People have believed in crazy things since we first evolved from chimps (which some people still don’t believe), but to be honest it’s difficult to know what is real and what isn’t. Of course we know today that several mythical animals probably don’t exist, but could we have said that a thousand years ago when the world was still largely unexplored? There’s an entire pseudoscience dedicated to crypto zoology i.e. the search for animals not yet known to science. Laugh all you want because 150 years ago people picked on evolutionists who were eventually proved right. For all we know unicorns are real, we just can’t see them because they’re really good at hiding (we’d like to believe that). Jokes aside here is a list on creatures people actually believed existed:

1) Dragons- Dragons are large reptiles with wings capable of breathing fire and flight. Dragons appear in legends world wide from Europe to the Orient. In Europe they’re usually considered, but in China they’re nice. China is often called the Dragon. Dragons are often showed battling gallant knights over princesses. Unfortunately there’s no evidence to prove dragons ever existed, yet they are an important part of culture and are present in books, movies, videogames and TV shows.

2) Unicorns- Unicorns look like horses with a long horn protruding from the centre of their heat. They have been part of mythology since antiquity and are even mentioned in the Bible. They symbolize purity and are on the coat of arms of several houses. In Europe the horns of narwhal whales were claimed to be those of unicorns and were sold at high prices, they were also used to cure diseases as they were believed to have magical properties.

3) Kraken- The kraken is a Norse mythical beast of massive proportions resembling a squid and with numerous tentacles capable of destroying ships. Ironically while the kraken is a myth there are two monsters known to science which meet the exact description (except for destroying ships of course) one is the giant squid, which is as it’s name suggests, a giant, and the colossal squid, which is as it’s name suggests even bigger. What this teaches us is that even myths may have some shred of truth behind them and our ancestors weren’t always as dumb and superstitious as we give them credit for.

4) Mermaid- A mermaid is a creature with the head and torso of a woman, and the tail of a fish (it would be creepy the other way around). Mermaids are believed both to be evil like the sirens who lure sailors into the sea and drown them, and benevolent like in The Little Mermaid. There are still “sightings” of mermaids to this day. Many experts believe that mermaids were actually marine mammals like dugongs or manatees which sailors mistook for women. Though in their defense some women do vaguely resemble large marine mammals.

5) Phoenix- This bird is immortal; once it dies by fire it is always reborn. This mythical bird according to ancient sources is as large as an eagle according to some, and larger than an ostrich to others.