- What is a Myth?
- The Most Famous Myths in the World
- Famous Norse Myths
- Famous chinese Myths
The world is filled with various myths, some that have been around for centuries and others that are just being created. We hope you enjoy reading about these exciting stories! This article will discuss the top 10 most popular myths from different parts of the world.
What is a Myth?
A myth is an imaginative presentation of a belief, typically one involving supernatural beings or forces.
- Myths are usually regarded as being false, but that may not always be the case. Many myths are built around beliefs that were once held by ancient cultures who used mythology to explain how the world came to be.
- Some myths can seem like confused explanations for natural phenomena such as earthquakes and weather changes (which were sometimes explained through stories about gods and monsters), while others involve lessons on morality or lessons on history.
The Most Famous Myths in the World
The Myth of Atlantis
This story has been told for hundreds of years and is still a popular topic today. It reveals how earthquakes and floods destroyed a powerful civilization before eventually disappearing beneath the waves.
The Myth of Paul Bunyan
A giant lumberjack who traveled across America chopping down trees as he went. He had an enormous blue ox named Babe to help him out.
The Myth of Zorro
An expert swordsman who fought against injustice in California during the 1800s, dressing up as a masked man to hide his identity
The Legend of King Arthur
One of England’s most famous tales about how Camelot came to be built by Merlin after Uther Pendragon died at nearby Salisbury Plain
The Myth of Santa Claus
This Christmas favorite has become one of society’s greatest myths over time. We all love hearing stories about him flying through the night on his sleigh pulled by reindeer delivering presents everywhere!
The Myth of Frankenstein
This famous monster story has spawned several movies and books. Today, many people think of Dr. Frankenstein as a scientist who created a man from various body parts.
The Legend of the Loch Ness Monster
A large creature that is said to live in Scotland’s Loch Ness lake. Sightings have been reported for years, but no one has ever seen him close up.
The Myth of Dracula
Another famous monster story was initially written by author Bram Stoker back in 1897. This vampire classic tells how Count Dracula terrorizes England with his dark powers
The Myth of King Midas
In Greek mythology, King Midas could turn anything he touched into gold using his magic touch.
The Myth of Prometheus
Prometheus was a Titan who Zeus punished for giving fire to man. He has created humans out of clay and brought them the gift of knowledge while trapped in a mountain with an eagle devouring his liver.
Famous Norse Myths
The Vikings were one of the most feared civilizations that existed many years ago. They have stuck in our minds as bloodthirsty invaders raping and pillaging without any mercy. Still, apart from depicting them only in this way, perhaps we should know more about these people to understand why they are so famous even today.
The Viking belief in Valhalla, Heaven of their Warriors
Many people think Vikings have been pagans who believed in many gods and worshipped them all. Still, they had adopted some elements from Christianity and created interesting stories to fit their needs.
- One such thing was Valhalla: the place where brave and heroic men (and sometimes women) traveled after death if they died in battle while defending their honour or Odin’s treasure (the famous ring).
- They believed that this heaven full of light and glory was located somewhere on another plane of existence called Gimli.
- However, this heaven was only for those who died in battle, so those who were drowned at sea or those who passed away from illness remained and wandered along the coast of Hel (Hell).
- However, their heaven wasn’t like Christians’ afterworld: Valhalla was a place where soldiers engaged in combat and feasted on food and wine day by day! How else could we explain why they fought to death?
- They knew that if dying in battle would lead them to such a perfect place where they could eat and drink as much as they desired without any consequences to it, then this was definitely worth fighting for.
- This is one of the most popular legends about Norsemen which show us how brave these warriors really were.
The Viking belief about the God of Thunder, Thor
Angered by Loki’s strange pranks and actions (he even cut off Sif’s golden hair when she was sleeping once), Thor decided to teach him a lesson he would never forget. He transformed himself into a snake and slid down to Loki’s place to bite and poison him. However, Loki understood that someone had come for him, so he put a basin full of water under his armpit, which helped him resist the venom from the snake.
- This tale is very interesting because we can see that Norsemen believed snakes were magical creatures with many powers that could help people if they knew how to use them properly.
- Thor was also the god of thunder which meant he controlled rain, wind and lightning. His weapon was a hammer called Mjolnir which had the ability to return to Thor whenever he threw it at something or someone.
- He was accompanied by two goats called Tanngrisnir (“teeth-barer”) and Tanngnjóstr (“teeth grinder”), while his enemy was another very famous god in Norse mythology known as Jörmungandr (a giant serpent that lies in the middle of the ocean encircling all of Midgard). This tale is full of violence, but this is how Scandinavian gods are usually described in ancient chronicles!
The Viking belief about the end of the world
Is Ragnarok the end of the world as we know it? Well, this ancient Norse prophecy predicts that one day a monstrous wolf will appear and start eating everything in its path.
- Fights will take place on many fronts: gods against giants, gods against other gods and humans against each other.
- However, one day a group of courageous warriors called Einherjar who died in combat will arise from Hel to help the gods fight Fenrir. In order to defeat him they will need the help of a mystical weapon called Gleipnir which is said to be made from six impossible things (e.g. fish’s breath, bear’s sinews, bird’s spit, tree’s roots, woman’s beard and snake’ s spittle).
- Eventually, Fenrir will receive an injury that will kill him shortly after.
The Viking belief about dragons
Norsemen have always believed in monsters who lived somewhere hidden away from curious eyes.
- These creatures were so powerful that even Thor himself couldn’t defeat them alone.
- One terrifying example was Jörmungandr who lies beneath the ocean surrounding all of Midgard with his body.
- This tale shows us how Norsemen believed in many epic battles between the gods and giants, heroes who would help them fight against these creatures, etc. The Vikings even thought that there was a dragon called Nidhogg which had an insatiable appetite for dead bodies!
The Viking belief about Valkyries
Valhalla was the perfect place where warriors could eat to their hearts’ content until Ragnarök took place – when all of the nine worlds would be destroyed by fire.
- However in order to get there they needed to go through a separate path called Valgrindr (which means “the path of the fallen”).
- It was guarded by beautiful young women clad in armor known as Valkyries who were taking spirits of dead warriors to the Viking heaven.
- This job was reserved only for women because the Norsemen believed that their beauty and voices would soothe those soldiers’ souls.
- They would also sometimes drink a special brew called mead which was prepared exclusively by Valkyries for this particular purpose!
The Viking belief about giants
Giants were enormous creatures with supernatural strength and power. Still, they weren’t as evil as most people think they were – just like humans, giants wanted to become more powerful than what they already were and establish dominance over weaker races.
- Some of them had even settled down in Asgard where Aesir lived together with humans on Midgard (the realm we live on now).
- However, it’s interesting how the Vikings saw the connection between Odin and both giants and dwarves – maybe that’s why his sons Thor and Loki had their differences with these creatures.
The Viking belief about immortality
For some reason, Vikings wanted to live forever! That’s why they tried to contact spirits of the dead who could offer them wisdom which helped humans understand what was happening around them.
- However, sometimes these mystical creatures would take over human minds if they didn’t pay enough attention to their surroundings.
- Norsemen also believed that people could become vampires if they died of an illness or by accident (especially drowning). But in order to become a vampire, a person had to drink blood from a living victim before he/she died! Well… vampires aren’t really a bad thing, though!
Famous chinese Myths
Many stories regarding China’s history have conquered the hearts of many generations. These myths have been told so often over the centuries that people seem to be unable to separate truth from fiction. Even if they know what is real and what is not, some of these myths are interesting and seem to be worth looking at them in detail.
The Myth about Meng Jiangnv
It talks about a woman that got married to a farmer. It is said, the farmer felt he had to travel to build the Great Wall of China and Meng Jiangnv stayed at home. The wall was built very quickly, but when the husband came back, he found out his wife was buried alive near where they were building the wall.
- The truth behind this myth is that mainly men were forced to work on building the wall during labor camps.
- There are thousands of skeletons found at places known as “the first pass under Heaven”, which is an entrance into China from Mongolia, proving that some people died while working on building the Wall.
- Meng Jiangnv’s story has become so famous because it symbolizes eternal love among Chinese.
The Tiger and the Dragon
During the war between the dragon kings of the four seas, one tiger was called upon to destroy all of them. The sea god Gong Gong tried to stop him with a flood but failed. He began by attacking Xi Wangmu on Kunlun Mountain, but she retreated immediately. He went after Zhuanxu, who fled to Penglai Shan with his son Helü. Everyone ran, so he turned himself into an island in the southern ocean.
The Rat and the Jewel
During the Shang Dynasty, a starving rat once found half of an ancient jade charm in Dongting Lake. He thought it would be fortunate, so he brought it to his hole on top of a sandhill. One day when returning from work, he saw that there was water everywhere around him. The sand had turned into an island! Puzzled by this disaster, he realized that the jade must have been some magic charm indeed.
With this post, we’ve detailed the most popular myths about the world. We hope you found these to be interesting and educational! And if you want more content on popular myths from all around the globe, subscribe to our blog for updates or follow us on social media using one of those icons up there! If not, let us know what your favorite tale is in the comments below.