Whether you're battling for your glory, life, or world domination, having the right squad is paramount. So which mythical monster would you want in your corner? These historical monsters come from cultures around the world and throughout the centuries, holding many different powers. When it comes to your favorite monsters, which trait is the most important? Would shapeshifting help you defeat all your enemies? How about demonic possession? Maybe a monster sidekick with a stinky black goo that follows it wherever it goes? Hey, the choice is yours!
When it comes to mythical cryptids, there are many opinions on which ones are the most awesome. Check out this list of some of the greatest hits when it comes to monsters, and pick which one you'd most want by your side in a battle royale. Who knows, you might find a new favorite monster!
- 1441 VOTES
Appearance: The Wendigo is a spirit that is often depicted with human characteristics. But it is emaciated, with bones jutting out and breaking through its rotting flesh. Its skin is grey, with black, sunken eye sockets holding piercing red eyes. Its lips are tattered and bloody, revealing razor-sharp rows of teeth, complete with a set of long, yellowed fangs. The smell of rotting flesh follows the Wendigo wherever it goes.
Habitat: The Wendigo lives way up north in the woods of Minnesota.
Origins: According to legend, the Wendigo was once a human hunter who got lost in the woods in the winter. The cold and hunger drove him to insanity and eventually cannibalism when he ate his fellow hunters. Once he consumed their flesh, he turned into a zombie-like monster who roams the deep forests of the North looking for more flesh to feast on. The lore of the Wendigo goes by many names, including Witiko, Wee-Tee-Go, and Windigo from the Innu, Ojibwe, Naskapi, Eastern Cree, Saulteaux, and Westmain Swampy Cree Indigenous tribes of North America.
Strengths: The Wendigo has a near-perfect knowledge of the endless miles of forests of the American North, thanks to its eternal wandering in search of flesh to devour. The creature is known to have unbeatable stealth, allowing it to sneak up on just about anyone. It can use dark magic to control the weather and its surroundings. Some legends also mention a towering height of over 15 feet tall. As if all that wasn't enough, it also has the power to possess people, which, legend says, is a fate worse than death. If a human is possessed by the monster, they too will become a Wendigo, roaming the forest for flesh to eat.
Weaknesses: The Wendigo is constantly driven by a relentless hunger that is never satisfied. This causes its emaciation and drives it by a single force: hunger for human flesh. This makes it somewhat easy to distract or throw off a trail. If your enemy has the stomach for a blood sacrifice, that is.
Secret Power: Perhaps the Wendigo's creepiest characteristic is its ability to mimic any human voice. This allows the creature to lure its prey deep into the woods by using the voice of the target's closest friend, family member, or partner. Once the person is alone in the woods, the Wendigo devours them, with not a soul around to hear them scream.
- 2289 VOTES
Appearance: The Hydra is a gargantuan water snake with nine heads.
Habitat: The Hydra lives in the city of Árgos in Greece, in the marshlands and swamps.
Origins: According to Greek mythology, the Hydra was the child of Typhon, a monster of the underworld, and Echidna, a half-serpent, half-woman monster of the sea. Hera, the queen of the gods, bred Hydra to defeat Hercules out of jealousy, since he was born of Zeus's extramarital affair with a mortal woman.
Strengths: The most famous strength of the Hydra is that when one of its nine heads is cut off, two more grow in its place. Therefore, while an opponent might think they're getting closer to slaying the creature, they're actually making it stronger. Oh, and each head is full of razor-sharp fangs containing fatal poison.
Weaknesses: Of its nine heads, there's one that is immortal. If someone cuts that head off, they can slay the beast. They just have to find the right one before cutting off the others and making dozens more grow. In Greek mythology, Hercules eventually slayed the Hydra by enlisting the help of his nephew Iolaus. Every time Hercules cut off one head, his nephew would quickly cauterize the wound before new heads sprung up. When only the immortal head remained, Hercules cut that one off and secured it under a rock. He then coated arrows in the Hydra's own poison and pierced it with the arrows, vanquishing it with its own venom. But what are the chances you'll be going up against Hercules himself?
Secret Power: The Hydra's breath is poisonous gas that can end you instantly. There are a minimum of nine heads emitting this toxic breath at any given time, making it very difficult to defeat this beast.
- 3276 VOTES
Appearance: Godzilla looks like a giant, skyscraper-sized Tyrannosaurus rex mixed with a spiky lizard.
Habitat: Godzilla lives in the deepest, most unexplored parts of the ocean in Japan. Once the monster rises from the surf, it is an unstoppable force of destruction.
Origins: Godzilla's name is a combination of two Japanese words, "gorira," which means gorilla, and "kujira," which means whale. The new word created was "Gojira," which was then Americanized into Godzilla. The monster made its big-screen debut in 1954 from the Japanese film studio Toho Studios.
In the movie, Godzilla was born from a nuclear test site, which is considered by many to be a reaction of the Japanese imagination after the horror of WWII, particularly the American atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which claimed over 200,000 lives. What better way to personify the strikes than a giant monster taking out entire cities? Even more poignant, this message was sent via cinema, which, during the 1950s, was in its golden age in the United States.
Strengths: Godzilla is a giant and is known to carelessly stomp on cities, crushing entire blocks under its feet. The monster is nearly indestructible, lazily batting away shots from military tanks like they're flies on a hot summer day. Godzilla can also regenerate, self-healing rapidly, making it nearly impossible to defeat.
Weaknesses: While Godzilla is immune to traditional weapons, the monster does have a kryptonite. Its weakness lies in atomic weapons created by scientists, likely because Godzilla is a product of nuclear weapons itself. One example is the oxygen destroyer, a nuclear weapon that dissolves Godzilla into nothing, causing its demise in the original Godzilla.
Secret Power: There are more than 30 film iterations of Godzilla, and in almost every one, the monster has lethal atomic breath. In most cases, it's blue and hotter than flames. It's also known as a heat ray or heat beam and changes its color to red or orange as it becomes even hotter and more dangerous.
- 4160 VOTES
Appearance: The Manticore has the head of a man and the body of a lion, complete with a long beard and a curved scorpion tail with deadly stingers. Some sources say its body is bright red and it has three rows of teeth, but it also has the blue eyes of a human.
Habitat: The Manticore resides in the jungles of India.
Origins: Originating in Persian lore, the name "Manticore" translates to "man-eater." The monster has also been mentioned in Western folklore, popping up in ancient Greek and Roman works.
Strengths: The Manticore is a mighty beast that is nearly invincible. Its scorpion tail shoots poisonous darts like arrows to slay its victims. It can turn and aim in any direction, giving the beast the ability to wipe out anyone behind, in front of, or on either side of it. The darts are a foot long and grow back instantly after being fired. The monster feeds on both humans and other animals but much prefers the taste of human flesh.
Weaknesses: For no reason stated in the written lore of the Manticore, elephants are the only creatures who have been able to defeat the beast.
Secret Power: The Manticore will first appear as a harmless elderly man who needs help to lure its targets close. Once the prey has begun to trust that the creature is a harmless old man, it devours them.
- 5170 VOTES
Appearance: The Gorgons are three sisters named Stheno, Euryale, and Medusa, with snakes for hair. They were said to be ugly inside and out, with evil personalities and looks that could kill, literally. In fact, the name "Gorgon" comes from "gorgos," which translates to grotesque. Their eyes are said to be horrifying but hypnotic. Some descriptions give them boar tusks and tongues dangling out of their mouths, as well as wings.
Habitat: In Greek mythology, only Perseus was able to find the secret location of the Gorgons, during his quest to slay Medusa. Some have hypothesized that the Gorgons reside on a group of islands called the Gorgades in the Aethiopian Sea. It was also widely believed that after Perseus discovered their secret dwelling, they relocated to the underworld with the other monsters of ancient Greece.
Origins: While early myth puts the Gorgon's parents as the ancient sea god Phorcys and his wife Ceto, later versions say the three Gorgons were born from Echidna, a half-snake, half-woman monster, to help the Titans in their battle against the gods.
Strengths: Just looking at a Gorgon will turn you to stone and eliminate you instantly. But the snakes on a Gorgon's head also carry a venomous bite. The sisters have god-like strength and similarly ruthless personalities. They enjoy going into battle and slaughtering humans, and will work together as a team. Two of the three Gorgons, Stheno and Euryale, are immortal.
Weaknesses: One of the Gorgons, who also happens to be the most famous of the three, Medusa, is not immortal like her two sisters. In Greek mythology, Perseus was sent on a quest to bring King Polydectes Medusa's head. Using a mirrored shield given to him by Athena, he avoided the direct gaze of the Gorgon and defeated Medusa with a sword from Hermes. Perseus also used a helmet of invisibility from Hades to escape without the other Gorgons coming after him. So while there are weapons that can be used against the trio, they're probably difficult for your average Joe to come by.
Secret Power: A Gorgon's blood is said to have special powers. After slaying Medusa, Perseus dipped arrows in her blood to inflict lethal damage on his targets. Still, some lore also says that the Gorgon blood has healing properties, and, when prepared correctly, can bring people back from the grave.
- 6195 VOTES
Appearance: The Kraken is a gigantic cephalopod, often depicted as larger than an entire ship full of fishermen. Most legends say it appears as an octopus or squid, or something in between.
Habitat: The Kraken lives in the deep waters of the open ocean, particularly the North Atlantic, waiting for sailors to munch on like Sour Patch Kids.
Origins: Legends of the Kraken date as far back as 12th-century Norway. The first official mention of the Kraken in literature was in 1735 in Carolus Linnaeus's book Systema Naturae. Some modern scientists believe the Kraken is based on sailor spottings of giant squid.
Strengths: Aside from being absolutely massive, legend has it that the Kraken has the power to create whirlpools to drown entire ships of men, in case it wants to save some as a snack for later instead of eating them all at once. The suction cups that line its tentacles are serrated, which helps it grip the ship and quickly do away with its prey. While it may seem like the Kraken's size would reveal its presence, the Kraken often appears to unsuspecting sailors as a group of small islands, giving it the element of surprise.
Weaknesses: According to Danish historian Erik Pontoppidan in his 1755 book Natural History of Norway, the Kraken has a somewhat embarrassing fault: Its "evacuation" emits a horrific stench and makes the water discolored and thick. This means that whenever the Kraken goes number two, it reveals its location, giving boats a chance to escape.
Secret Power: While dropping a deuce might reveal its location, Kraken poop does have a unique power. Though the excrement may scare off humans, it allegedly attracts fish, which the Kraken is happy to eat for sustenance when no humans are available. Moreover, it essentially converts its fish food into fish bait. Pontippidan writes:
This muddiness is said to be so very agreeable to the smell or taste of other Fishes, or to both, that they gather together from all parts to it, and keep for that purpose directly over the Kraken: He then opens his arms, or horns, seizes and swallows his welcome guests, and converts them, after the due time, by digestion, into a bait for other fish of the same kind.