Region of origin: The Congo
An unidentified creature sighted in the waters near the Congo by European explorers in the 16th century, the ambize or angulo was described as a large fish with an ox’s head, human-like hands and a flat paddle-shaped tail. Believed to live in the sea and some rivers and lakes further inland, the ambize was said to never leave the water but would surface to graze on the grass along the shoreline and with some effort could be caught and cooked with meat that tasted comparable to pork. It is largely thought today these stories were early manatee sightings, but according to my cursory research manatees should taste more like beef so that leaves a fairly large hole in that theory.
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Region of origin: Mediterranea
The root of a mandragora plant that resembled a human shape, albeit a tiny one, and there was some belief that it was formed similarly to a homunculi, life born from sperm without a egg, that had spilled to the ground (often that of a hanged man, earning the plant its German nickname galgenmannlein, the “Little Gallows Man”). The plant was thought to emit a shrill scream when uprooted that was fatal to those who heard it, so farmers would tie dogs to the plant to pull it out for them while they remained at a safe distance. The plant itself is poisonous and hallucinogenic and had been utilized classically for various purposes such as a painkillers and aphrodisiacs.
Originally posted on Tumblr on April 16, 2016
Region of origin: Scandinavia
A violent and voracious predator, the gulon is a beast most noted for its gluttony; it will devour its prey until it is (quite literally) full, then push itself between two trees to compress its swollen body and make room to carry on eating.
Originally posted on Tumblr on March 4, 2016
Region of origin: northern China
Different variations of the xiao are said to exist on different mountains, but common traits between them are ape-like bodies, extra limbs or wings and a habit of throwing things at people entering its domain. Some tales say its meat possesses restorative or healing properties when consumed.
Originally posted on Tumblr on January 7, 2016
Region of origin: Japan
Origins of “the two-mouthed woman” differ depending on the story, but almost universally it arrives in the form of a punishment for greed; a curse on a gluttonous woman, a spirit who appears to a miserly old man, et cetera. The second mouth is accompanied by a ravenous hunger, and possibly self-aware separate from the woman.
Originally posted on Tumblr on November 21, 2015
Region of origin: Eastern Canada/New England
The most mainstream of the Algonquian cannibal spirits, the wendigo is a voracious, malicious spirit who inhabits a human, warping them in body and/or mind (depending on who’s doing the telling) but universally fills them with an insatiable hunger, predominantly for other people.
Originally posted on Tumblr on November 2, 2015
Region of origin: China
Mythologized as a perpetual food source, the feng was a living lump of meat whose body would grow back as quickly as it could be eaten.
Originally posted on Tumblr on October 11, 2015