Rumor or Reality: 35 Mysterious Cryptids That May (or Might Now) Exist

1Perchta the Disemboweller

Nordic folklore has a Christmas character called "Perchta the Disemboweller", who would either give you coins for being good or would slit your belly open and fill it with oats and straw if you had been bad.


Tanuki is a Japanese folklore creature that is also referred to as the Raccoon Dog. Its most distinguishing characteristic is its large, magical pair of testicles that is used as a hat, umbrella, boat or drum. They are known as tricksters or bringers of good luck.


"Kappa" in kappamaki (cucumber sushi rolls) refers to child-sized, humanoid, reptilian monsters in Japanese folklore. As troublemakers, their pranks range from looking up women's kimonos (traditional Japanese garment) to drowning people, but they are willing to befriend humans in exchange for gifts, especially cucumbers.


According to Japanese urban legends, there is a woman called Kuchisake-onna who asks you if she's pretty twice. If you say no one of those times, you are killed. If you say yes both times she slits your mouth so you look like her.


The Befana is a witch-like hag who, in Italian folklore, brings coal or candy and "sweeps away" the problems of last year with her flying broom, on the night of Jan 5th.


Fairies in traditional folklore are considered malevolent creatures to be avoided and warded off, rather than the benevolent creatures modern culture suggests.


Squonk is a mythological creature from Pennsylvania that is so ugly that it cries constantly from loneliness and shame, dissolving in a puddle of its own tears when cornered.

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Pegasus, the immortal winged horse had parents. His father was Poseidon, God of the Sea, and his mother was Medusa, the woman who had living venomous snakes in place of her hair.


Kodama is a spirit from Japanese folklore, which is believed to live in certain trees and that cutting down a tree that houses a Kodama is thought to bring misfortune, and as such these trees are often marked with shimenawa rope.


According to Chinese folklore, Pixiu is a creature that was banished from the heavens for being unruly. It was spanked by the Jade Emperor so hard that its butthole was sealed, leaving it cursed to a diet of gold, silver, and jewels but unable to expel any of it.


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