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Questions tagged [mythical-creatures]

For questions about animals or non-sentient beings that are not found on Earth. These can be anything from dragons to Pegasus to your own made-up creature. They just need to not exist on this Earth.

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174
votes
18answers
65k views

How could dragons be explained without magic?

Dragons are a grand classic of fantasy. For this question, let's assume we're talking about the following stereotype: hatches from an ostrich-sized egg and can grow to mountain size if nothing limits ...
23
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6answers
7k views

Anatomically Correct Griffins

As a series of anatomically correct myths, here we have the griffin. Is there a realistic way that griffins could evolve? Using Earth or near-Earth biology, how close could I get to the classic ...
19
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3answers
7k views

What is the maximum size of a flying creature?

Giant winged beasts such as the Roc and the western dragon feature strongly in mythology. Is there a maximum size on a biological winged flying creature? How would an atmosphere different from Earth'...
18
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6answers
2k views

Evolution of giant floating mammals

Whales are majestic creatures of the sea, as they glide more gracefully through the water than their size should seemingly allow. What kind of evolutionary path would it take for whales to glide ...
51
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7answers
6k views

Dragons and aviation bureaucracy

Once you do the handwaving needed to explain a modern-day world with flight-capable dragons in it, how would said dragons interact with the bureaucracy surrounding flying in the modern world? What ...
61
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7answers
12k views

Realistic Santa and Reindeer

With advanced technology would it be possible to make something like the Santa in the story as well as the reindeer? If so could a realistic Santa be a human or would him and his reindeer have to be ...
26
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5answers
3k views

How to Catch a Dream Thief?

My hapless wanderer (I believe we agreed to call her Alice) won the struggle at the Morrow Castle. This next challenge will test her abilities (and ours, as worldbuilders) like never before. The ...
16
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6answers
5k views

Anatomically Correct Pegasus

This is part of the Anatomically Correct Series. I've been wondering how an anatomically correct pegasus could evolve. Pegasus characteristics They are pretty obvious, but just in case: Horse size ...
35
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9answers
7k views

Anatomically Correct Medusa

Medusa is a legendary myth about a woman with snakes for hair that turns anything she looks at into stone. How can I achieve both of those features in an animal realistically? And how would these ...
48
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5answers
3k views

How would the existence of large rideable flying creatures have changed the design of castles?

I'm thinking not only of the impact they would have had on how you would defend from an aerial attack, but also that they could be used for much more specific bombardment by dropping large rocks and ...
18
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7answers
2k views

Science behind a naturally invisible creature

Suppose a planet developed a peculiar form of life that was naturally invisible, but only within a 15-ft. (4.57 m) radius, by bending or refracting the majority of light around its body due to its ...
40
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5answers
6k views

How do centaurs get enough calories to live?

This is a partner question to How do centaurs get enough oxygen to run Centaurs are a common mythological figure, with the body of a man where a horses head would be. They usual exist in a fantasy ...
34
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6answers
8k views

How do centaurs get enough oxygen to run

This is a partner question to How do centaurs get enough calories to live? Centaurs are a common mythological figure, with the body of a man where a horses head would be. They usually exist in ...
23
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10answers
2k views

The role of anthropomorphic foxes in a medieval army

In my universe I am designing anthropomorphic foxes similar in appearance to the japanese mythological kitsune. For those who are familiar with the game League of Legends: Ahri is a good example of ...
52
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14answers
7k views

Would charging unicorns survive the impact with a line of infantry?

The unicorns would be used to charge a line of infantry with their horn. They are as big as a horse and the horn is similar to this image: The infantry is a standard medieval army made mostly of ...
16
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2answers
4k views

Anatomically Correct Naga

Nagas are a half-human half-snake hybrid, similar to centaurs in that the beast has a human torso and a snake lower body. This question provides an overview of probable physical characteristics of ...
46
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11answers
7k views

Anatomically Correct Phoenix

The Phoenix appears in Greek mythology and are most commonly seen as beautiful golden birds that burst into flame and are reborn from the ashes. Is there a realistic way that they could evolve? Using ...
26
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18answers
5k views

How could ghosts be explained without an afterlife?

I've always loved well-done ghosts. However, I've always hated the afterlife-speculation that they engender if used in a story. So I need a way to get ghosts without the fluffy spiritualistic bits. ...
26
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8answers
3k views

Dragons that eat gems—digestion

Heads up—this is a pretty gross question. The dragons in this world are not reptilian, but rather resemble huge borzois. I've not sure how large I want them to be yet, but they are capable of mining/...
6
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1answer
800 views

Wing surface area for large flying creatures

These creatures are a few feet longer and about a foot thicker than your average cow. Their skin is covered in densely packed bristles to trap air, and thus heat, close to the skin in cold climates. ...
5
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3answers
689 views

How could something like a Gargoyle evolve?

Namely, a creature that is immobile and stone(like) during the day and mobile at night. Something like the old cartoon, but they don't have to be sentient. They don't have to be actual stone, just ...
55
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18answers
12k views

Plausible explanation for lack of reflection in a mirror

Thanks to the commenters in the question sandbox for helping refine this question before posting. In many vampire stories the vampires do not have a reflection in a mirror. This is generally not ...
19
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11answers
3k views

Aerial battle of knights riding flying creatures… How would they fight? [closed]

In my world, we have two cities, each on a high mountaintop, separated by a vast valley. In order to wage war, the warriors of each city bridge the huge gap between them by using flying creatures. ...
24
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10answers
4k views

Anatomically Correct Werewolves

Could werewolves exist in a realistic world? All that is required for an accepted answer is the ability to change shape over night. Bonus points will be awarded if you can explain a bite spreading ...
11
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3answers
2k views

Building a Giant Spider

So I am building giant spider species in my world, but I want to make semi-realistic changes to their physiology in order for them to be possible. Pack hunters like these spiders which hunt ...
10
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6answers
1k views

How CAN we scale up living creatures to be giant sized?

Piggybacking on this question: Can you simply scale up animals? how CAN we scale up living creatures to be giant sized? What would need to done to make truly giant animals (Dragons, Kong, Godzilla, ...
26
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15answers
4k views

How would you design a dragon-like creature so it could sew?

I've been working on the setting for a science fiction novel where one of the questions that came up was: “How would you design a dragon-like creature so it could sew?”. Although I worked out a ...
10
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13answers
1k views

Aerial battle of knights riding flying creatures - preferred weapons for the warriors

I've done a question about Aerial battle of knights riding flying creatures... How would they fight?, that was put [on hold] for being too broad. So I'm splitting the question into a series. The ...
7
votes
9answers
686 views

How can a city protect itself from an invasion of knights riding flying creatures?

I've done a question about Aerial battle of knights riding flying creatures... How would they fight?, that was put [on hold] for being too broad. So I'm splitting the question into a series. The ...
6
votes
2answers
430 views

Aerial battle of knights riding flying creatures - how would their military formations be?

I've done a question about Aerial battle of knights riding flying creatures... How would they fight?, that was put [on hold] for being too broad. So I'm splitting the question into a series. The ...
28
votes
16answers
4k views

Keeping Secrets in a Thought Reverberating Hall

My protagonist, let's call her Alice, must acquire a priceless artifact, located deep inside an ancient temple. If this were a ruin, the exercise would be academic, but the Temple was protected by ...
27
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6answers
9k views

Hydra regeneration explained with science

The Hydra is a mythical creature with the ability the regrow severed limbs, including the head(s). According to the dungeon and dragon 3.5 version of the hydra : each time one limb is separated from ...
43
votes
10answers
8k views

Santa exists. How do we react?

TL;DR: Santa delivers physical objects to 95% of people (including adults) who ask for it in the form of a letter. He will start this Christmas and will continue until decided otherwise. And yes, he ...
15
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2answers
3k views

How would a person who is a snake from the waist down move around?

By that I mean someone who looks roughly like this: (Note: the name that is increasingly common to associate with this kind of creature is Lamia. The mythical Lamia carried around a snake skin, but ...
12
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4answers
3k views

Anatomically correct pixie

I am thinking about the miniature kind of fae, like Tinker Bell. I think that class of faery would be the most likely to be able to fly realistically, due to the wingspan/body weight ratio. But would ...
10
votes
5answers
2k views

Anatomically Correct Hydra

The Hydra is a Greek mythological creature known for its many head that only increase in number as you fight it. Alcaeus was the one to solidly state the the creature started with 9 heads, a large ...
8
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2answers
377 views

Are my wing-walking griffins viable?

This is the third question in a series of such for my worldbuilding project that deals with plausible fantasy creatures. Previously, I have pondered cockatrices and hydras, but now we move on to ...
14
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1answer
2k views

Anatomically Correct Hecatoncheires

The Hecatoncheires was the collective name given to three monsters; (Briareus, Cottus and Gyges) who were the children of Gaia and Uranus. They were not only known for their frightful enormity, but ...
13
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2answers
1k views

Anatomically Correct Harpy

How would you evolve a harpy? A harpy is defined by Wikipedia as a flying creature with: Long, human hair Human faces Feathered bodies Clawed feet Bird wings and (sometimes) tail From various ...
8
votes
4answers
557 views

Dragons and aviation bureaucracy, the sequel: Dragons on Instruments!

Starting with the background provided in this question, how would a dragon outfit himself/herself (avionics, power systems, etal) for operating under the Instrument Flight Rules? How would the ...
7
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4answers
3k views

Would a centaur eat meat?

Would a centaur eat meat? Humans do (usually) eat meat, but horses are vegetarians. Would they be omnivores, carnivores, or herbivores?
5
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1answer
2k views

Dragons and aviation bureaucracy, part 3: Plopping a Dragon into Today's World (or Papers, please, big fella)

Given the context of my previous dragon questions -- slow, but fairly high-flying dragons (say FL250 or so for a service ceiling), capable of flying under Earth's conditions and growing up to RJ or ...
21
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10answers
5k views

How can we have dragon-sized butterflies?

I'm writing a species of dragon-sized butterflies¹ as flying mounts into a low-magic fantasy setting², and would like to know if these creatures have to be imbued with magic, or if they could just be ...
14
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8answers
2k views

Movement for a spherical desert creature

Context I'm building/designing a set of creatures in a world I'm making. Currently the creatures I am designing will live in an extremely hot, dry desert. About the same amount of rainfall as the ...
14
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4answers
2k views

Anatomically Correct Cerberus

Cerberus was a three headed dog, commonly depicted with a collar and tail of snakes. Such an organism is quite difficult to justify, but how can such a creature appear that way? Is there a realistic ...
11
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4answers
2k views

Anatomically Correct Creeper

I am a huge Minecraft fan and just realized, this hasn't been asked before, so I wanted to ask a live-long (31. August 2009) question, and pay my obulus to the Anatomically Correct series. I have ...
9
votes
5answers
592 views

Evolutionary Explanations for Dragon Firebreathing: Interesting uses of indigestion

This is a question I've been thinking about for a while now. Dragons are, by all observances related to the reptile family, (or maybe lizards) either way these are cold blooded animals. Common ...
8
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2answers
2k views

How much does Santa's sleigh weigh?

As we all know, Santa loads his sleigh with gifts for millions of children around the world and sets about distributing them during the night of December 24/25. To make them all fit in his stylish ...
4
votes
3answers
424 views

The Evolution of African Wild Dogs who can float

The 'Before' Picture Imagine if African Wild Dogs developed the ability to float. There is no scientific explanation to how they can float; it's just happened and we do not need to know why. The dogs ...
5
votes
4answers
416 views

Communication of a highly evolved superorganism

Suppose there is a sentient, intelligent species that has developed similar to a superorganism in that there is a species-wide repository of knowledge and individual members of the species are capable ...