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The Weirdest Creation Myths from Around the World

Updated November 6, 2018 4.3k votes 1.3k voters 68.6k views15 items

List RulesVote 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. 
  • Photo: Internet Archive Book Images / flickr / No known copyright restrictions

    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?

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  • Photo: Internet Archive Book Images / flickr / No known copyright restrictions

    Everything in Central Africa is God Vomit

    The Bushongo tribe of Africa believed that even the gods could get tummy aches. One god in particular, named Bumba, had one of the worst cases of upset stomach in existence. Back when the world was only darkness and emptiness, the god Bumba noticed he was having some digestion pain, but given there was nothing to treat his problem, he had to just live with it until the situation sorted itself out.

    It eventually did so in the way of a lot of vomit. The first thing he vomited up was the sun. Then it was the moon, the stars, animals, plants, and even eventually some very bile-coated and confused humans. So, without indigestion, the Boshongo believe we wouldn't even be here. 

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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.
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  • Photo: rawdonfox / flickr / CC-BY 2.0

    In Romania, a Grumpy Mole Used Yarn to Weave the World

    Romanian origin myth dictates that everything started with a ball of thread. God used this ball of thread to measure the distance between heaven and earth, and then set about creating the world. During this, a little mole popped up and asked God if he needed some help. God said sure, and asked the mole to hold the thread while he wove the earth, but he didn't give the mole very good instructions. The mole often let out too much thread and the world became too large

    The mole was ashamed, and went to hide underground, which is why moles live in holes. Eventually, God sent a bee to ask the mole what he thought should be done about this too-big earth. The mole, rather accidentally, suggested that God should squeeze the earth so that the excess thread would become mountains and valleys, but that the earth would still fit under heaven. God did this, and everything fit just perfectly after that. 
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