The Stuff of Legends: Legendary Creatures


Have you ever watched a movie or documentaries about creatures of myth that people say exist, but there is little to no evidence on their side? Have you thought to yourself ‘do these things really exist or is it just a hoax?’  Well, Earth is extremely spacious and filled with unexplored areas that nobody has set foot in, leaving a possibility that these creatures are real. No, not really. However, the chances are never zero. From creepy to magical we will be looking at mysterious legendary creatures and their strange beginnings.


Creature 1: Centaurs and Minotaurs – Isaac Santos De Freitas

Centaurs and Minotaurs have a lot in common. They both originate from Greek mythology. A centaur or minotaur is, essentially, a man with a horse body and a minotaur is vice versa, a man with a bull head and in most cases with bull legs.  “Taur” means cattle, bull or horse in Greek; therefore the myths were named after the word. In Greek mythology, centaurs symbolize masculinity and some were said to be loyal warriors. Centaurs lived in tribes and sometimes were believed to be primal, settling in caves and using their surroundings to protect themselves. Minotaurs were sort of similar to centaurs, but weren’t seen as “human” as much as centaurs. Minotaurs were seen most like beasts, and treated like so, considering they were always furious and hungry. In Greek mythology, kings sometimes kept minotaurs in chambers or labyrinths to attack invaders or prisoners. Centaurs and minotaurs still appear in modern day culture, they might show up or be referenced in Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, Star Wars, and in other novels, movies or shows.


Creature 2: Griffins and Hippogriffs – Manuel A. Paz

Long ago….in ancient Asia….tales spread of a beast with pointed ears, an eagle’s head, a lion’s body, and wings. This creature was called a Griffin, and was a beast of immense power and strength. It was believed to be a greedy creature that collected vast amounts of gold, much like a dragon. Female griffins had wings, and males had spikes along their spine. Pretty frightening, don’t you think? Several ancient cultures revered them as powerful yet majestic rulers, since eagles and lions were considered to be the greatest of their kind (even today we refer to lions as “kings of the jungle”). Griffins were a symbol of loyalty in ancient times due to the fact that they were believed to stay with one partner their entire life; if their partner died, they would not select another one. Hippogriffs, despite their name, didn’t really have to do with hippopotamuses. Hippogriffs were a hybrid between a griffin and a horse; a griffin with a horse’s back legs. Both beasts are still seen in modern day culture, such as in the Harry Potter series(


Creature 3: Phoenix – Manuel A. Paz

Phoenix….even the name may conjure a flurry of fiery feathers in the minds of those familiar with the creature. The Phoenix is a mythical bird of fire, said to live for hundreds of years, die and smolder to ashes, and be reborn as a new phoenix out of those ashes. The phoenix is seen as a majestic symbol of power and rebirth. Its overall appearance is similar to that of many birds of paradise, but with brighter fiery orange/redish plumage, and of course, the fact that it is on fire. Phoenixes are common in modern pop culture: in names, such as Phoenix, AZ and in movies/series, such as in Harry Potter and My Little Pony.


Creature 4:  The Hydra – Isaac Santos De Freitas

The Hydra originates from Greek and Roman mythology. A Hydra is a mythical dragon with several heads, and in mythology, several heroes are unable to defeat the Hydra for the reason it’s heads regenerate AND multiply once cut off, making the Hydra nearly invincible. The Hydra also grows up to approximately 19-42 feet (6-13 meters) making it’s defeat even more difficult. The Hydra got its name from the word hydra, which meant water serpent or multifarious evil that can’t be defeated by one single effort. The Hydra was created by Typhon and Ekhidna, who was also responsible for other monsters. Hydras still appear in popular culture and are referenced in media like, Dungeons and Dragons, Transformers and a game called “Kirby Air Ride”, and believe it or not there is a satellite in space called the Hydra.

Creature 5: Dragon – Julian Alvarado Cedeno

The Dragon is probably the most famous legendary creature known to man. The dragon is a symbol for good luck, power, and strength in Chinese culture. Dragons are long scaly reptiles most times with wings that are many times depicted to breathe fire and protect some sort of important object. In stories, the dragons could have been protecting the strongest sword of humanity or a huge stash of wealth, with some sort of hero having to get past it as an obstacle in their path. Where did dragons really start? In inner eastern Mongolia, carved into jade was what seemed to represent a dragon. It was carved by the Hongshan culture which was at its peak in 4500 – 3000 BCE. Anthropologist David E. Jones believes that the dragon was just stemmed off of humans’ built-in fear of snakes. Since then they have been featured more and more in different places whether in media or just a tall tale, this embedded the creature into our brain. That’s how the dragon flew into modern pop culture and whose story will never burn away. 


Creature 6: Ghosts – Julian Alvarado Cedeno

We have all heard of ghosts, whether you think of them as a horror trope or a real thing that can come to take you away. They are iconic! Almost every horror movie includes some form of spirit. The ghost started as a recalling of events through a letter sent from author at the time “Pliney the Younger” in around 100 AD as he details a specter of a big bearded old man that started to mess with him in his home in Athens. While Pliney would become a notable ghost story author, the real madness started in 856 AD with the first report of a poltergeist. Poltergeists are way more dangerous than the normal, they cause physical damage like throwing something at you or destroying the things around you. Haunted houses go with ghosts like two peas in a pod, but how does a place get haunted? They say that usually when a person dies, their soul can linger in a location. This makes a place like war grounds teeming with ghouls.

All of these creatures have a story around them and we suggest that you look into them if you’re interested in them. All of these creatures are diverse, stemming from different places, like mythology or local here-say. Thank you for reading our article. Stay tuned!