November 12, 2017

What else can be said about the unicorn that has not been told already? The virtues –real or supposed— of these beasts are narrated, represented and proclaim by fables, the arts, heraldry and pharmacopoeiae, not to mention cinematography and television. From the majestic beasts of Legend (Ridley Scott, 1986), to the rainbow farting, horn killer from Supernatural (CW, 2005), unicorns are everywhere.

And I think that’s the problem, we have become so familiar with the classic representation of the u...

August 13, 2017

The Xuangui, also called the twisting-turtles, are found along the Strange River that runs east of the Niu-Trees Mountain.The Xuangui are often described as black turtles (sometimes with some red stripes along their bodies) with a bird’s head and a viper’s tail. When swimming, they make sounds as if splitting wood with their beaks.

The shell of this legendary creature mentioned in many ancient Chinese bestiaries was said to have healing and protective properties.

Ancient tradition dictates that we...

January 22, 2017

The danghu is a mythical bird-like creature from China. This creature is said to be so strong that it's capable of flying using solely its whiskers and the feathers of its throat while its wings rest comfortably extended.

According to the Chinese scholar Guo Pu (i.e., Kuo P'u; 276 – 324 AD), if you travel to the Shangshen (i.e., the Upper-Shen Mountain), almost at the top, there is a peak where there are no plants or trees, only huge rock. At the base of this peak grow many hazelnut trees and arr...

December 25, 2016

A particularly odd monster, the Amphisbaena is a two-headed reptilian beast most often depicted as a dragon with a head growing out of the tip of its tail. The origin of the myth, however, speaks of a double-headed snake, both heads identical, with the ability to move both forwards and backwards to confuse its enemies. In fact, the word amphisbaena comes from the Greek words amphis (both ways) and bainein (to move), making reference to the main ability of this beast.

The study of depictions of th...

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