Updated February 21, 2017 | Factmonster Staff

Teratology means the study of monsters.

Imaginary beasts lurk in the legends of most countries of the world. Usually they are monsters, described as mutants, or creatures with strange and horrible bodies. Although these beasts can touch our deepest fears, they are very popular. It seems that people like to be scared.

Who's Who of Beasts

Who Where What
Aigaumcha Africa A tiny monster with eyes on its feet; its diet consists of human flesh.
Al(s) Armenia These have iron teeth, brass claws and eat babies.
Bunyip Australia A water devil who hides in isolated wetlands and lakes and drowns swimmers.
Galactic ghoul Solar system A force in space some 35 million miles from Earth on the way to Mars. It supposedly causes electrical or mechanical problems with spacecraft in the area.
Kappa Japan An ugly green monster with a monkey's head and a turtle's shell, it drags people into its watery home to eat them.
Logaroo Caribbean Islands Like vultures by day, they shed their skin at night, hide in fog, and suck blood from their victims.
Manticora West Indies A lion with human features, eyes that burn blue fire, and deadly quills it can shoot from its tail.
New Jersey devil U.S. Part ram, part kangaroo with bat wings, a horse's feet, and a pointed tail, this bellowing monster kills barnyard animals.
Ping feng China A huge, piglike beast, with a head at each end, that attacks people and other animals.
Rakshasa India A beast who appears in any ugly shape, it comes from nowhere to kill its victims with a single scratch from its poisonous tail.
Vodyany Eastern Europe A green-haired monster with horns, paws, and blood-red eyes. Its victims are swimmers.
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