Friday, January 21, 2011

10 Weirdest Monsters You've Never Heard Of!

There’s nothing more monstrous than a monster. They strike fear into the hearts of many, and while they’re at it, they’ll probably steal your soul or turn you to stone too. Young adult and kids horror has some excellent monsters, such as the ones Thomas Ward has to face in Spook’s Apprentice, Darren Shan’s terrifying Demonata, and my favourite monsters of late, the Echolites from Jon Mayhew’s The Demon Collector. None of these are creatures you want to meet in a dark alley! And while you’re likely to find plenty of werewolves, zombies and vampires between the pages of your favourite YA and kids books, here are ten mythical monsters you might not have heard of.

10. Asipatra
An enormous bird from India whose name means ‘Sword-Wing’. Its feathers are like scythes and its claws are like knives. It uses these deadly weapons to torture the souls of the condemned, then comes home to roost in a tree made of spears.

9. Miqqiayuuq
A creature belonging to Inuit myth which is huge, hairy and has no face. It lives in the depths of freshwater lakes, so watch out if you take a quick dip!

8. Haakapainizi
The Kawaiisu tell of this monster, which is a giant grasshopper. He hunts for children, then throws them into his giant basket to snack on later.

7. Guirvulu
A fox-snake monster from South America. It has the body of a puma with a fox’s head, and a tail that ends in a massive claw. When it eats, it dislocates its jaw like a snake to swallow its victims whole.

6. Mokele-Mbembe
This is not your average unicorn! An elephant from West Africa with a single horn and the tail of a scaly serpent. It lives in caverns that line the cliffs above the Congo coastline, and attacks humans who stray too close in their boats.

5. Jidra
This is a plant monster which grows out of the ground, and though it can move around, it remains permanently attached by a single root. It looks innocent enough, but it has a voracious appetite and eats anything that moves.

4. Mishipizhiw
This water monster has the body of a great cat with sharp spines along its back. It has a long, sinuous tail which it uses to capture its victims and stir up storms. Comes from Algonquin and Ojibwa tales.

3. Mamlambo
A South African creature at least 60 ft long. It has the head and neck of a snake, the body of a crocodile, and short, stumpy legs. It glows in the dark, so if you see something glowing green, get out of there! Otherwise it will drown you, then suck out your blood and brains.

2. Gulon
This stinky monster hails from Sweden. A cross between a hyena and a lion with a fox’s tail, it uses its razor-sharp claws to attack. Then it gulps down anything it can find, living or dead, and when it’s full it squeezes between two trees to force out the build-up of gasses so it can start eating again.

1. Olgoi-Khorkhol
AKA the Mongolian Death Worm! With a name like that, you know it means business. These worms live in the Gobi Desert, are dark red and spit acid-like poison at their victims, which is said to kill instantly. It can also give you an electric shock and lies in wait underground until night when it comes out to hunt... YOU!

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