myths The Weirdest Creation Myths from Around the World

Laura Allan
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List Rules Vote up the strangest cultural creation myths from religions and people around the world.

Throughout history, humanity has asked: How was everything made? Whether it was the earth, the stars, the sun, or the sky, we've always wondered how things came into being. Most cultures developed myths about how different parts of our universe were created, a few of which you might have heard before. However, you might not have heard of some of the truly weird creation myths out there. Have you heard that life is actually made from butter? No? Then do we have some stories for you.

No matter what religion, culture, or belief system formed in any part of the world, there seems to be some common themes. Either the gods create the world through hardship and sometimes death, or some mother goddess births everything. But besides these common threads, things can get pretty weird, gross, and even disturbing, no matter where the myth comes from.

So get ready for vomit, circumcision, weird snakes, and even sea urchins as we begin our voyage through worldwide creation mythology. You'll be surprised at some of the stories still being told around the world today. 
The Norse Gods Created a World... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Weirdest Creation Myths from Around the World
Photo: Jack Zalium/flickr/CC-BY-NC 2.0
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The Norse Gods Created a World from Severed Limbs


In some mythology, gods go through great efforts, sometimes trials, to create the cosmos. Well, in Norse mythology, it cost one god just a bit more. Before the cosmos existed, there was a god giant named Ymir. When Odin was born, he and his brothers killed Yamir and decided that they weren't going to waste the remains. Instead, they cut his body apart and used it to create the cosmos. They made the oceans from his blood, the ground out of his skin and muscles, his hair became the plants, his brains became the clouds, and the sky was made from his skull. In order to keep the sky way up in the air, four dwarves were tasked with holding it up for all eternity at its four corners. They also used his eyelashes to create the mortal, human realm, which they named Midgard
The First Maori Children Cause... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Weirdest Creation Myths from Around the World
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The First Maori Children Caused a Perfect Marriage to Break Up


The Maori creation myth is actually pretty sad, and doesn't speak very well about having kids. The story goes that there was a Sky Father, Rangi, and an Earth Mother, Papa. They loved each other immensely, and at the beginning of time they just lay together, hugging so tightly that there was no separation between them at all. Everything was peaceful. But then they had kids. Like, a lot of kids. These children were contained between them in darkness, and didn't much like this arrangement, so they decided to force their parents apart. They at last managed to do this, and the Rangi separated from the earth and went to live as the sky. Still, to this day, Rangi misses Papa so much that he will sigh and weep, and this is why it rains. The moral of this story? Don't have children, I guess. 
A Native American Hummingbird ... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Weirdest Creation Myths from Around the World
Photo: siamesepuppy/flickr/CC-BY 2.0
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A Native American Hummingbird Created the Stars


If you're a little guy and need some serious inspiration, keep reading. Many myths credit the creation of the stars to the spirits of ancestors, distant gods, or messages left for us. In one Native American myth, however, it has more to do with punishment than promises. The great spirits were noticing that none of the animals were getting along, constantly bickering and fighting with each other. The great spirits decided to teach the disagreeable animals a lesson and took the sun away, covering the sky with a great dark blanket. Many animals volunteered to pull away the blanket, including Coyote and Bear, but none could do it.

At last, the smallest of the birds, the Hummingbird, volunteered. Given that she was so tiny, the animals all laughed at her, but still they let her try. With all her might, she flew all the way up to the blanket, and was able to puncture it with her beak. But she was too weak to do much more. Still, determined, she flew up again and again, each time poking a new hole. Eventually, the other animals, amazed at her effort, began to help, boosting her up when she lacked energy. When the great spirits saw this teamwork, they removed the blanket as a reward. But once at night, every night, they put the blanket back so that we can see the stars, and be reminded that we should not forget that everyone is useful in their own way. And that is why we have the night, the day, and the stars. 
The Egyptians Believed Life St... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Weirdest Creation Myths from Around the World
Photo: Internet Archive Book Images/flickr/No known copyright restrictions
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The Egyptians Believed Life Started with Semen


Well, I mean, they're not wrong, but this myth still has a bit of an odd twist to it. In the Hymn to Atum, an ancient creation myth hymn, everything starts with this one god named Atum. There was nothing before him, and he willed himself into being, but felt that he had so much more to create and wanted to bring it all to fruition. So, here's where it gets weird. He then masturbated and ejaculated into his own mouth. From that point, he sneezed out the wind and spat out the semen in his mouth to create the rain. From both of those, the rest of life and the world eventually came into being. The myth leaves just one question: does this mean that every time it rains we're using umbrellas to shield ourselves from godly semen spit?
For the Dogon, the Creation of... is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Weirdest Creation Myths from Around the World
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For the Dogon, the Creation of the Earth Meant Female Circumcision


In another area in Africa, creation was a little more painful for planet earth. Before there was any sort of earth, there was a god called Amma who lived in a separate celestial realm. He grew lonely, and created the earth to be his love. Seems simple enough, but here's where things get weird. Upon finding that their genitalia were incompatible, due to the earth's large termite-hill clitoris, Amma gave his earth-wife a circumcision. Because that's the obvious thing to do, right? After that, the two were able to have children. Of course, those children went on to also have incestuous relations with their mother (which created the first menstrual blood, by the way), so there really doesn't seem to be a happy ending for mother earth anywhere here. 
A Sassy Rainbow Snake from Aus... is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Weirdest Creation Myths from Around the World
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A Sassy Rainbow Snake from Australia Created the World


This one starts out kind of pleasantly. In the beginning, we were all sleeping and dreaming, and the world was silent and empty. The first thing to awake was a rainbow serpent, and she emerged from the ground, intent on shaking things up. She started waking creatures up, one by one, starting with the frogs. Still, this new world needed water, all of which was contained in the bellies of the frogs. She quickly came up with a solution.

The rainbow snake tickled the frogs until they began to laugh. In their laughter, they began to cough up water. The water flowed, creating plants and awakening the other animals. Any animal who kept the laws the rainbow serpent laid out would become a human, whereas anyone who broke the laws became stones, which you see all over Australia today.
The Chinese Believed the Sky a... is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Weirdest Creation Myths from Around the World
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The Chinese Believed the Sky and Earth Were Made of Eggshells


Eggs actually play a major role in many creation myths, but the Chinese had a particular good one. You see, according to them, in the beginning heaven and hearth were one creation, and the universe was nothing but chaos. Everything was all contained in one massive, dark egg. Then Pangu, a great god, was born inside of the egg and waited there, growing strong. When he awoke, he realized he was trapped and wanted to free himself. He tore the egg apart, the upper half of the shell becoming the sky, and the lower half becoming the earth. When he eventually died, various parts of his body became different parts of the earth, much like the Norse mythos. 
All Hindu Life Came from Death... is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Weirdest Creation Myths from Around the World
Photo: Joy/flickr/CC-BY 2.0
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All Hindu Life Came from Death Butter


At least some of the Hindu believed that creation was tasty - even if it came from death. In one creation myth, Purusha is the only thing in creation. Just one man, alone with nothing else around him. Of course, he was also an embodiment of everything that has existed and everything that will exist, so alone might be a bit of a strong word.

Eventually he decided to be sacrificed in order to create existence. When he was killed, what resulted was obvious: butter. Yes, you read that correctly. This clarified butter was turned into all the animals and life forms we still have today. His death also created the sun, moon, and other gods that went on to govern and rule all of existence.