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Popular Folklore – A Roundup of the World’s Greatest Mythical Creatures

In every corner of the world, the tales of mythical creatures have been passed down for centuries. But what if the stories were true? Popular folklore is fascinating, and the premise of the greatest stories of all time.


Told orally then transcribed, they are a cornerstone of cultures around the world.


My friends at GoCompare, looked at nine folklore legends and created a series of retro-style travel posters that imagine a world where myth and reality meet. Are you looking for a holiday destination with a difference? See if you can catch a glimpse of these never-before-seen creatures on your travels.


Ljubljana Dragon


Check Out The Most Popular Folklore Legends of the World


Here are the most popular and fascinating folklore legends of the world. Let your curiosity and wonder help lead you through these tales about the mythical creatures we all know and love.


Popular folklore the
Popular folklore Bigfoot


Bigfoot, USA


Most commonly found in the forests or mountains of Appalachia, Bigfoot has dark-colored fur and stands at approximately nine feet tall. Travelers have previously tracked footprints of the giant ape-like creature and captured blurry photos. Could you be the one to capture the image that puts all nay-sayers to shame?


Popular folklore the
Popular folklore the Kappa


Kappa, Japan


A type of water imp, the kappa resembles a human child with reptilian features. It has webbed feet that propel it through the water, and a membrane on top of its head that’s filled with water and provides its life source.


However, this isn’t a destination for families with small children — the kappa traditionally feasts on human offspring.


Popular folklore the
Popular folklore the Qilin


Qilin, China


Rumored to be the original unicorn, the qilin is a combination of a range of animals, but most closely resembles the traditional Chinese dragon. A gentle creature, the qilin floats above the ground to avoid trampling any living creature.


Popular folklore the
Popular folklore the Dragon


Dragon, Wales


Dragons are mythical creatures that have risen from many parts of the world. Places like Scandinavia and their great legends of Norse Mythology tell stories of Sigurd the Dragon Slayer.


Similarly, Ljubliana, Slovenia loves their dragon legend so much that they’ve erected a massive statue in its name. But Wales holds a tale that has influenced much of pop culture today.


Teeming with myth and legend, Snowdonia in Wales is the site of many a Welsh tale, so you never know what magic you might encounter in the shadows of the country’s highest mountain. However, be careful where you tread and keep in mind that you should “let sleeping dragons lie.”


A king once ignored this advice, and awoke two dragons sleeping under Dinas Emrys, provoking a vicious battle between the two.


Popular folklore the
Popular folklore Giants and Leprechauns


Giants, Fairies and Leprechauns, Ireland


Home to an ancient but mighty giant, Finn McCool, the unusual rock formations at Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland that formed during a fight between Finn and a Scottish giant need to be seen to be believed.


If you’re out and about in rural Ireland and strange things seem to be happening around you, you could be in the presence of a leprechaun. It’s rumored that if you catch one of these faeries you’ll be granted three wishes.


We wouldn’t advise it, as the mischievous creatures are hard to catch, and you could find yourself falling foul of one of their many tricks. Places like the Wild Atlantic Way, which spans the western coast of Ireland, are shrouded in fairy folklore. Especially in areas like Achill Island.


Popular folklore the
Popular folklore Trolls


Trolls, Norway and Sweden


In the mountain areas, away from human dwellings, lurk Norway’s trolls. A common feature in Scandinavian folklore, trolls are a dim-witted, slow, and lumbering species that tend to live in isolation as they’re described as “rarely helpful to human beings.”


If you want to avoid these creatures, visit on a sunny day when they’ll be hiding from the sun, scared of turning to stone. It is said that the large gouge marks in the rockface of the towering mountains, and the deep crevices of the fjords were created by the claws of trolls.


One trip on the UNESCO Fjord cruise on the Nærøyfjord and the Geirangerfjord to Flam and you might just believe it!


Popular folklore
Popular folklore the Orang-bati


Orang-bati, Indonesia


Indonesia is a land of many cultures. One of its islands is Seram, which is the largest in the Maluku province of Indonesia and has been described as ‘one of the most tectonically complex areas on Earth’.


Life itself is said to have sprung from a peak located in the mountains to the west of the island and central Moluccans consider it to be their ancestral home, calling it Nusa Ina or Mother Island.


A warning to those wishing to visit this island with children. The orang-bati is a winged animal that is said to inhabit the area and is known to abduct children and carry them off to its home in Mount Kairatu.


Popular folklore the
Popular folklore the Chupacabra


Chupacabra, Puerto Rico


Not all the magic of the country of Puerto Rico is charming, as sightings of the chupacabra have been reported in the area. While the chupacabra poses no risk to humans, it gains a bad reputation for its feeding habits — attacking and drinking the blood of livestock, with a particular fondness for goats.


The size of a small bear, you’ll recognize the chupacabra by its reptile-like appearance and rows of spines down its back.


Popular folklore the
Popular folklore the Impundulu and Inkanyamba


Impundulu and Inkanyamba, South Africa


Africa is loaded with folklore and legends. Among them, a creature to be avoided during your trip is the impundulu or the lightning bird. Said to be a companion of witches, it’s a large bird that can conjure storms with its wings. It’s described as a vampire-type creature, due to its insatiable appetite for blood.


The best time to catch a sighting of the inkanyamba is during the summer months when it’s rumored that its anger causes the seasonal storms. Look out for a huge serpent with a horse-like head!


We hope you enjoyed this ride through the homelands of these legendary beings. You can view all nine posters here if you’d like to take a more in-depth look at these mythical creatures and their country of origin.

Christa Thompson

Christa Thompson is the Founder and Chief Editor of The Fairytale Traveler. She started traveling the world in 2003 when she attended a summer abroad study at the University of Cambridge in England. Since then, her wanderlust has been fierce. Her three passions in life are her son, traveling, and being creative. The Fairytale Traveler brand gives Christa the opportunity to do all of these things and to live intentionally every day. "It's never too late to believe in what you love and to pursue your dreams." -Christa Thompson

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