This map of mythological creatures from around the world shows the amazing diversity of cultures around the world. Check it out for a tour through the human imagination!
If you’re like me, you’re likely fascinated by how much diversity there is in what people believe. How can there be so many gods and goddesses in the world? How can there be so much variance in mythology? Where did all these mythological creatures come from? How can belief be so different depending on where you go?
The world is full of mythological creatures. The luck dragons of China. The thunderbird of the indigenous peoples of North America. The yeti of the Himalayas. Every world culture has come up with its own myths, and filled it with mythological creatures. It’s an incredible testament to the human imagination.
Not only can there be so much diversity, but there are also incredible commonalities between different mythologies, stories, religions and ways of understanding the world. Our intellectual and mythological heritage as a human race is an incredible testament to the variety and the strength of the human spirit, and how so many peoples and cultures from around the world have struggled to understand themselves through the lens of story, mythology and otherworldly lore.
If you want to understand somebody, there’s no better place to look than their shared mythology, their ways of understanding the world, their gods, their goddesses—and how that tracks all the way down into culture, into politics, even into food. Mythology is truly the master key of understanding the world, the world’s cultures and the people who make up those cultures.
In the map below, Simon E. Davies shows where the gods, goddesses and mythological beings live. (Davies is the artist behind The Evolutionary Tree of Religion—he runs the Human Odyssey Facebook group.)