Log in

No account? Create an account

MCotD: Ningyo

For today's MCotD we head to Japan to meet the mythical Ningyo.

Monkey-fish! Rarr!

From wikipedia: Ningyo (人魚, "human fish", Ningyo), often translated as "mermaid," is a fish-like creature from Japanese folklore. Anciently, it was described with a mouth like a monkey's, small teeth like a fish's, shining golden scales, and a quiet voice like a skylark or a flute. Its flesh is pleasant-tasting, and anyone who eats it will attain remarkable longevity. Catching a ningyo was believed to bring storms and misfortune, however, so fishermen who caught these creatures were said to throw them back into the sea. A ningyo washed onto the beach was an omen of war or calamity. ref, and a neat story about an 800 year old Buddhist priestess.

Pantheon.org says that Ningyo ward off misfortune and preserve peace in the land.
... as long as you don't kill and eat them.
So remember, catch and release when fishing for Ningyo.

Other links:

MCotD: Basilisk

sorry about the delay today guys...stoopid work getting in the way...

The name basilisk comes from the Greek basileus, which means king. The basilisk was the King of the snakes and the most poisonous creature on earth. His appearance has always been a matter of dispute since there is no way to see a basilisk and survive. Looking at it, according to legend, brings death.

The basilisk was depicted in a few illuminated manuscripts in the Middle Ages but appeared much more often as an ornamental detail in church architecture, adorning capitals and medallions. The best representation of the basilisk is found in the decorative field of heraldry where the basilisk had the head and legs of a cock, a snake-like tail, and a body like a bird’s. It seems that the wings could be depicted as either being covered with feathers or scales.

The basilisk is fabulously alleged to be hatched by a cockerel from the egg of a serpent (the reverse of the cockatrice, which is hatched from a hen's egg incubated by a serpent's nest).

Old tales describe it as being born from a spherical, yolkless egg, laid during the days of Sirius (the Dog Star) by a seven-year-old rooster and hatched by a toad.

Most authors agree, that Africa was his homeland. The basilisk is always found in a desert. This is not because he enjoys living there, but because its breath and sight are so destructive that it turns any landscape in a sand desert.

ref. monstropedia.org & monstrous.com

MCotD: Kelpie

So the creature we decided to go with today is nothing like I thought it was, but in the spirit of learning we'll plunge on anyway!
(More on that in the comments, on with the show.)

The Kelpie!

The Kelpie is a water spirit inhabiting deep pools in Scottish streams and rivers. It normally takes the form of a small horse - sometimes said to be black, but also "green as glass" with a jet black mane and tail. The Kelpie can also take the form of a human, but it always has something of the water which gives it away - like waterweed in its hair. In its horse form it might wait near a ford to tempt a weary traveller to ride it across the river. It would look like a gentle pony, but anyone foolish enough to mount it would be carried off into the river and drowned. ref.

Doesn't have much symbolism per-se, but they're said to inhabit every river and lake in Scotland. They appear as lovely horses and will act friendly and docile, but the moment you place trust in them they'll run off with you and/or drown you. The appear in both male and female variants. They're also quite spiteful.

A variant is the Each Uisge (pronounced "ech ooisky" - each = horse, usige = water [like whisky]).
While the Kelpie lived in running water, the Each Uisge lived in the sea, sea lochs and fresh-water lochs. In Ireland its equivalent was called the Aughisky. ref.
They'd drown people and eat the entire body except the liver, which would then wash ashore to let people know that it'd claimed another victim.


(It's also the name of an interesting beer: http://www.legendslimited.com/kelpie.html )

MCotD: Chimera

Chimera is a creature from classical Greek Mythology said to be one of the offspring of Typhon and Echidna and sister of such monsters as Cerberus and the Lernaean Hydra. While there are different genealogies, in one version it mated with its brother Orthrus and mothered the Sphinx and the Nemean Lion.

Descriptions vary, some say it had the body of a goat, the tail of a snake or dragon and the head of a lion, though others say it had heads of both the goat and lion, with a snake for a tail. It is generally considered to have been female, despite the mane adorning its lion's head. All descriptions, however, agree that it breathed fire from one or more of its heads.

Sighting the chimera was a sign of storms, shipwrecks, and natural disasters (particularly volcanoes). In Medieval Christian art, the chimera appears as a symbol of Satanic forces.

taken from the amazing Monstropedia

MCotD: Manticore

Welcome to Mythical Creature of the Day!
In honor of the beast that inspired this journal we're starting off with the Manticore. (Aided and abetted by this comic today as well, it should be mentioned.)

Wikipedia says:
The manticore is a legendary creature [of Persian origin] similar to the Egyptian sphinx. It has the body of a red lion, a human head with three rows of sharp teeth, and a trumpet-like voice. Other aspects of the creature vary from story to story. It may be horned or not. The tail is either of a dragon or a scorpion, and it may shoot poisonous spines to either paralyze or kill its victims. Wikipedia article

I've always heard it with a scorpion tail, I think the dragon thing is a modern add-on. The Persian origin tends to lean more towards scorpion as well I should think.

Manticore! Your MCotD!
Use it in a sentence today and leave a comment telling how you managed to squeeze it into conversation.

Other fun sources:
- "Manticore." Encyclopedia Mythica from Encyclopedia Mythica Online. <http://www.pantheon.org/articles/m/manticore.html>.
- Presumably terrible Scifi Channel Movie titled Manticore.
- "Manticore is [also] a heterogeneous parallel programming language."