What's another name for Bigfoot
The hippest mythical creature these days is without a doubt the pocket monster. In short: Pokémon. It shows up on smartphone screens and can even be caught.
This is not true of most of the mythical creatures on earth. They were never hunted down, and there is no solid evidence of their existence. But the superstition is strong. And that's why vacationers can still come across mythical creatures in many parts of the world. Well, at least on their homeland and myth.
The sea monster Nessie doesn't look very scary here. Nobody knows what it actually looks like - it was never caught. Photo: VisitScotland / Kenny Lam
The troll is omnipresent in the Norwegian countries - like here in Hunderfossen Family Park. Photo: VisitNorway.com
Looks cute and won't hurt anyone: the koala. The drop bear, on the other hand, is a different story, a mythical figure with long teeth who lets himself fall from trees onto his victims. Photo: Tourism Australia / Julie Fletcher
The mermaid is the landmark in Copenhagen harbor - and a popular place for a selfie. Photo: Andrea Warnecke
From blood to money sucker: Dracula boosts sales in the Bran shopping center in Romania. The vampire is one of the most famous mythical figures. Photo: Stefan Korshak
Fox with wings: The Wolpertinger is a Bavarian mythical creature whose exact origin is unclear. It is known that taxidermists began to assemble preparations from body parts of different animal species in the 19th century in order to sell them to tourists. Photo: Stephan Jansen
Antelope Canyon in Arizona is a popular tourist attraction - according to a Navajo legend, there is said to be the skinwalker in the region - a person who can transform himself into wild animals. Photo: Arizona Office of Tourism
Kappa is a mythical creature in Japan that is quite present there in everyday life - like here as a disguise at the Tokyo Marathon. According to legend, a kappa pulls its victims underwater. Photo: epa / Franck Robichon (archive image)
Bigfoot is one of the most famous mythical creatures. There are entire research institutions that want to track down the essence. Photo: Christian Röwekamp
In North America, Bigfoot is said to have been spotted time and again over the centuries. A huge, very hairy animal of human shape with oversized feet. The Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization believes it is a rare animal, likely a primate. Other scientists see a cultural phenomenon: The Bigfoot is kept alive by sightings of known animals, wishful thinking and fake "evidence". Be that as it may: USA tourists who spot a man-high creature with dark fur should be warned in any case: it is well known that bears can also move upright on their hind legs.
The outstanding mythical creature in Northern Europe is the troll: omnipresent, hunchbacked, long-nosed, plump. The troll plays a major role in Norwegian folk tales, but you can also find it at the souvenir stands between Hammerfest and Malmö or on Iceland and Denmark. The troll is a popular namesake, especially in Norway. The Trollheimen hiking region, for example, is named after the monster who allegedly steals small children. It's better to keep quiet about that on a family vacation. Instead, the troll is used to explain everything inexplicable: who was it? It was the troll!
The creature should be two to three meters tall and leave footprints of more than 40 centimeters in the snow. The Yeti is at home in the highest mountains in the world, the Himalayas. Reinhold Messner wrote a book about the “snow man” and thus contributed significantly to the creation of legends. The mountaineer - like zoologists - comes to the conclusion that the Yeti could be identical to the so-called Tibetan bear. Anyone who firmly believes they are seeing a Yeti while trekking should definitely consult a doctor: serious altitude sickness can trigger hallucinations.
One of the most researched mythical creatures is Nessie. The Loch Ness Monster is said to be a sea snake up to 20 meters in length. This is suggested by mentions and alleged sightings that date back to the 6th century. Nessie became really famous from 1933 onwards through newspaper reports. A dozen films have since been devoted to the "beast from the depths". Most scientists believe in deliberate false reports or gross misidentifications of other animals. One thing is certain: Loch Ness, at 230 meters the deepest lake in Scotland, is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the country because of Nessie.
Granted, the mermaid isn't a monster. And there is a clear idea of her: man above, fish below. The Danish poet Hans Christian Andersen made sure of that with his fairy tale “The Little Mermaid”. The corresponding figure stands today in the port of Copenhagen, immortalized in bronze. The mermaid goes back to the legendary figure of Undine, a female water spirit who is only redeemed by a bridegroom.
The Navajo Indians on the reservation between the US states of Utah, Arizona and New Mexico fear them to this day: Skinwalkers. According to legend, these are evil people who can turn into any animal such as coyotes, foxes or wolves - or even other people. Then they spread mischief. If you want to find out more, you are probably unlucky: the Navajo usually does not talk to strangers about “the one who walks on all fours”.
As cute as it is insidious, this adorable leprechaun is a big hit in Japan. The mixed figure - a monkey with turtle shell on its back and webbed feet - lives according to popular belief in water and pulls others under water. The kappa's greatest weakness is its most peculiar characteristic: it has a dent in the top of the skull that must always be filled with water. Otherwise the demon will lose its power. What does that mean for superstitious travelers? All you have to do is bow to the kappa, whereupon it bows in a friendly manner like all Japanese and ...
This marsupial is said to live on Australian trees and drop from above onto the head of its victims. Hence the name: Drop Bear. The creature looks similar to the koala and can be deterred in many ways, for example with toothpaste behind the ears. Beware: tourists are more likely to fall victim to the drop bear than people with an Australian accent - at least if you believe an April Fool's joke by Australian Geographic magazine.
He is the movie star among the mythical creatures. Its myth stems from the superstition that drinking blood gives new life. The vampire is therefore a resuscitated human corpse in search of food. His most famous representative: the Romanian Dracula. A vampire sleeps in a coffin, has sharp canine teeth to tap into his victim's carotid artery, and he is immortal - unless you hit him through the heart with a wooden stake or behead him. Frightened travelers in Transylvania, Bulgaria or Albania are also well equipped with holy water, garlic and a crucifix.
Anyone who is on vacation in the Free State has a good chance of seeing a real Wolpertinger when stopping at the inn - thanks to taxidermists. There used to be many gullible tourists who wanted to call one of the legendary Bavarian mythical creatures their own. Every Wolpertinger seems unique, different animal species give it a face. He often has a horned hare's head and wings instead of forelegs. There are no limits to the imagination, as the legend shows: Only young, pretty women can see a real Wolpertinger under a full moon if they are accompanied into the forest by a man. The Bavarians must have thought of something ... (dpa / tmn)
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