Manticore is a mythical creature believed to be unconquerable. This beast is best known for its strange and magnificent features. The early Greek report of the creature is a greatly distorted description of a Caspian tiger. These creatures are believed to be the mightiest beasts, capable of devouring any animal in the jungle except an elephant. There is no specific information on why the creature could not defeat an elephant. Still, documentation shows that, for some reason, the elephant was seemingly able to avoid even the most powerful of the manticores. The name is an adaptation of the Persian name for the beast known as martichoras. This name is thought to be closely translated to ‘man-eater.’
Although these creatures were documented initially in Persia, they are said to be cited in the jungles of India and Indonesia and more rarely in the forest of North America and Europe.
Their Distinguishing Features
The Manticore is described as a mighty beast with fearsome features. Manticores have a head that is similar to that of a man. Most of the accounts reveal that the head also has a beard and eyes that are either grey or blue. The beast’s body is also described as similar to that of a lion with a brilliant hue of red. Though the body is usually bigger than a normal lion’s, it can perform impressive feats. The most distinguishing accomplishments are that it has surprisingly fast and agile speed.
It is documented that not even the fastest man can come close to a manticore’s speed when pursuing prey. The beast has extremely sharp claws that can easily tear a man apart with only one swipe. Some versions describe the Manticore as having a pair of mighty wings that allows the beast to fly when pursuing its prey at a terrifying speed. Such accounts normally describe the wings as similar to those of a dragon. The creature has triple rows of teeth, which are used to eat its victim whole without leaving any bones behind.
Finally, the tail of this magic beast resembles that of a scorpion. It has several stings poisonous to all creatures except the elephant. Despite the creature having a human head, it cannot speak the human language. Instead, the Manticore is said to have the voice of a trumpet.
Behaviors of the Manticore
The Manticore can devour any animal in the forest except the elephant.
Despite the dominance of the creature in the jungle, it still has an intense hunger for human flesh. It is said that the creature could be contented with one man if that is what was available. Still, in most cases, these creatures prefer to lie in wait for a minimum of two or three men to devour all of them. They can devour more than that number if the opportunity presents itself.
The manticore secrets venom from its tail, which is highly toxic and kills its prey in seconds. Their stings are also depicted as razor-sharp, and the beast can easily shoot spikes at the prey.
Persian History of the Manticore
The Manticore is a legendary Persian creature similar to the sphinx- the great demon of destruction in Egyptian mythology. The creature had the body of a lion, the head of a human, and three rows of sharp teeth and sometimes wings like that of a bat. Other aspects of the Manticore vary from story to story. Some of these stories indicate that the creature has horns, wings, or both. The tail could be that of a dragon or a scorpion with the ability to shoot venomous spines to kill the victim or paralyze. The creature is believed to devour its prey whole without leaving clothes or bones. The myth was of Persian origin, and its name was “man-eater.”
Ancient Greece History of the Manticore
Although there is no evidence of Manticore in the modern days, it is reported that this beast was captured on one occasion and presented to the then King of Persia as a gift.
Ctesias, who was serving in the king’s court as a physician, witnessed this exchange. After this exchange, the legend of Manticore spread to the rest of the world, most notably Greece. When the legend spread over Greece, a famed Greek author named Pausanias wrote about the creature with great skepticism in a book called Description of Greece. In his opinion, the great martichoras were simply a tiger. According to his hypothesis, the additional details about the beast having weird features were exaggerations used to express the extreme terror felt by anyone who would have the misfortune of running into one of the beasts. Pliny, another Greek writer, did not share Pausanias’ opinion. In his writing, he included Martichoras in the book Naturalist Historian among the many beasts.
The Manticore is a legendary Persian and mythical beast known for its strange and magnificent features. Many people may be tempted to write off the beast as a tiger-like Pausanias did. Similar to the sphinx- the great demon of destruction in Egyptian mythology, the Manticore, has been symbolic in past and present culture, arts, and literature and continues to inspire creatives.