With everything that’s going on in the world in 2021, is it any wonder that our minds occasionally wander to a place where mythical creatures are real and living among us? Out of all the legendary and imaginary animals, which ones would not only be capable of existing on Earth in the 21st century but might even be open to coexisting and interacting with human beings? Grunge conducted a survey of 518 people around the United States and asked them what mythical creature did they wish actually existed.
Coming in at No.1 as the mythical creature most people wanted to be real was the unicorn, which took 34.75 percent of the vote. It makes sense that unicorns would lead the pack of fabled favorites; per The Conversation, people have been interested in unicorns since at least 398 B.C.E., when the earliest written account of unicorns appeared in the writings of Green physician Ctesias in which he described “beasts in India as large as horses with one horn on the forehead.” He was probably describing the Indian rhinoceros, but he introduced the concept of unicorns to the public, even noting that their horns were “a panacea for those who drink from it regularly,” giving the creature magical powers, a reputation that continues to this day.
What if mythical creatures were real?
Coming in as the second most popular mythical creature people wish actually existed is the mermaid with 23.36 percent of the vote. Like unicorns, tales of mermaids go back thousands of years; the first known reference to a human-fish hybrid was actually a merman. Per Wired, Babylonians worshiped Ea as “the god of the sea,” crediting him with “bringing humankind the arts and sciences while also finding the time to battle evil.” The first reference to a mermaid is thought to be the ancient Syrian goddess Atargatis, who was responsible for Syrian peoples’ fertility as well as their “general well-being.” Sounds like we could all use some mermaid acquaintances.
Rounding out the list of mythical creatures people want to exist are dragons (18.92 percent), the Loch Ness Monster (11 percent), centaurs (3.86 percent), and werewolves (3.67 percent). A relatively small percentage of respondents (4.44 percent) chose “other,” and their answers ranged from fairies to vampires to leprechauns. One person answered that they didn’t know but wondered “would we allow them to live freely?” It’s a fair question, considering all the stories and fairy tales in which people attempt to trap or control mythical beings rather than coexisting with them in the world.
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