There are many types of mythical creatures in existence. Some of these mythical creatures have existed for centuries, many since the beginning of time.
One of the most unique of all mythical creatures is the flying mythical creatures.
Centered in myth and legends, these creatures were most likely developed to explain some of the phenomena happening in ancient times.
What follows are short bios of each of the 30 most well-known flying mythical creatures.
Flying Mythical Creature List
The Griffin, or Gryphon, was a popular flying mythical creature first created by ancient Greeks and noted primarily in legends of the Middle East and Mesopotamia.
The Griffin had the body, tail, and legs of a lion and the wings, head, and talons of an eagle.
This combination was believed to be a powerful symbol of the majesty of the king of the beasts, the lion, and the king of the birds, the eagle.
The flying mythical creature Pegasus is one of the most recognized mythical creatures of all time.
In honor of his work, Zeus immortalized him as a constellation, thereby ensuring that Pegasus would never be forgotten.
Every culture seemingly has the image of a dragon in one way or another.
In western cultures, the dragon is depicted as a flying mythical creature who can breathe fire, has wings and the body of a lizard.
Dragons are known in most cultures to breathe fire and be very hard to kill.
Cupid is the Roman god of desire, love, or attraction. He is a flying mythical creature who is to the son of Venus, the goddess of love.
In Greek mythology, he is known as Eros son of Aphrodite goddess of love.
In both mythological legends, Cupid or Eros, is said to resemble a chubby child-like creature who flies around with a bow and arrows wounding people with arrows full of love and passion.
The Greeks are famous for their mythical creatures and the Phoenix is another notable flying mythical creature from Greek mythology.
Said to have the ability to be born again, the Phoenix rises alive from out of the flames and ashes of its predecessor.
The Minokawa is a giant, dragon-like bird from Philippine mythology who is as large as an island.
This flying mythical creature is believed to have swallowed the moon and can cover the sun thereby causing eclipses. Minokawa is said to live in a huge cave in the sky.
The Nue is a flying mythical creature from Japanese folklore who is believed to be the bearer of misfortune and disease.
He has the head of a monkey, the body of a raccoon dog, the feet of a tiger, and the tail of a snake, and can transform himself into a black cloud.
The Ziz is a flying mythical creature brought to us through Hebrew mythology. This bird is so large that its wingspan can block out the sun.
In the Old Testament book of Psalms, the Ziz is mentioned as a protector and ruler of all birds, and a fair representation of the sky as well.
A Pegacorn is the result of the merging of a unicorn and a Pegasus. The Pegacorn has the wings of the Pegasus and the horn of the unicorn.
Other names for this flying mythical creature are Unipeg, Alicorn, or Winged Unicorn.
In Native American mythology, there is what is known as the Thunderbird. This flying mythical creature is a large bird, which is believed to be the powerful protector of human beings from evil spirits.
Across the United States and Canada, the Thunderbird is also seen as a symbol of creation, separating the heavens from the Earth.
The story of the Peryton, a large cross between a stag and a bird, allegedly has its beginnings in medieval Argentina.
Cited in his book entitled “The Book of Imaginary Creatures”, Jorge Luis Borges claims to have based the existence of the Peryton on a medieval manuscript that was subsequently lost in a fire.
Although unable to verify the existence of the ancient manuscript, the legend of the Peryton lives on today.
The Roc, or Rukh, is a flying mythical creature from Middle Eastern mythology.
This bird of prey is so large and terrifying it can swoop down and pick up baby elephants and feed on their carcasses.
They are also said to feed occasionally on human beings, and it is believed that the mere flap of their wings can cause the sudden occurrence of hurricane-like winds.
The cockatrice was a popular figure in 14th Century English literature and folklore. This flying mythical creature resembles a two-legged dragon or serpent with a rooster’s head.
The Cockatrice was believed to have been hatched by a reptile from a cock’s egg, and one glance from this creature was thought to be deadly.
Lamassu is a flying mythical creature that was very popular in ancient Mesopotamia.
With a human head, eagle wings, and the body of a bull or lion, they were believed to be the protectors and peacemakers of every important city in Mesopotamia.
The name Lamassu translated in the Akkadian language means “protective spirits”.
A sylph is a flying mythical creature that is invisible and lives in the air.
Created by 16th-century author, Peracelsus, sylphs are believed to have power over the wind and clouds and are protectors of secret knowledge, beautiful women, and the environment.
A harpy is a flying mythical creature from Greek mythology. Harpies are said to be the hybrid of a vulture-like bird and an ugly old hag.
A harpy is thought to be straight out of hell because they are so hideous and they often bring storm winds.
Although there is not much written about this Chinese flying mythical creature, the Fielong, or “flying dragon”, is believed to be a winged creature that flies among the clouds in Chinese mythology.
Handed down by Celtic tradition, faeries were believed to be flying mythical creatures who had supernatural powers.
Today’s fairies are often classified as beings who visit children such as Tinkerbell in Peter Pan.
Although not exclusive to Celtic mythology, fairies are said to exist in some form in almost all cultures.
The impundulu is a flying mythical creature with roots in several of the tribes located in South Africa.
Often associated with witchcraft, It is said to be a human-sized bird that has a large appetite for blood, and can summon thunder and lightning with its wings and talons.
Said to have black & white feathers, this Lightning Bird also can transform itself into a beautiful young man who is adept at seducing women.
In Buddhist mythology, a kinnara is a flying mythical creature who is part human and part bird. They are believed to be celestial musicians whose job is to sing praises to the gods.
As legend has it, the Mothman was supposedly sighted by two couples in West Virginia in November of 1966.
They witnessed a flying mythical creature in the form of a man with 10 feet wings and hypnotic red eyes.
The story soon spread across the U.S. prompting a book in 1975 by John Keel linking the supernatural powers of the Mothman to a nearby bridge collapse.
The Adze is a very interesting flying mythical creature of the Ewe folklore of the countries of Togo and Ghana.
The Adze is believed to be a firefly who when caught transforms itself into a human being.
This creature also has the power to possess the human being that caught it.
The Pterocentaur is a flying mythical creature from Greek mythology that is half Pegasus and half Centaur.
In other words, it is a creature that has a human upper body and a winged horse lower body.
24. Winged Wolf
Out of German, Hungarian and Russian mythology there is a flying mythical creature called the Winged Wolf.
Believed to have descended from angels, the Winged Wolf is a normal wolf with the wings of a bird, or in some cases, a bat.
The Stinkini is believed to have evolved from Native American tribes in North America, namely the Seminoles.
These flying mythical creatures are a combination of a human and an owl, also known as “the Owl Man”.
Their physical form is believed to be a representation of their spiritual nature.
These creatures are also highly intent on revenge, feeding on humans that have done them wrong in the past.
27. Jersey Devil
The Jersey Devil is reportedly a flying mythical creature that terrorizes the people near the town of Pine Barrens in Southern New Jersey.
This flying biped with hooves is also said to move quickly and have a high-pitched “blood-curdling scream”.
Angels are flying mythical creatures who are believed to be messengers for God. Upon further inspection, we see that angels are generally benevolent towards man, cherubic in appearance, and equipped with wings.
As a part of Slavic mythology, the Firebird is believed to be a flying mythical creature who glows bright red, yellow, and orange.
Its appearance is similar to a large bird that can weep diamond tears and whose feathers can heal wounds.
It is also said to have the ability to put an entire army to sleep with its singing.
From Japanese mythology, Raiju is a white or blue dog who flies around like a ball of lightning, and whose cry is like thunder.
This flying mythical creature is known to be the companion of Raijin, the Shinto god of lightning.