Ao (Chinese: 鳌, Áo) is a large marine turtle in Chinese mythology. He was thought to have lived in the South China Sea during the time of the formation of the world. When the goddess Nüwa, creator of mankind, was repairing the sky after a disaster, she chopped off Ao’s four legs and used them as supports.
He is thought to have been an influence on the later half-dragon, half-turtle figure of Bixi in imperial Chinese sculpture. Bixi was considered a son of the Dragon King who was able to carry enormous weights upon his back; figures of the dragon-turtle bearing memorial stelae are common monuments throughout East Asia.
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