The Weirdest Creation Myths from Religions Around the World
How did this universe come into being? Bright scientists, confused teenagers, and devoted worshippers alike have been struggling to answer that question; resulting in some sophisticated theories, countless emo songs, and numerous strange creation myths.
Some people turn to scientific efforts to explain why and how the universe is the way it is. Others prefer transcendental beings, gods, or rituals. Aside from being spiritual, the cultures that birthed these weird religious creation myths were also highly creative. Who would have thought butter could form the world? How did you link the origin of existence with extraterrestrial realms? How could creation stories link us to monsters, giants, even bugs?
These weird creation myths around the world, promoted by religions, may be easier to pass on and to learn than scientific theories, and only seem truly bizarre when held in relief against modern scientific knowledge. Basically, we think we know better now. But do we?
Get ready have your faith shaken; you may find some of these weird religious creation myths intriguing enough to seriously consider their validity.
Bushongo: A Lonely God Puked the Earth Out of His Tummy
The Bushongo people lived on the shores of the Congo River, in central Africa. They believed in a creation god called Bumba, who lived alone in total darkness, and reigned over everything. He was human in form, but gigantic, and white. One day, he was crippled by a terrible stomachache. Then he vomited up the sun, and, after that, the moon and stars. He continued to vomit, and puked up the Earth, several animals, and, finally, humans. The animals he vomited made other animals - herons created all birds, and from goats came every animal with horns. Thus the world began.
Ancient Egypt: The World Was Formed Because a God Masturbated
Time to face the harsh light of day - we were all formed from semen. It stands to reason, then, that at least one creation myth would find a way to incorporate spunk. According to an Ancient Egyptian creation hymn, Atum was the first being, and brought himself into being from the waters of chaos. After creating himself, Atum fornicated with his fist, creating two more gods.
“I had union with my hand, and I embraced my shadow in a love embrace; I poured seed into my own mouth and I sent forth from myself issue in the form of the Gods Shu and Tefnut," he said. These three gods brought light into the world. After the creation of Shu and Tefnut, Atum wept, and his tears created men and women.
Taoism: The World Is Basically a Big Dead Man
Taoism is an ancient Chinese religions, the origins of which can be traced back at least 2,000 years. The philosophy of the religion focuses on opposites, balance, and unity, as exemplified by yin and yang. According to the Taoist creation myth, at the beginning of time, the sky and the Earth united in a shape like an egg. From that cosmic egg was born the god P’an Ku, who grew taller every day, pushing the sky and the earth apart from one another.
After 18,000 years of growing and pushing, P’an Ku collapsed and fell to pieces. His left eye became the sun and his right eye became the moon. His blood gushed out and became rivers, his flesh became soil. The fleas living on his body became the human race.
Scientology: Humans Are Exiled AliensPhoto: Comedy Central
Unlike many other religions, Scientology was created by a science fiction writer. So it makes sense that the Scientology creation myth reads a bit like sci-fi. The myth begins as Xenu, an intergalactic dictator, believed he was going to be disposed, in part because overpopulation was a huge problem (planets he ruled had an average population of about 180 billion).
To preserve his power, Xenu gathered up billions of thetans (aliens who opposed his rule) and brought them to Earth, where he gathered them around volcanoes. He then tossed hydrogen bombs in the volcanoes and, boom. Xenu knew the souls of the thetans would likely survive the explosion and attach themselves to creatures on Earth, so he implanted false data in them, to confuse the souls. Thus were created humans - thetan souls in other vessels, with false information implanted in them.
Shinto: The Japanese Islands Were Created from Sacred Incestual Intercourse
Shintoism is a religion native to Japan. As per Shinto beliefs, the world is filled with spirits, and the rituals of the religion offer humans a way to communicate with these spirits. Spirits live in everything, from trees to animals, and each spirit has unique personality traits. Foxes, for instance, are trouble makers.
As per the Shinto creation myth, in the beginning there were Izanagi and Izanami, the first male and female, siblings and lovers. They created the first island of Japan by thrusting a spear into the ocean. This island, Onogoro, is mythical. After creating it, the siblings discovered a more pleasurable way to create land for people to live in: sex.
From their sexual intercourse, which they regarded as a holy ritual, the couple bore other islands of Japan and other deities, which were manifest in the mountains, waterfalls, winds, and virtually everything else, of Japan.
Norse Paganism: The World Came from an Ice Giant, and We Emerged from Its ArmpitsPhoto: Lorenz Frølich / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain
According to Norse mythology, one of the first creatures, Ymir, a humanoid giant, was formed from melting ice. When Ymir sweat, more giants were born. The first man and woman emerged from the sweat of the giant's armpit.
When Odin was born, the grandson of a man who was uncovered from ice by a cow whose milk Ymir drank, he killed the wicked giant. Odin and his brothers then constructed the world from the giant’s corpse. With the help of his brothers, Odin forged the oceans from Ymir’s blood, the soil from his flesh, the sky from his skull, vegetation from his hair, and clouds from his brains.