People, no matter from which era and what traditions, have always felt the need to explain their surroundings. After all, the greatest fear is the fear of the unknown. Before science did better explanations, myths, and mythical creatures fulfilled the need to know what, why, and how our reality exists.
Legends were often filled with grim events and scary monsters, and the reason for that was to scare people into behaving morally or into believing higher goodness. And no matter the ethnicity or beliefs, people thought that these supernatural creatures really exist and would warn each other to look out for them. Even though now these fantasy animals are accepted as fiction, stories of them still give us chills.
Artist from Portugal, Bruno Santos, brilliantly illustrated some of the lesser known mythical beasts. From a 400-year-old spider who eats handsome men to the mythological creature disguised as a ghost of a whale that brings famine. These terrifying monsters are sure to haunt your dreams.
Check out the illustrations below and tell us in the comments if you've heard about any of these mythical animals and monsters.
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The Bubak is a creature present in the old Czech folklore. It is usually described as a scarecrow looking monster, with the ability to cry just like a newborn baby, to lure its victims to their deaths.
This supernatural creature from the Nicaraguan folklore is a shapeshifter. It typically takes the form of an attractive long haired woman who seduces drunken and unfaithful men before revealing her true face: a Horse Skull. The words she speaks to these men are so horrific that the victim goes insane instantaneously.
La Llorona (The weeping Woman) was a woman who committed suicide after drowning her own children in a Mexican river as a means of revenge against her husband. Her wandering spirit is said to cry every night ¡Ay, mis hijos! ("Oh, my children!) The legends warns all children not to go out in the dark for she might snatch them, throwing them to their deaths in the flowing waters.
A Wendigo is a half-beast creature appearing in the legends of the American Indians. The most frequent cause of transformation into a Wendigo was if a person had resorted to cannibalism.
The Rokurokubi are Japanese mythical creatures that look like normal women by day. By night, however, their bodies sleep while their necks stretch to an incredible length and roam around freely, drinking other people's blood and even (rarely) eating humans.
According to the Japanese folklore, the Jorōgumo is a magic, 400 year old giant spider, that can change its appearance into that of a beautiful woman. She seduces young handsome men, wraps them up in her webs and eats them.
The Bake-kujira ("Ghost whale"), is a huge, ghostly whale skeleton that is accompanied by a host of strange birds and fish. They appear on rainy nights near coastal whaling Japanese villages, scaring the fishermen and delivering a powerful curse to anyone who spots it. The whale's curse brings famine, plague, fire and other kinds of disasters to the villages it hits.
The Manananggal is a vampire-like mythical creature of the Philippines. It is described as hideous, scary, often dipicted as female, and capable of severing its upper torso and sprouting huge bat-like wings to fly into the night in search of its victims.
La Mano Peluda
La Mano Peluda or "The Hairy Hand" is said to belong to a man who was killed during the inquisition in Mexico, chopped up and buried in an old Indian cemetery. Only his hand came back to life, and lurks in the darkness under the bed of misbehaved children hoping to grab them by the ankle and drag them to who knows where