Throughout history, various cultures across the planet have given birth to varied and interesting mythologies, chronicling the tales and trials of Gods, deities, and other supernatural beings. Some of these tales survive to this day, while others have been lost in the annals of history.
Top 12 Weird Deities around the world
Here is a list of some of the more fascinating deities and supernatural beings that ancient mythology has given birth to. Some of these might just make you look at the world in a whole new light!
Loki is a malevolent Nordic God of mischief and mayhem, who can shape-shift into any being of his choice. His weirdest moment occurred when, faced with an impending death sentence for losing a bet with the other Gods, Loki transformed himself into a mare to seduce a giant stallion belonging to his rival in the bet. The ensuing sexual encounter led to Loki giving birth to a giant eight-legged spider horse, which nonetheless managed to save him from an untimely death.
One of the prominent figures of the Egyptian pantheon, Osiris was said to be a kind and just ruler alongside his wife Isis, until his brother Seth, in a fit of jealousy, murdered him and cut up his body into numerous pieces to spread them throughout the land. The weirdness began when Isis – not being the kind of woman to give up easily – set about gathering the mutilated pieces of her husband’s corpse in a bid to resurrect him.
She found all the pieces, apart from his penis, which she promptly replaced with a piece of wood and brought Osiris back to life. Directly after this rather badass resurrection, they proceeded to make love, which led to the birth of Horus, an immensely popular falcon-headed God of justice who eventually went on to kick Set’s ass and succeed his father to the throne.
An obscure Hindu deity mostly worshipped in parts of Northern India and Nepal, Chinnamasta means ‘she whose head is severed’. This Goddess carries around her severed head in one hand, and to make things just a little weirder, her severed head and two of her attendants constantly drink the blood issuing from her neck.
Legend has it that Chinnamasta and her attendants were bathing for too long, leading to their extreme hunger. This led the Goddess to decapitate herself to satiate the hunger of her companions with her blood.
Inanna, also known as Ishtar, is the Sumerian Goddess of war and fertility, known for her voracious and varied sexual appetite. She tends to kill or decapitate her former lovers. These include, but are not limited to – the speckled allallu-bird whose wing she broke, the lion who she dug a pit for, the horse who she consigned to being whipped and lashed, the shepherd who she turned into a wolf, and the gardener who she turned into a dwarf.
She also unleashed the Bull of Heaven upon Gilgamesh, when he refused her offer for a sexual union. At the funeral of said Bull in the underworld (after Gilgamesh had killed it), the Ruler of the Underworld turns her into a corpse and hangs her upside down as punishment for sitting on his throne while naked. Inanna escapes this fate by exchanging her place with her husband, Dumuzi, whom she later goes on to mourn.
5. Sheela Na Gigs
Her name means, ‘the old hag of the breasts’ – most often depicted as an old woman with an exposed and exaggerated vulva. To add to the weirdness of her very appearance, she is rumored to have been a lustful pagan Goddess who attempted to seduce men by exposing herself, despite her outwardly repulsive appearance. Most men refused the offer, but those that accepted, she rewarded with prosperity and Kingship. She has also been associated with fertility rituals and weddings. Most of her figurines originated in ancient Ireland and Britain.
Dionysus was the Greek God of wine, intoxication, chaos, and ritual frenzy. He was born prematurely when his mother died while gazing enraptured at the glory of his father, Zeus. As a result, Zeus sewed him onto his thigh until he was able to survive on his own. He was initially raised as a girl to hide him from the envy of Zeus’ wife, Hera.
As a result, he grew up to become the bisexual God of androgyny, transvestism, and the subversion of sexual roles. He was lured into a cave by the Titans to be killed, boiled, and eaten for dinner. Upon being resurrected, he founded a cult of female followers who often tore dissenters to pieces before devouring their flesh. He was also kidnapped at least twice by sailors. This did not concern him too much, however, as he turned their oars to snakes and the sailors to dolphins.
One of the oldest Greek deities, Pan has the horns and hind legs of a goat and is the God of shepherds, their flocks, and pastoral music. He is rumored to be the result of the union between Odysseus’ lonely wife and her 108 suitors.
He is also possessed of a voracious sexual appetite and a willingness to copulate with almost anything that moves, regardless of shape, size, or species. When he attempted to seduce the nymph Syrinx, she ran away and was turned into a reed by her sisters. This prompted the love-lorn God to create the Pan-flute from her remains.
A fertility Goddess associated with vegetation and birth, Gefion was sent to Earth to find more land for Odin. She convinced the King of Sweden to promise her as much land as she could plow in a day using four oxen.
Following this, she dashed off to Jotunheimr to quickly have four sons with a Giant, whom she promptly turned into four strong giant oxen that helped her to pull her plow. She later married Odin’s son Skjold, with whom she proceeded to have some more kids, whom she presumably didn’t turn into wildlife, as they went on to become the Royal family of Denmark.
This mighty warrior God was instrumental in the capture and taming of Fenrir, a fierce wolf giant thing that was the result of a one-night-stand between Loki and a frost giantess. Fenrir was wild and untamed, wreaking havoc wherever he went, which led the Gods to decide to bind him with a magical cord. Fenrir would only allow this if one of the Gods stuck a hand in his mouth as a sign of good faith. Týr, being a brave and honorable warrior, complied – which inevitably led to him having one of his hands bitten clean off when Fenrir realized that he couldn’t break free of the cord.
10. Tu’er Shen
One of China’s stranger contributions in the mythology department, Pu’er Shen is the God who manages the love and sex between homosexual men. His name means ‘rabbit deity’. According to 17th-century legend, a soldier fell in love with a Government official and spied on him to see him naked. The official had him captured and killed. However, he returned in the form of a new-born rabbit in the dream of a village elder, urging him to build a temple to him in the village, where worshippers would light incense in the interest of ‘the affairs of men’.
Ixtab or the Rope Woman was the Yucatec Mayan Goddess of suicide. In Yucatec society, under certain circumstances, suicide by hanging was considered honorable. Ixtab would accompany such souls to paradise, where they would get delicious food and rest under the shade of a pleasant tree for eternity, free from all want. She is represented by the picture of a woman with a rope around her neck.
The Japanese Goddess of fertility and creation, Izanami had a function similar to that of Eve in Christian myth. She, along with her husband Izanagi, was the initiator of the world and the entire human race. After her death, a mourning Izanagi went to the underworld to bring her back. Izanami informed him that, having eaten the food of the underworld, she could no longer return to the world of the living.
The stubborn Izanagi refused to leave without her and lighted a torch, only to find that his once-beautiful wife had turned into a rotting, maggot-infested corpse in the underworld. Horrified, he fled, with a furious Izanami chasing after him until he returned to Earth and blocked the way to the underworld with a giant boulder, thus starting the cycle of birth and death in mortals.
Well, I hope you enjoyed this short introduction to the fascinating and amazing world of global mythology. There are many more myths to be explored and legends to be uncovered, and the intriguing world of the supernatural shall never cease to attract both scholars as well as ordinary story-lovers such as you and me!