Archaeology

Types of mythical creatures discovered in fossils

It turns out, all the tales we heard about Griffins, Giants, and Unicorns may have some truth in them.

The dark, scary monsters in the stories which our grandparents have told in numerous fairy tales have always haunted our imagination. The Unicorns, Dragons, Griffins sometimes were the cause of the sleepless nights in our childhood. If you think deeply about this, you will realize that maybe it is not any figment of imagination. Maybe these stories were based on some based on an actual creature. Recent exploration reveals fossils that have uncanny similarities to all those mythical creatures we have been talking about. Here are some imaginary creatures that were discovered in fossils.

Cyclopes

Most of the ancient Greek legends talked about mythical one-eyed giants called Cyclopes that inhabited the island of Sicily. Experts have pointed out that, in fact, around 1300s, the island around Sicily and many parts of the Mediterranean was home to a special and ancient species of Elephants who looked eerily similar to Cyclopes’ heads. Several fossils of large elephant skulls are excavated in these areas where a large central cavity is revealed where the trunk was attached, making it seem like a large eye socket.

Tengu

The fossilized Shark teeth found in Japan is known to be “tengy-no-tsume” or Tengu’s claw. Tengu is a goblin who is part human, part-goblin. Now, these fossils are revered and are believed to cure any ghostly possession and guard against evil spirits. They are sometimes even enshrined in the temple and are considered a treasure.

Griffins

Many ancient Greek tales often speak of gold-seeking Scythian fought battles with Griffins in the middle of the Gobi Desert. Their body was that of a lion, and their wings and beak were that of an eagle. Adrienne Mayor, a folklorist, is of the opinion that these Greek stories are talking about Protoceratops dinosaurs. Her opinion is based on the excavated fossils that literally littered the desert. Protoceratops had four legs, a beak and its shoulders blades looked like wings.

Unicorn

Danish Sailors brought the horns of the narwhal to Europe in the Middle Ages. These horns were pointed, spiralled, and pale. European people believed that these horns were remains of the mythical Unicorn and had healing power. Earlier, the horns of the Unicorn were described in many colours and shapes in stories; it was due to the narwhal’s horn the legends described the Unicorn’s horn being white and long.

Do you believe in this hypothesis, or do you still believe that these animals are fictional?

Priyadarshini Kaul

Priyadarshini Kaul Mishra has two Master’s Degrees in English Literature and History. She is actively following her passion for the language by being a content creator since many years now. Besides this, Priyadarshini is a true bookworm at heart and tries to be an avid reader despite being a full-time mother now. She is also a professionally certified baker and puts on the oven mitts every now and then.
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