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The Weirdest Creation Myths from Around the World

Updated November 6, 2018 4.3k votes 1.3k voters 69.4k 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: Megan Poore / flickr / CC-BY-NC 2.0

    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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  • 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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  • Photo: Joy / flickr / CC-BY 2.0

    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. 
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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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