Greek Mythology's Mystical Creatures

Greek myths mention many animals, but they’re quite different from the animals you know and love. In fact, the creatures in Greek mythology are different from anything you’ve ever imagined.
They’re amazing and even a little terrifying.


Here are some of the wildest beings in Greek legends:


Centaurs were part human, part horse. Their head and upper body were human, but from the waist down, they had the bodies of stallions.


Cerberus was a vicious three-headed dog that stood guard at the entrance to the underworld so no one could enter or escape.


Hydra was a swamp monster with nine heads. The god Heracles fought this creature and won, but it wasn’t easy. Each time he was able to cut off one of the Hydra’s heads, two more grew back!


Medusa was a human woman with living snakes on her head instead of hair. These snakes could bite, and they were poisonous. If you looked into her eyes, you would turn to stone.


Typhon was a fierce monster with a hundred serpentine heads. This creature was horrifying to many, but not to the god Zeus. With his powerful lightning he was able to defeat the beast.


Can you imagine if these creatures were real and roamed our world?


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Image by Christina Balit reprinted with permission from The Treasury of Greek Mythology by Donna Jo Napoli with illustrations by Christina Balit. Text copyright © 2011 Donna Jo Napoli. Illustrations copyright © 2011 Christina Balit.