw you to death or breathe fire on you, and the only way to kill them is by getting rid of all 3 heads. There are different variations of what they looked like exactly, depending on who was describing it or painting it. A fierce creature, nontheless. You can read more about Greek mythology by clicking here.

 

MINOTAUR

The Minotaur had the body of a man and the head and tail of a bull. It is also featured in the God of War games, along with the Cerberus and the Hydra. As the fascinating, yet disturbing story goes, King Minos of Crete prayed to Poseidon (the sea god) to send him a white bull for support. He was supposed to kill the bull to honor the god, but thought it was so beautiful he decided to keep it and kill one of his own bulls instead. As punishment, Poseidon made Minos's wife fall in love with the bull and she had a wooden cow constructed so she could get inside and have the bull mate with her. The result was the Minotaur, who eventually needed to eat humans for nourishment, and was therefore too dangerous to keep around. So Minos hired the same man that built his wife a wooden cow to build a labyrinth to keep the minotaur trapped inside.

 

THE HYDRA

The hydra was a water monster in Greek mythology that had many heads, the number of which varies depending on the source. Its breath and blood were poisonous, so just their scent could prove lethal. According to some, when it lost a head, it could grow back another or few in its place. It was also Heracles's second labor of 12 to kill the hydra, which was raised by Hera (the Queen of Heaven) to kill Heracles first. The final head was immortal but Athena (Zeus's daughter) gave him a gold sword which he managed to kill it with.