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Mythical Creatures: What do you believe?
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tassanaburrfoot
Mythical Creatures: What do you believe?


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Sunday December 18, 2005 2:45 PM
Dragons. The greatest of the mythical creatures. These creatures have been known throughout the world. In every part of the world you hear talk of dragons and dragonkin.

Yes, there are dragons in present day. Kimodo, Bearded, and Chinese are all real life dragons. But, what of the dragons we hear about in story books?

Those large, terrible, powerful creatures that knights would find and old Buddhist monks would look to for wisdom.



Unicorns. Mystical creatures who bear but a single horn atop it's head. This horn contains powers one can only imagine.

Many people have tried to describe the unicorn. Most Westerners claim it is a creature with a horse body, goat's hooves, lion's tail, and boney horn. The Chinese claim it is a creature with a deer's body, horse's hooves, and ox's tail and the horn is made of flesh.

Well, both are mighty simular in their descriptions at least... Anyhoo, the unicorn is a symbol of love, purity, hope, and majesty. It's horn is said to purify even the darkest of poisons.



Mermaids. Half human, half fish. These creatures were known to lure fishermen to corel reefs.

There are many ways mermaids are depicted. Beautiful women with scaly fish tails are the most common. But there is also the idea of creatures that aren't so human-looking, but more humanoid. With webbed fingers and fishy faces.

These "humans of the sea" are thought to be the most intelligent creature living under the ocean. More then one ship captain has had a mermaid carved on his ship for protection against sea monsters.



Faeries. Little humans with butterfly or fly shaped wings who go about nature adding much needed touches. They are considered both mischievous and spiteful.

They are no larger then your thumb. They live in forests and mountain areas. Their main goal is to help Mother Nature make things grow.

Faeries are known to cause the most major trouble in human life. Great catastrophies have occured due to their inquisitive natures.



So, what of these mythical creatures? Is it possible that they may have existed at one point? Is it possible they still exist?

I know there are other creatures that I have not mentioned. This is merely the tip of the iceberg.

What other mythical creatures are there?

What are the truths behind these creatures? Will humanity ever be able to uncover the reality of these creatures? If they truly do exist, how much longer will it take humanity to find these beings?
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Damien
RE: Mythical Creatures: What do you believe?


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Sunday December 18, 2005 3:33 PM
QUOTED  Is it possible that they may have existed at one point?



Probably not. I think if the vast majority of these creatures had ever existed, we'd of found some evidence of it by now. Not to mention that some of these creatures are built in a way that modern science can prove is not possible (for example, the body composition of a centaur would make for a creature that could not possibly function, and may not even be able to breathe).


It's more likely that -some-, but not all, of the creatures of myth are based on perceptions of existing creatures (such as the Hydra being a combination of snake and octopus/squid).


When looking at mythical creatures the average person, and this seems to be the unifying problem, doesn't understand concepts like symbolism or cultural interests and trends.

We label all of a certain kind of 'being' as Dragons, and then claim that Dragons must have been real because every culture wrote about them. That's total crap. Not only did not every culture write about them, but every culture that did has VASTLY different interpretations of what they looked like, what they did, etc. The fact that we call all of these things 'dragons' isn't even coincidental.. it's laziness on the part of modern translators.

The mutation of serpents and serpent-like creatures into monsters is one of the lasting traditions of folklore and mythology. To not take a grain of salt with descriptions of serpent-like creatures is irresponsible and stupid.

The vast majority of the ridiculous hippy belief systems that 'because these creatures were written about so much - they must be real' is simply a lack of education. People that understand the symbolism and historical importance of these creatures and their mythical counterparts tend to understand that that's ALL these creatures are and that at no time did they really exist, with any probability.


That is not to dismiss the concept out of hand. It's certainly POSSIBLE that dragons and unicorns once existed (the latter moreso than the former) but neither one's existance is PROBABLE.



QUOTED  What other mythical creatures are there?


That's a loaded question. There are THOUSANDS of mythical creatures out there.
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lonewolfe619
RE: Mythical Creatures: What do you believe?


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Monday December 19, 2005 12:57 AM
While I'd almost like to think that is possible that these creatures existed, it's kind of hard to fathom that they walked the earth at some point and we still have no real evidence. I think some of the mythology that makes them special would be lost though if they were no longer fantasy.

I still love some of the storys though. Such as some of the Inuit belief that unicorns were the earthly forms of the souls of narwhales.


One thing I have been seeing more of since the new king kong movie that is kind of on the same lines is reports about the Gigantopithecus blacki, potentially a real life version of king kong. There are differnt timelines for how long they have been extinct rangeing from less then 2,000 years to over 30,000 years as well as different theories for what that might mean for present sightings of 'bigfoot.'

Personally, since even the bible mentions dragons and a couple of other mythical type creatures, I'll hold on the the small potential that maybe there really were such beast before.
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Damien
RE: Mythical Creatures: What do you believe?


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Monday December 19, 2005 1:51 AM
QUOTED  Personally, since even the bible mentions dragons and a couple of other mythical type creatures, I'll hold on the the small potential that maybe there really were such beast before.



It's worth noting, for the sake of completion, that the concept of the Dragon in Revelations is closely linked to the Serpent in Genesis. If any mention of Dragons anywhere has ever been more symbolic than historic, then it is so in the Bible. The Bible is brimming with symbolism, and itself is based on older texts that were heavily symbolic.



QUOTED  Such as some of the Inuit belief that unicorns were the earthly forms of the souls of narwhales.


Funny.. I actually believe that the convention concept of the unicorn is one of the most believable of the mythical creatures.

We do, after all, have plenty of four-legged herbivores with horn growths on their heads. It's absolutely not beyond reasoning to think that a type of horse might have, at one time, existed which had a forward-facing, or possibly 45 degree angled, horn or bone growth on its head used for defense and showmanship for the purpose of mating -- similar to an Elk or Deer.


The other 'likely' mythical creature would be the Kraken or otherwise super-Giant Octopus/Squid. We know that giant versions of octopi and squids exist, of course -- but I'm talking Kraken-size, which is still currently myth, but it's believable due to the existance of the aforementioned giant octopi/squids.


Anyway.. I think the dragon is a nice idea but there are too many irreconcilable problems to ever assume it may have existed. Chief among these problems is the fact that of all the ancient and medieval writings about dragons.. no one can agree on what they looked like. If it was a real species there would have to be defining features that all of them had in common -- but not a single group of people agrees on any aspect of a dragon's physical appearance (size, wings, shape, limbs, skin/scales, etc). I chalk the myth of Dragons up to being a group of totally unrelated myths that have been joined together in modern times under a common name (Dragon).
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anubite670
RE: Mythical Creatures: What do you believe?
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Thursday July 16, 2009 8:44 PM
You mention the myriad of description of Dragons in different cultures. Consider this, perhaps it was because Dragons had different branches that lived in different areas, like any other animal.
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TheShadowlord
RE: Mythical Creatures: What do you believe?

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Friday July 17, 2009 3:54 AM
Or, more likely, since snakes are generally considered nasty, people invent giant snakes because they would be even bigger and nastier.

Without any physical evidence to back things up, I'm inclined to ascribe all mythological beasts to overactive imaginations changing an otherwise normal animal into something else.
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Avenging_Angel
RE: Mythical Creatures: What do you believe?


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Friday July 17, 2009 9:04 AM
As fun as it is to speculate about what animals may have existed, without further proof I'm inclined to think they're just the result of mis-interpretation and embroidering of real animals.

For example, some shmuck brings a medieval court a narwhal horn. The only animals they've seen with horns are quadrupeds like goats and deer - certainly not a fish of any kind. Give it some embroidering, symbolism, and legends, and in short order you've got the unicorn. (though, I do agree with Damien that of all the mythical creatures, unicorns are among the few who at least make some sense)

QUOTED  The other 'likely' mythical creature would be the Kraken or otherwise super-Giant Octopus/Squid. We know that giant versions of octopi and squids exist, of course -- but I'm talking Kraken-size, which is still currently myth, but it's believable due to the existance of the aforementioned giant octopi/squids.


Some of the colossal squid they've dredged up in recent years are pretty damn close, though they all tend to live so deep in the ocean that I suspect the stories about the Kraken and its ship-attacking ways were just a convenient way to explain ships that disappeared or suffered damage for whatever reason.

QUOTED  (such as the Hydra being a combination of snake and octopus/squid).


I always associated the Hydra with an exaggeration of lizard regenerative abilities - if it can grow back a tail, what else could it grow back? A head? Add in the occasional genetic fluke that's born with two heads, perhaps, and bam! Holy mother of god, you cut off anything that belongs to one of these things and it'll grow back two more.

As with most legends, all that remains is to make it a giant and give it a hunger for human flesh and you have a winner and an excellent episode of Hercules: The Legendary Journeys.

QUOTED  You mention the myriad of description of Dragons in different cultures. Consider this, perhaps it was because Dragons had different branches that lived in different areas, like any other animal.


Theoretically yes. But, well... this versus this.
The asian dragon in particularly is hard to take seriously as a real animal that may have lived since it's so clearly a typical mythical hybrid creature.

Though, I recall reading a theory that the asian dragon may have been partly inspired by the saltwater crocodile, which would explain their association with water and storms. When some of the larger specimens of the species can get well over 20 feet long, with some embroidering and years of unholy terror of anything so ready and capable of eating you or your livestock, not a hard step to make on giving it some bizarre attributes.

This is all, obviously, speculation... but very fun speculation.

QUOTED  Or, more likely, since snakes are generally considered nasty, people invent giant snakes because they would be even bigger and nastier.


That too.
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Insano
RE: Mythical Creatures: What do you believe?

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Friday July 17, 2009 1:51 PM
QUOTED  Unicorns. Mystical creatures who bear but a single horn atop it's head. This horn contains powers one can only imagine.


Pffft. Everyone knows that the unicorns were too busy screwing around and missed Noahs boat when God flooded the earth. So, they aren't really mythical because they were in the Bible, and everyone knows the Bible is 100% fact. Sheesh.

[[Edited by Insano on Friday July 17, 2009 1:53 PM]]
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SisqAlpha
RE: Mythical Creatures: What do you believe?

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Friday July 17, 2009 3:26 PM
QUOTED  So, they aren't really mythical because they were in the Bible,


They were? Where the hell did you come across that?



QUOTED  embroidering


I think this explains quite a few of our mythological beasts.

Examples:

Cyclops. The massive skull of an elephant with it's large nasal opening could easily have been blown up into the one eyed giant that early man thought it was.

Let's go with bones again. What would the fossilized skeleton of brontosaurus, apatosaurus, or even a pterodactyl have been blown into by early civilizations?

What about a dinosaur graveyard? A head here, and here, and here, a few neck bones, only one identifiable ribcage. Gee. Looks like a Hydra.

The centaur most likely sprung from someone's first encounter with cavalry (or a people who relied heavily upon horses). "The man and horse moved as one being" could have easily been blown out of proportion with an ancient game of telephone.


QUOTED  Some of the colossal squid they've dredged up in recent years are pretty damn close, though they all tend to live so deep in the ocean that I suspect the stories about the Kraken and its ship-attacking ways were just a convenient way to explain ships that disappeared or suffered damage for whatever reason.


I agree with this.




QUOTED  It's certainly POSSIBLE that dragons and unicorns once existed (the latter moreso than the former) but neither one's existance is PROBABLE.

And this.
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Insano
RE: Mythical Creatures: What do you believe?

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Sunday July 19, 2009 10:18 AM
QUOTED  They were? Where the hell did you come across that?


Book of Job man. Book of Job.
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This Major Tom to Ground Control, I'm stepping through the door.
And I'm floating in a most peculiar way, and the stars look very different today.
For here am I sitting in a tin can, far above the world.
Planet Earth is blue, and there is nothing I can do.
David Bowie - Space Oddity
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