Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Ridiculous Monsters

I get a kick out of monsters with funny names, so I've compiled a sampling of silly creatures that make me snigger like a pre-schooler. Enjoy!

Bunyip: Actually refers to a class of scary beasties described by Native Australians as massive, shaggy howlers that inhabit swamps and billabongs.

Missipissy: Native Americans of the Great Lakes region called this serpent Master of the Fishes.

Imdugud: An eagle-headed demon from ancient Mesopotamia, this kindly monster brought the rain in times of need.

Pukis (not to be mistaken with the Irish Pooka): For some reason, this eastern European creature flies in the air as a dragon, but takes the form of a big cat on the ground. It brings good luck to a household, often to the detriment of others.

To Fu: A glorious, color-changing bird of Chinese legend.

Kelpy/Kelpie: This shape-shifting Scottish water monster was most often seen in the form of a gray or black horse and was considered a portent of death by drowning.

Agog-Magog: This monster of Armenian legend has a name very similar to the biblical Gog and Magog, as well as Brut and Gogmagog from Britain.

Colo-Colo: A Chilean vampire that sucks a person's saliva until they're dried up.

Boobrie: Heh. A giant bird of Scottish folklore, it devoured anything that went to the water's edge of the loch that it inhabited.

Neugle/Nuggle/Noggle: Another malicious Scottish water horse that lured its victims to drown in lochs and rivers.

Fearsome Critters: I have to end with this fun bunch of tall tales from early US lumberjacks. They sure knew how to name the things that went bump in the night. Here are just a few of the best: Kickle Snifter, Gumberoo, Pigwiggen, Mugwump, Squonk, Whirling Wimpus, Snoligoster, Flitterick, Treesqueak and Shmoo. Just awesome.

What scary beasties just make you want to giggle?


Lena Coakley said...

I always thought that the gytrash (pronounced guy-trash)mentioned in Jane Eyre had a pretty ridiculous name. It's a Yorkshire shapeshifter that can appear as a black dog, a burning barrel or a headless man.

Ella Gray said...

Lena - That's a good one! Another dark portent of death that sounds like something you'd have to delete from your spam folder. Hehe.

Shelley Munro said...

What a great collection of beasties! I can add a New Zealand one - a taniwha (TAN E FAR), which is a sort of a water dragon. There's one in every lake and river in Maori mythology. I've even written about one. *g*

Ella Gray said...

Shelley - That sounds like a lot of fun to write about. New Zealanders certainly have some fascinating legends to work with :-)

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