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.
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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?
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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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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.
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A Mongolian Loon Tries to Create Land, and God Breaks His Legs
You kind of have to feel for the loon in this scenario. Back in the beginning, Father Heaven had two sons, Ulgen Tenger and Elreg Khan. Ulgen Tenger noticed that the world was completely covered in water with no land to be seen, which was pretty boring. To fix this, he called upon the loon, and asked him to bring up mud from deep under the water in order to create land.
Unfortunately, try as he might, the loon was unable to do this. Angry with his failure, Ulgen Tenger broke his legs as punishment so that he would be unable to walk. He asked duck to do it instead, and duck was able to create a small amount of land. After all, he was probably pretty motivated after he saw what failure brought.
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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 Ymir 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.
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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.