Plausible Real-World Animals That May Have Given Us Mythical Creatures

Even the most outlandish legends and cryptids may be traced to real experiences that made a good story for someone somewhere. A good story tends to get larger with each telling, and details are added when different people try to translate them or pass those stories down to younger people who have less context. We are familiar with medieval artists who tried to draw exotic beasts from nothing but an oral description. That same transformation could happen to any strange sighting when the witness and the artist are different people. As we gain more knowledge about the ancient world, we find more analogues to our modern legends, like the drop bear. A string of unreliable narrators can easily transform a natural phenomena that no one understands into a fantastic fairy tale. Weird History take a look at a whole string of mythical creatures, from cyclops to vampires to unicorns, and ties them to plausible natural but misunderstood origins.

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