When you think of a mythical beast, gremlins, goblins, vampires, werewolves, trolls and even mermaids and fairies might come to mind. Dragon shows also depict fire breathing creatures in all their glory; protecting princesses and defending towers. But which magical beasts have horns? Let’s find out.
Arising from the ancient myths of India and China, unicorns are described as horse-like creatures with beautiful manes and tails and an almost god-like presence. They’re particularly known for that one single horn that protrudes from their forehead. It’s believed that this horn is made from precious materials, such as coral, opal and silver. Some legends suggest that a unicorn’s horn has the ability to purify water.
Many dragons from a range of cultures, including in Greek and Chinese mythology, are depicted with two horns protruding from the tops of their heads. Unlike the unicorn horn, these don’t appear to have any special properties, but many speculate that they are for extra defence in combat or to attract mates.
The Monoceros is a legendary creature from Greek mythology. The name derives from the Greek word monokeros with ‘mono’ meaning ‘one’ and ‘keros’ meaning ‘horn.’ According to folklore, the Monoceros has the body of a horse, the head of a stag (minus the antlers), the feet of an elephant and the tail of a wild boar. The horn in the middle of its forehead is black and can grow up to three feet in length. The monoceros is also thought to be impossible to capture alive.
Kerastes in Greek literally means ‘having horns’ and that’s where the mythical creature, Cerastes, gets its name. This beast is thought to be a flexible serpent with no spine. It can either have two large ram-like horns or two pairs of smaller horns, and is described as a desert-dwelling creature.
The Griffin has been presented in many different ways. In architectural decoration it’s often shown to be a four-footed beast with wings and the head of an eagle with horns. They are often said to be the guardians of treasure, and one Roman writer, Pliny the Elder, suggested their nests were lined with gold nuggets.
Satyrs, also known as fauns in Roman mythology, are thought to be creatures with the upper body of a man and the lower body of a goat, complete with hairy goat legs, hooves, horns and pointy, goat-like ears. They’re comic creatures, said to be drunken mischief-makers and generally portrayed in a silly way.
Many horned beasts pop up in myths and legends. Some are hybrid creatures, made up of different animal parts. The unicorn, however, is perhaps the most majestic as it’s the horn which makes it stand apart from other majestic beasts such as Pegasus. If you love anything to do with myths and legends, book your tickets to see Dragons and Mythical Beasts live on stage today. It’s great fun for the whole family and features spectacular and realistic puppetry.