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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 ...
62
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14answers
9k views

Physically, how do dragons grasp and *transport* the contents of their hoards?

If we accept that dragons are big and they hoard gold and gems (and don't make or mine these baubles, themselves), how do dragons physically manipulate and transport human/elf/dwarf-sized coins and ...
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 ...
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 ...
52
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37answers
12k views

Shapes for an infinite animal?

This creature exists in an infinite world, a flat landscape that extends ad infinitum, where light rains from the sky from infinity during recurrent day-night cycles, and, similarly, the ground goes ...
52
votes
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 ...
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 ...
51
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11answers
13k views

What does the Minotaur eat?

So: We all know about the Labyrinth and the Minotaur. One is a maze of stone tunnels, and one is a half-man half-bull killing machine. It's reasonable to assume that the Minotaur requires a decent ...
49
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18answers
9k views

How to not starve gigantic beasts

If I create dragons to be castle-sized animals, how am I supposed to let them eat? Won't they need too much for an earth-like planet? I'm currently trying to build a world where a whole lot of ...
48
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32answers
10k views

Why isn't a magical obligate parasite living in a wizard library exterminated?

This is related to my last question here. The library here is not necessarily the magical sentient library mentioned in the previous question, but can be any wizard library. This library can be in ...
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 ...
47
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19answers
9k views

How could a magical, sentient library defend itself?

This magical library is old as the history of magic itself, storing scrolls and tomes of all† spells ever devised by powerful wizards and apprentice mages alike. The scrolls are ready to be activated ...
47
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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 ...
46
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11answers
8k views

How do I keep my slimes from escaping their pens?

Hmm... Time to take inventory of the slimes real quick... Lamp Oil Slime, O- Slime, Yellow Paint Slime, Pur-... Red Paint Slime? Blue Paint Slime? You two didn't...! Great... So I need a new RPS and a ...
42
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 ...
40
votes
15answers
8k views

Jobs for Giants in modern society

Me Gam. Me Giant. Me not very smart but me need food. Me need to find job. In my world Giants are a thing. And they need to eat too. In fact, they need way more food than most of us. Therefore, ...
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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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 ...
34
votes
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 ...
32
votes
5answers
9k views

Anatomically Correct Succubus

The succubi are popularly represented as women with horns and bat-like wings. They feed on the vital energy in myths, but could a humanoid creature resembling a woman evolve and feed only on human ...
30
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13answers
7k views

Plausible reason for gold-digging ant

Medieval bestiaries describe a creature, a type of desert-dwelling ant that digs for gold. It was also said to be the size of a fox, but I'll ignore that in this question. Why would ants unearth ...
28
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13answers
7k views

What clothes would flying-people wear?

If there were people with wings, who didn't want to be naked all the time, what clothing could they wear, without it interfering with their flying? Note: I am assuming arm-wings, like birds, but you ...
28
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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 ...
26
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11answers
6k views

How do I scientifically explain a specific type of wood piercing through armor when not even bullets can?

I've created a monster with three weaknesses: A soft spot in his belly that can be pierced through normally with objects, but the monster is so big and fast that hitting it is extremely hard and ...
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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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 ...
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 ...
26
votes
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/...
25
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18answers
9k views

What Purpose Would a Unicorn's Horn Serve in the Wild?

This famous tapestry shows all the "modernized" traits of a unicorn--basically just a pale-colored horse with a single horn on its head. Of course, single-horned animals do and did exist: The only ...
25
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21answers
5k views

Kaijuu-like monsters killing humans: What is their viable reason to do so?

If you've watched Godzilla and Pacific Rim you know what a Kaijuu is. Kaijuus are monsters of epic proportions, as tall as the Empire State building or as large as 3 supercarriers of the USA. I'm ...
25
votes
6answers
8k views

Are dragons cold or warm blooded?

My world is science-based with an earth-like biology. The dragons fly when they're young and then grow too heavy and can only glide if at all. They breathe fire by expelling gas and igniting it. They ...
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 ...
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 ...
23
votes
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 ...
22
votes
14answers
5k views

Can we use science to explain a creature that feeds on emotion?

This is a magic world question, and we certainly do not have anything on this planet which feeds on emotion. But if we did, I'm wondering how it might work with a look at science for something ...
22
votes
11answers
3k views

How to build a fortress to survive against mythical creatures

I need a fortress that will stand up to the following magical creatures, must be above ground and have a fairly large (20-50 thousand) civilian population as well as a roughly equal number of soldiers,...
21
votes
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 ...
21
votes
8answers
3k views

Creating a Siren song

Many myths have creatures like sirens who can use their voices to lure men to their deaths. But is there any way a creature could exist in the real world that had that power? I don't just mean ...
20
votes
14answers
6k views

How to poison a creature that measures more than a dozen meters?

I want to kill a huge Dragon. How to do this? The only description currently available of this Dragon is very short: "It looks like a lizard with two wings of bats and he swallowed our ship without ...
20
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7answers
5k views

Anatomically Correct Sleipnir

Sleipnir is Odin's steed - an eight-legged horse in Norse mythology. How and where to place its legs to make it faster than four-legged horses? What other benefits or drawbacks may arise from the ...
20
votes
6answers
4k views

What effect does a fireball have on a being of pure ice?

We're starting off with a Japanese mythical creature, the Yuki-Onna. Now the specifics of this being vary quite a bit from one tale to another, so let me be specific what this being is about. Keep in ...
20
votes
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'...
19
votes
9answers
5k views

Believing in non-existent beings

I'm inspired by this comment. Let's say "Supernatural beings are dependent on people believing they are real." Before they are born into existence, how can people believe they are real? How can ...
19
votes
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. ...
18
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4answers
5k views

Are there any big cats that can survive in a primarily desert area?

I have two large continents on an earth like world. I would like for the dominate predator on the more desert continent to be a large cat. I have found the leopards and jaguars of Egypt, but am ...
18
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6answers
4k views

Would swimming dragons need wings?

I have a world where certain species of dragon live along the coasts, eating off the fish from the sea. I like the idea that they can fly through the air and swim in pursuit of fish but I'm not sure ...
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 ...
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 ...
17
votes
9answers
5k views

How does a mimic move?

Alright, so take your basic (not DnD or any other universe specific) mimic: an unassuming treasure chest that turns out to secretly be a monster as soon as you open it. This particular creature is one ...