Engravings of hybrid monsters from Opera nela quale vi e molti mostri de tutte le parti del mondo antichi et moderni or “Work in which there are many monsters from all parts of the world, ancient and modern” by Giovanni Battista de’Cavalieri, 1585. Image: Wellcome Collection
A Mngwa or Nunda is massive legendary cat of Tanzanian folklore that’s fiercer than a lion and more agile than a leopard. The Mngwa is said to be human during the day, and turns into a ferocious beast at nightfall with grey, striped fur. Image: mngamojemo
Umibozu is a sea monster yokai who creates storms and breaks ships. Often appearing at night, the yokai will sometimes request a barrel from sailors, who would give a bottomless barrel so it wouldn’t drown them. In some regions, fishers sacrificed their first catch to the gods to prevent Umibozu’s appearance. Images: Bakemono no e, 18th Century & The sailor Tokuso and the sea monster by Utagawa Kuniyoshi, 1845
Here’s one yokai you don’t want to help with your spring cleaning: the Akaname is goblin-sized creature, with slimy black hair, from Japanese folklore whose tongue is twice as long as its height—that it uses to lick toilets. Image: Edo shokoku hyaku monogatari, 17th Century
Cynocephaly or “having the head of a dog” is a characteristic found in many mythological and folklore traditions across the world, such as ancient Egypt, India, Greece, and China. These humanoid, dog-headed beings were often described by travelers coming back from far off lands. Images: Saint Christopher by Anonymous, 17th Century | The Egyptian Book of the Dead, 1550 BCE | Kievan Psalter by Unknown, 1397 | Man with dog head by Hartmann Schedel, 1493.
Balor was the leader of the Fomorians, a group of demonic beings from Irish Mythology. He was a giant with a poisonous eye wreaked havoc in battle. The eyelid was so heavy, that it took the strength of four warriors from his army to lift it. He was killed with a sling-stone to the eye by his grandson. Image: JFarren on Deviant Art