There’s been a lot of talk about Russia lately… I’ll just assume it has something to do with the country’s vast collection of mythical creatures, supposedly roaming the 6,592,800 square feet of land, making up the largest country in the world. Check out five of the most fascinating and legendary Russian creatures below.
The Vodyanoy appears as a naked old man with the head of a frog. Inhabiting the water, when enraged he will drown people and animals as well as destroy dams and any structures close to the water. Vodyanoy makes his first appearance in an 1826 Slovak ballad by France Preseren called “The Water Man” about a woman who flirts with a handsome many who just so happens to be a vodyanoy, eventually punishing her for her flirtatious ways.
The Kikimora is a female house spirit who lives behind the stove and makes scurrying noises like a mouse. Occasionally, she takes on the form of a beautiful woman and then visits men in their dreams, torturing them with desire while draining their life. It is believed she is punishment for men who marry women only for their beauty. Some say if a man is only concerned by looks, he will end up marrying a Kikimora who will then drain the life from him.
She is the physical embodiment of evil, a one-eyed creature taking on the form of on old ugly woman with skin hanging off of her bony frame. The Likhoradka likes to possess victims and causes severe illness. The word “likhoradka” itself has long been associated with illness and in some cases its name means “fever”.
A water nymph, also sometime referred to as a mermaid, the Rusalka was originally a symbol of fertility. However, by the 19th century it took on a more sinister form. That’s when it transformed into the unclean spirit of a young woman who committed suicide or who was murdered by drowning. They are known to take on the form of beautiful women and lure men to their deaths.
The Gamayun is closely associated with the Greek mythical creature Siren. It has the body of a bird and the head of a beautiful woman. And just like the siren, she is known for her beautiful voice. Some legends say she can also regulate the weather, so it’s important for mariners to stay on her good side. The Gamayun is also an extremely prophetic creature with knowledge of the goings on of both men and animals. Because of this, she lives alone guarding mankind’s secrets.