10 Mythical CREATURES That Actually Existed
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10 Mythical Creatures That Actually Existed
Who doesn’t love a good story, especially ones which involve unbelievable, mythological creatures that
you wouldn’t remotely think are real. But, as history has proven, there is a basis for which these
creatures were thought up. Today, we will be looking at 10 mythical creatures that actually existed.
Number one will make you question whether middle earth was real or not so stay tuned for that.
Number 10. The Dire Wolf
Dire Wolves became widely popular when Game of Thrones hit the mainstream. These large wolves are
a constant companion of the Starks in the show, and are shown to be large, intelligent, and protective
creatures. They aren’t, however, merely just a figment of George RR Martin’s imagination. They are in
fact, based on real animals.
Dire wolves lived during the Pleistocene, between 250,000 to roughly 10,000 years ago. Unfortunately,
real dire wolves were not really the size of ponies. They were larger than modern wolves, though, and
could weigh as much as 200 pounds — almost twice what a very large modern wolf might weigh.
Their skulls are much larger compared to today’s modern wolves. Ironically though, their brains are
much smaller. However, if they had bigger brains, we probably wouldn’t have had amazing fossils of
them. Thousands of dire wolf fossils have been found in the La Brea tar pits. Scientists believe that they
were trapped there when they started feeding on the carcasses of other animals trapped in the tar.
Number 9. The Unicorn
Perhaps the earliest account of unicorns is by well-known Greek historian, Ctesias, who described a large
animal with a horn on its forehead in India. It’s quite possible that he saw a rhino from a distance and
thought it was a horse with horn on its head. But fossils unearthed in Siberia may have proven the
existence of this mythical creature.
Called the Siberian unicorn, it was 1.8 meters tall, over 4 meters long and weighed more than 4 tons. It
was covered in a shaggy coat and earned its nickname from the huge horn that grew out of its forehead.
Yes, it doesn’t quite resemble the classic unicorn of lore but so far, this is the closest that we can get to a
They were believed to have died out 350,000 years ago, but a discovery of a fossil in Kazakhstan
changed all that. Carbon dating test revealed the fossil to be only 29,000 years old. This means that the
animal roamed the earth 321,000 years longer than previously thought.
Number 8. The Komodo Dragon
Believe it or not, the Komodo Dragon was considered a mythical creature all the way up to 1910 when it
was first discovered. Prior to that, rumors were spreading that eight-foot-long, hundred pound
prehistoric lizards were living on a remote Indonesian island.
Wanting to prove or disprove the existence of these creatures himself, Dutch colonial official Lt. Steyn
van Hensbroek put together an expedition to Komodo Island. He was able to catch and kill a six-foot
specimen, and he sent the carcass as proof to the Zoological Museum and Botanical Garden at Bogor,
Seemingly not satisfied with the discovery, American explorer W. Douglas Burden decided to put
together an expedition himself, making up his mind to catch live specimens. In the end the expedition
was able to pile several dead and two live Komodo dragons onto their steamer and return to New York
City, giving scientists plenty to study and visitors of the Bronx Zoo plenty to see.
Number 7. The Bunyip
The bunyip is a little like Australia's Loch Ness monster in that it lives in the water and has never been
photographed despite the fact that hundreds of people have seen it. But the legend might have actually
had rational origins.
The bunyip is an Aboriginal legend — according to Australian History, the name means “devil” or “spirit”
and the creature is said to look like a cross between a crocodile and a horse, though accounts differ.
Bunyips stalk and kill human beings and supposedly make an eerie sound like a “hollow boom,” which
certainly seems terrifying if you've never been around any shotguns or farm equipment.