Real Creatures the World Mistook for Myths

Feb 09, 2021 By Kayode Oseh
Stories become embellished as it passes from one generation to the next. There are several ways the world has misinterpreted a whole lot of things -and the mistakes in these interpretations have in a kind of way, formed our mindset and knowledge in general. 
The Stories of mythical creatures are never in short supply. According to popular legends, most of these creatures have ridiculous features and characteristics that may make it impossible to believe in their true existence. However, it turns out that most of them are not exactly what we think they are. They are just some popular mistakes of the original things. 

Manatees for Mermaids 

The world took an interest in the existence of mermaids after Christopher Columbus’s first voyage to America. He caught a glimpse of "mermaids" off the prow of his ship. According to him, he quite distinctly saw three mermaids, which rose well out of the sea; “but they are not as beautiful as they are said to be, for their faces had some masculine traits”, he said. However, according to proper research, what Christopher Columbus mistook for mermaids were not actually mermaids, they were “Manatees” (Sea cow), the largest herbivore that lives in water. It is very possible to mistake the animal for a human being, since they have forelimbs containing five sets of fingerlike bones, and neck vertebrae that allow them to turn their heads. 

Dinosaur for Dragons

Dinosaurs are the origin of the dragon myth. Many cultures, particularly ancient China where tales of dragons abound, came up with dragons after finding fossils of dinosaurs. Just like modern paleontologists, these accidental fossil-hunters were inspired to visually reconstruct "dragons" from the dinosaur remains. 

Squid for Kraken 

The kraken is “doubtedly” the most fearsome sea monster ever imagined. According to legends, it is a huge, octopus-like creature fond of sinking ships with its harm and eating its crew. There have been a lot of stories on this animal in this regard. However, recent research has proved that “Kraken” as an animal, never existed. What the world mistake for Kraken is the “giant squid”. The squid is very enormous but not as big and violent like the Kraken mythology.   

Rhino for Unicorns

Due to the symbolism of this creature as a rare gem, the unicorn is probably the most adorable myth that ever exists.  It is a mythical horse with a single horn in the middle of its head bur are they actually real? Probably, but they are not what you think they are. Unicorns were actually rhinoceros not horses; they are giant rhinos that survived until 40,000 years ago when they became extinct. Known as the Siberian unicorn, the animal had a long horn on its nose, and roamed the grasslands of old Eurasia. Their diet was quite particular and as such, made them picky, which could be one of the major reasons why they died out of the earth. As stories became legends, legends became myths; the idea of unicorn being a flying horse with wings got popular. 

Sea serpent

A sea serpent or sea dragon is a type of dragon described in various mythologies. It is said to be a ferocious creature believed to patrol the ocean. There have been a lot of legends from the olden days about this fish-snake hybrid. Seafarers of old told elaborate stories of its existence so much that it became folklore. Anyway this creature is not actually a serpent, it is an oarfish that was only mistook for a serpent by our forefathers. 

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