Legends and myths are full of impossible creatures and strange beasts, from the half-human, half-lion sphinx of ancient Egypt to fire-breathing dragons to mermaids in the oceans. Although stories of these creatures date back to the earliest history of humanity, they are no less fascinating or popular today as a steady stream of books, games, movies, television shows, and other media revisit their stories and reinterpret the myths. But what lies behind these myths and legends? Did these bizarre animals once exist in ancient times, inspiring the accounts and stories that have kept them alive? Or do these creatures large and small reflect the characteristics of the cultures in which they were created? "Mythical Creatures" describes many of the famous beasts of fable and legend and looks at their possible origins while recounting the tales that have kept them famous for millennia. Chapters of this title include: Mixed-Up Monsters; Heroic Horses - Pegasus to Unicorns; Fabled Flyers; Flying Flame Shooters - Dragons of the World; Denizens of the Deep; and, Creatures to Look Up To - Giants.