Top 5 mythical beasts in Asia (and where to find them)

Asia is full of legendary and mythical beasts, and every year there are more sightings made and more evidence found. Some of them strike fear into the hearts of the residents, and some of them are actually part of a real ongoing studies by local governments! So let’s take a look at some of the most popular legends around the continent.

The Yeti
The Yeti

5. Yeti

Alleged Location: Himalayas

Likelihood of being real: 2/10

The Yeti is an ape-like cryptid that is taller than an average human and said to inhabit the Himalayan region of Nepal and Tibet. Stories of the Yeti first emerged in the 19th century. The scientific community generally regards the Yeti as a legend, given the lack of conclusive evidence, but it remains one of the most famous creatures of cryptozoology. Misidentification of Himalayan wildlife has been proposed as an explanation for some Yeti sightings, including the Chu-Teh, a Langur monkey living at lower altitudes, and the Himalayan brown bear or Dzu-Teh. Some people have also suggested the Yeti could actually be a human hermit.

Ebu Gogo (Credit: Flores Girl)
Ebu Gogo (Credit: Flores Girl)

4. Ebu Gogo

Alleged Location: The island of Flores in Nusa Tenggara

Likelihood of being real: 3/10

The Ebu Gogo are a group of human-like creatures that appear in the mythology of Flores, Indonesia. In the language of central Flores, ebu means “grandmother” and gogo means “he who eats anything”. The Ebu Gogo were said to have been swift walkers and around 1.5m tall. They reportedly had wide and flat noses, broad faces with large mouths, and very hairy bodies. They were said to have murmured in what was assumed to be their own language and could reportedly repeat what was said to them in a parrot-like fashion. There are also legends about the Ebu Gogo kidnapping human children, hoping to learn from them how to cook. The people of Flores believe that the Ebu Gogo were alive at the time of the arrival of Portuguese trading ships in the 17th century, and that some are still alive to this day, but are now never seen and are believed to have been hunted to extinction by the human inhabitants of the islands, though skulls and remains have been discovered.

Yeren (Credit: Petr Czernek)
Yeren (Credit: Petr Czernek)

3. Yeren

Alleged Location: The mountains of Hubei Province, China

Likelihood of being real: 5/10

The Yeren (literally meaning “Wild Beast”) is a legendary creature said to be residing in the remote mountainous regions of western Hubei in China. Witnesses typically report the creatures to be covered in reddish coloured hair, although some white specimens have also been sighted. Their height is estimated to range from 6-8ft, although some colossal examples allegedly in excess of ten feet tall have been reported. It has been suggested that the Yeren is actually a new species of orangutan, one that is ground-dwelling, bipedal and native to mainland Asia instead of Borneo or Sumatra. It has been connected with ancient Chinese legends of magical forest ogres and man-like bears.


2. Batutut

Alleged Location: Vietnamese and Laotian jungle, as well as Borneo.

Likelihood of being real: 6/10

A hominid cryptid, the batutut is reputedly similar to the bigfoot, and thought to inhabit the Vũ Quang nature reserve of Vietnam, as well as Laos and northern Borneo. Vietnamese scholars refer to the Batutut as “the forest man”. It is described as being approximately 6ft tall and covered with hair except at the knees and the face. The hair ranges in colour from gray to brown to black. The creature walks on two legs and has been reported both solitary and moving in small groups. The creature is most often sighted foraging for food. In Borneo, witnesses describe it as four feet tall and very aggressive, occasionally killing humans and tearing out their livers.

Orang Mawas
Orang Mawas

1. Orang Mawas

Alleged Location: Humid jungles of southern Malaysia

Likelihood of being real: 7/10

The Orang Mawas is a hominid cryptid reported to inhabit the jungle of Johor in Malaysia. It is described as being about 10ft tall, bipedal and covered in black fur, and has been reported feeding on fish and raiding orchards. There have been many sightings of the creature, which the local Orang Asli people call the “Snaggle-toothed Ghost”. A photograph of a fresh footprint in tar, attributed to the Orang Mawas, was printed in Malaysian newspapers. In 2006, the authorities in Johor announced an official expedition to prove the creature’s existence, making it the first country to have an official hunt for a mystery hominid.

I hope I haven’t put you off from travelling with this list of urban legends! Which ones do you think are most likely to be real, and which ones are clear fakes?


6 thoughts on “Top 5 mythical beasts in Asia (and where to find them)

Tell me what you think!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.