Most epic mythical creatures chart ever. I’ve put up the image below for a clearer view. There should be something here for everyone, along with new creatures and legends for everyone too.
Check out the tube/subway/metro map version.
Also below is my reasoning and background, have a read!
I had an idea for a Venn/Euler diagram of mythical creatures, and someone showed me Unwin and Carline’s chart from 2009. This is a very classy diagram but there are some inaccuracies (e.g. Mermaid is human + fish, not narwhal) and I knew I could make a far more comprehensive chart.
My research conducted via Wikipedia and Google Images, along with my own knowledge and memories of playing Warhammer Fantasy Battle as a kid. I make no apology for this.
This was a difficult chart to create! I know that many people will either have a problem with the way I’ve laid it out, or a suggestion/complaint about something that hasn’t been included, but this was the best I could do, and I’m happy with it.
ACTUAL MYTHICAL CREATURES
- All creatures and characters listed here have a heritage in historical mythology
- One of my problems with Unwin and Carline’s chart from 2009 is the “Mermahuataur”, which they basically made up. That is not happening here.
- Recent inventions like the Pegacorn are not included (much as I love the Pegacorn)
- Cryptids like the Loveland Frog and Yeti are not welcome here. Or Manbearpig! Sorry not sorry.
- Centaur, Ipotane, Tikbalang and Buraq are all different combinations of horse + human. Pegasus, Hippogriff and Hippalectryon are all different versions of horse + bird.
- Russian folklore features both the Sirin and the Gamayun, but they are identical in form, so only the Sirin was included.
DRAGON = LIZARD + BAT
- As a fan of dinosaurs, it would have been easy for me to include Dragon as lizard + bird. But dragon wings are strictly lizard-like, scaly and/or leathery wings, not feathered (unlike the Cockatrice). So they had to go down as lizard + bat.
THAT DAMN NARWHAL
- I felt strange including the Narwhal like Unwin and Carline, because it seems like a mythical combination of animals in its own right. But it’s a real, single creature!
- For Unicorn, I could have used rhino instead, but the nature and shape of the narhwal’s tusk is far closer to the unicorn’s horn.
CREATURES, THEN INDIVIDUALS
- Gorgon is included instead of Medusa, but there is no clear name for a horse with wings, so Pegasus is included by name.
- The same goes for humans or legends who are individuals and do not come from any species.
MYTHOLOGY NOT RELIGION
- This is a very hazy area, and one person’s religion is another person’s mythology. But I tried to stick to mythical creatures, rather than religious “gods”, and not including things like angels. Ammit, for instance, seems more of a mythical creature than the Egyptian gods like Anubis. Ultimately though this was just a decision I made myself.
FLYING OR NOT FLYING
- Some creatures are sometimes known as having wings, but are not listed as part-bird, e.g. Chimaera. This is because some creatures are definitely, exclusively winged (e.g. the Lamassu) while some like the Chimaera and Manticore are not always winged.
LIZARD vs SNAKE vs SERPENT vs FISH
- Some legends are not clear about whether something is part lizard or snake (Ladon, Hydra), or part snake or fish (Ophiotaurus). I’ve done my best.
- Uchchaihshravas – 7-headed flying horse from Hindu mythology
- Hippalectryon – back end of a rooster, front end of a horse. Great name!
- Zahhak – Persian legend with snakes rising from his shoulders
- Hecatonchires – the “hundred-handed” (and fifty-headed) destroyers of the Titans from Greek mythology
- Chimaera – lion’s body and head, goat head, lizard head and snake for a tail. Can’t beat it for totally bad-ass monster.
THE COMPLETE LIST:
Griffon (Griffin, Gryphon)
Sun Crow (Three-Legged Crow)