Legendary creature

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A carving of a dragon from Imperial City, Huế in Viet Nam

A legendary creature is an animal whose life is accounted in non-historical or yet to be verified stories that sometime involve the supernatural. However, other legendary animals, such as the unicorn, were documented in accounts of natural history by various scholars of antiquity.[1] Due to the lack of fossils of these creatures, the veracity of these historical recordings is questioned by modern zoologists. Some of the these creatures can also be cryptids, although the terms are not synonymous.

The definitions of legendary and mythological have been debated with no widely agreed upon application.[2] Some legendary creatures have their origin in traditional mythology and have been believed to be real creatures, for example dragons, griffins, and unicorns.[2][not in citation given][3][not in citation given] Others were based on real encounters, originating in garbled accounts of travelers' tales, such as the Vegetable Lamb of Tartary, which supposedly grew tethered to the earth (and was actually a type of fern),[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The Encyclopaedia Britannica: A Dictionary of Arts, Sciences, Literature and General Information. University Press. 1911. p. 581. 
  2. ^ a b Bascom, William (1984). Alan Dundes, ed. March 2013 Sacred Narrative: Readings in the Theory of Myth. University of California Press. p. 9. ISBN 9780520051928. 
  3. ^ Simpson, Jacqueline; Roud, Steve (2000). A Dictionary of English Folklore. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780192100191. Retrieved 24 March 2013. 
  4. ^ Large, Mark F.; John E. Braggins (2004). Tree Ferns [ILLUSTRATED]. Portland, Oregon: Timber Press, Incorporated. p. 360. ISBN 978-0-88192-630-9. 


  • O'Flaherty, Wendy. Hindu Myths: A Sourcebook. London: Penguin, 1975.