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.
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.
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?
A Native American Hummingbird Created the Stars
If you're a little guy and need some serious inspiration, keep reading. Many myths credit the creation of the stars to the spirits of ancestors, distant gods, or messages left for us. In one Native American myth, however, it has more to do with punishment than promises. The great spirits were noticing that none of the animals were getting along, constantly bickering and fighting with each other. The great spirits decided to teach the disagreeable animals a lesson and took the sun away, covering the sky with a great dark blanket. Many animals volunteered to pull away the blanket, including Coyote and Bear, but none could do it.At last, the smallest of the birds, the Hummingbird, volunteered. Given that she was so tiny, the animals all laughed at her, but still they let her try. With all her might, she flew all the way up to the blanket, and was able to puncture it with her beak. But she was too weak to do much more. Still, determined, she flew up again and again, each time poking a new hole. Eventually, the other animals, amazed at her effort, began to help, boosting her up when she lacked energy. When the great spirits saw this teamwork, they removed the blanket as a reward. But once at night, every night, they put the blanket back so that we can see the stars, and be reminded that we should not forget that everyone is useful in their own way. And that is why we have the night, the day, and the stars.
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.