While fiction abounds with tales of mythological animals, the topic isn’t necessarily confined to fiction. Many people believe and claim to have exposed evidence that the aliens, monsters and creatures of sci-fi, fairy-tales and nightmares really do exist. If you’re a believer or even a skeptic, you’ll want to read the article “Bizarre ‘Evidence’ of Seven Mythological Beasts”.
One mythological creature we’re probably all familiar with is the Cyclops, the one-eyed man-eating monster of Greek mythology. They might just be one of the oldest legendary creatures, in fact. In The Odyssey, Homer features a scene in which Odysseus must tackle a Cyclops named Polyphemus. The Greeks even believed they uncovered evidence that Cyclops existed when they found massive skulls that appeared to show a single eye socket in the middle of the head. The explanation for these skulls: they are the remains of an ancient elephant-like species. The “eye-socket” is where the trunk was located. But these elephants weren’t native to Greece.
Another, less familiar mythical beast is the Black Shuck of East Anglia, England. Legend has it giant black dogs stalked the countryside and anyone who saw one would die immediately (or soon afterwards). In 1901, Dutt describes the Black Shuck as “a huge black dog” who “prowls along dark lanes and lonesome field footpaths”. Dutt further describes this beast to be like a Cyclops because of his “fiery eye”. There is one legend which claims the Black Shuck charged into a Suffolk church, killing two people, collapsing the steeple and leaving a scorch mark in the wood that can still be seen to this day. In 2014 a massive 7-foot long dog skeleton was uncovered in Suffolk, providing evidence that the Black Shuck may have actually existed. The explanation: unlikely to be the bones of a demon dog, they were probably Abbot’s beloved hunting dog, which was either a very large Irish Wolfhound or a Scottish Deerhound. Irish Wolfhounds, today, are typically 34 to 35 inches in height, while Scottish Deerhounds are typically 30 to 32 inches in height. Perhaps they grew a lot larger during the 19th century?
Finally, everyone has heard of unicorns. Those mythical horned horses that trot along rainbows and within magical groves. But the unicorns from medieval legend were actually quite vicious beasts, so legend goes. They were known to take revenge on hunters within their sacred woods. Vikings and European traders frequently claimed to have (and sold) unicorn horns. Queen Elizabeth I even supposedly received an ornate, carved unicorn horn. The explanation: the horns were just tusks from narwhals, a large marine mammal.
Do you believe in Dragons, Leprechauns, or Fairies? Well, there is evidence that these mythological beasts and fairies may actually exist. Of course, there are always the naysayers and the explanations from skeptics. But look at the evidence and decide what you believe!