Fauna of Mirrors

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

The fauna of mirrors is an ancient Chinese myth that behind every mirror there is an entirely different world. This other dimension is home to creatures that are unknown to earth. The inhabitants are in no way similar to the creatures of earth.


The Chinese myth suggest that an alternate universe exists beyond mirrors. Upon entering the fauna of mirrors nothing is like the world has ever seen. No color, shape, nor size is the same. The creatures that dwell within the fauna are not like any creatures that inhabit the earth. Once the fauna was open, and creatures from both dimensions could pass through freely. There was always harmony between the both worlds, but one day that harmony was disturbed and the worlds came to be at war with one another. In turn, the portal had to be closed to avoid controversy.[1]


Many years ago mirrors were thought to hold an alternate universe. This was referred to as the “fauna of mirrors”. The creatures of the fauna were free to pass through the mirror into earth and the same for the earth’s inhabitants. Any creature could pass through a mirror portal at any given time.

Many of the fauna creatures had invaded earth. They began to cause mischief and create destruction in the world. The mighty yellow emperor, Huang Di, created a magic trap for the creatures. He cast a powerful spell over all the populations of the fauna that had been on earth causing trouble. The spell was so powerful that it removed all the powers that the fauna creatures had, including the ability to pass back through into their own world. It also took away their ability to change shape, or make decisions for themselves.

The wise Huang Di banished all the fauna creatures to remain on earth for the rest of their days, serving as peasants to those who reside on the earth. The spell is said to still be in effect today, but one day the people of the fauna are supposed to rise to power over those of earth. On the day when the fauna people return strange things will begin to happen. A strange beaming light will be seen coming from all reflective surfaces, obscure creatures will begin to act out, and war will be heard in all directions. The leader of the fauna return will be led by either the Fish of the mirror, or the tiger of the mirror.


The first appearance of the “Fauna of mirrors” is mentioned within The Book of Imaginary Beings written in 1957 by Jorge Luis Borges. The book was created to be a guide for all mythological beings that have existed. Borges was an Argentinian who first wrote the book to be a fantastic zoological guide, but when the book became translated to English the name was turned to imaginary beings. The book contains 120 different myths, folklore, and creatures. Borges had intended for his book to be read one section at a time, in no order- "as with all miscellanies...not...straight through.... Rather we would like the reader to dip into the pages at random, just as one plays with the shifting patterns of a kaleidoscope".[2] The Book of Imaginary Beings contains the most descriptive interpretation of the Chinese myth of the Fauna of Mirrors.

The Tain, a novella by China Mieville contained in the 2005 collection Looking for Jake, portrays a post-apocalyptic London in the aftermath of the events predicted in the "Fauna of Mirrors."


  1. ^ "Fauna of Mirrors". Retrieved 18 May 2011. 
  2. ^ Borges, Jorge (1957). The Book of Imaginary Beings. Argentina. Fauna of Mirrors.