Creatures and Monsters from Greek Mythology
Having monsters to fight, that's what. Luckily for the heroes, the Ancient Greeks had the strangest, coolest, most terrifying creatures & monsters mythology had to offer ranging from Dragons, Giants, Demons and Ghosts, to multi-formed creatures such as the Sphinx, Minotaur, Centaurs, Manticores & Chimaera.
There were also many fabulous animals such as the Nemean Lion, golden-fleeced Ram and the winged horse Pegasus, not to mention the creatures of legend such as the Phoenix, the Griffin and Unicorns.
In this section, you'll learn interesting facts and information about the many creatures and monsters of ancient Greek mythology
Children of Typhon
Many of the great Greek monsters were descendants of Typhon, the most deadly monster of Greek mythology.
Typhon was the last son of Gaia, fathered by Tartarus, he was known as the “Father of All Monsters”. Instead of a human head, a hundred dragon heads erupted from Typhon's neck and shoulders. His wife Echidna, half woman half snake, was likewise the “Mother of All Monsters.”
Together, Echidna and Typhon raised some of the most well known monsters and creatures in all mythology.
- Orthrus. A fearsome two-headed hound that lived with giants
- Sphinx. A half human, half lion who would slay anybody who did not answer her riddles. When Oedipus was able to answer a riddle correctly, she jumped into the ocean in a fit of rage and drowned.
- Nemean Lion. A gigantic lion with impenetrable skin that eventually became the star constellation Leo.
- Cerberus. This well-known monster was a three-headed dog that guarded the entrance to Hades.
- Ladon. A serpentine dragon (drakon) that guarded the golden apples in the Garden of the Hesperides.
- Lernaean Hydra. An ancient serpent-like water monster with reptilian traits and many heads that multiplied if they were cut off.
- Caucasian Eagle. An eagle that every day ate the liver of Prometheus.
- Chimera. A monstrous fire-breathing hybrid creature with the body of a lion, the head of a goat, and a tail with a snake’s head.
The Arachne is a creature from Greek mythology, whose name was later used for words like “arachnid” and “arachnophobia.” There’s very little to fear about the story of Arachne, however. Hers is a cautionary tale about pride that we can all learn from. According to the myth, Arachne was a very famous and talented weaver. […]
Arion was an ancient Greek mythical creature that took the form of a giant, extremely swift horse. Arion was endowed with both eternal life and the ability to speak. By some accounts Arion was born from a union of the Sea god Poseidon in the form of a stallion and the Earth goddess Demeter in […]
In Greek mythology, Centaurs (or Kentauroi) are half-man, half horse creatures that inhabited the mountains and forests of Thessaly. Centaurs were said to be primal, existing in tribes and making their homes in caves, hunting wild animals and arming themselves with rocks and tree branches.
Cerberus: The three Headed Dog of Greek Mythology There are many unique creatures mentioned in Greek mythology. One of the most well known may be the three-headed dog known as Cerberus. It was the job of Cerberus to guard the entrance to Hades. In Greek mythology, this was the underworld where spirits of the dead […]
There are many unique creatures mentioned in Greek mythology. One of the most well known may be the three-headed dog known as Cerberus. It was the job of Cerberus to guard the entrance to Hades. In Greek mythology, this was the underworld where spirits of the dead were the only ones allowed to enter. No […]
Chimaera – A Fire-Breathing Monster Chimaera has become one of the most famous female monsters described in Greek mythology. An aura of mystery has always surrounded this creature. (Even today, the name “chimaera” sometimes refers to a genetic puzzle.) Greek sailors considered it a very bad omen to see Chimaera. She usually appeared right before a […]
The Cyclops were giant; one-eyed monsters; a wild race of lawless creatures who possess neither social manners nor fear of the Gods. Cyclopes means ‘round eye.’ Considered the sons of Uranus and Gaea they were the workmen of the God Hephaestus whose workshop was in the heart of the volcanic mountain Etna. According to Homer’s […]
The Harpies were mythical monsters in Greek mythology that had the form of a bird with a human female face; often agents of punishment they abducted people and tortured them on their way to Hades’ domain, employed by the God as instruments for the punishment of the guilty. They stole food from their victims and […]
Ancient writers described Lamia, the daughter of Poseidon, as a ” queen of surpassing beauty.” It was her attractive appearance that led to her unfortunate future. Her trouble began when her exquisite beauty drew the attention of Zeus. Lamia eventually became Zeus’ mistress much to the displeasure of his wife, Hera. The jealous wife cursed […]
One of the most popular monsters of Greek Mythology, Medusa was a beautiful maiden with golden hair. She vowed to be celibate her entire life as a priestess of Athena until she fell in love with Poseidon. She went against her vow and married him. For this Athena punished her hideously. She turned Medusa into […]
The tale of the Minotaur is one of the classics of Greek mythology and contains an extraordinary number of important elements. Characters like the brilliant Daedalus, strong Theseus, evil King Minos and his beautiful daughter Ariadne all make an appearance in this story. The concept of the labyrinth, or the endless underground maze, also originates […]
Pegasus is a mythological creature described as a beautiful, pure white stallion with wings. He was born from the blood of Medusa, a frightful Gorgon whose gaze could turn men to stone, when the hero Perseus decapitated her.
Cyclopes are the only beasts of the first creation that are not punished by Zeus when he overthrows his father, Cronus. This may have something to do with them being his nephews as sons of Poseidon, and no, there are no female cyclopes. They will eventually become favorites of the god, forgers of his thunderbolts, […]
In Greek mythology, Scylla (pronounced “Sill-ah” or “Skee-lah”, depending on what country you live in) is a sea monster who lives on the rocks of a narrow water channel opposite of the whirlpool (and originally also a sea monster) Charybdis. Ships caught in between Scylla and Charybdis often end up being sunk by either Scylla […]
The Sirens were creatures that sang beautifully, luring those passing by to their deaths. Each Siren combined the appearance of a woman and a bird, with the exact appearance varying depending on the artist. Some artists drew Sirens that had bodies of birds with the heads of women, while others made them look like women […]