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We expect myths and folklore to be ridiculous. We don't turn to those kinds of stories for a sobering reminder of all of our overlooked tax exemptions; we expect outrageous fantasy or soul-scarring horror. But even in the land of the ludicrous, some things go beyond the pale. Somewhere out in the mythosphere, a dragon is turning to a gryphon right now and saying, "Oh hell, Gary, you'll never guess who just came in. Don't look, don't look! Damn it, now he's coming over here ..." And then they spend 20 minutes getting weirded out by ...

The Bonnacon, the Unicorn That Shoots Poop

Museum Meermanno

The Version You Know:

It's said that the unicorn's horn can vanquish evil, the animal can only be approached by one of a noble and pure heart, and it gives girls funny feelings they have a hard time explaining to their diaries.

CoreyFord/iStock/Getty Images
Now you know the true origin of the word "horny."

The Weird Version:

Medieval zoologists (who rarely studied actual animals and basically just jotted down any insane rumor they heard from abroad) documented a bizarre cousin of the unicorn called a bonnacon. It's kind of like a unicorn except it has two horns (a bicorn?), and also it fires burning poop.

Kongelige Bibliotek
"Apparently, the 'unicorn' part comes from eating only corn."

The bonnacon was described by Roman naturalist Pliny the Elder as being similar to a horse or a bull with two inward-pointing horns. And because the horns aren't ideal for fighting, the beast had a different strategy for self-preservation -- it could fire its own shit at you at an alarming velocity, and said shit was so acidic that it could burn like fire on contact.

Also, if illustrations of the time are anything to go by, the bonnacon was just as embarrassed about this as everyone else.

Aberdeen University Library
Acidic poo burns pride too.

Somehow, we don't think tween girls will be sketching this on their binders any time soon ...

Boraro, the South American Nature Spirit With Weaponized Piss

Manoel Santiago?

The Version You Know:

The dryad, also known as a forest nymph, is pretty much the Lorax of Greek and Celtic folklore. These graceful spirits of the forest are generally shy and peaceful, unless you're a logger or a poacher or something, in which case they get less "serene forest hippie" and more "angry bus station hippie."

Evelyn De Morgan
The kind with the razor blades for slashing, not shaving.

The Weird Version:

The boraro, also known as a Kuru-Pira, is a nature spirit from the folklore of the South American Tukano people. If you hear a rustling in the bushes and you're expecting a tall, green lady with perky boobs to teach you the ways of the forest through song, then prepare for disappointment -- the boraro is hairy, has vampire fangs and burning eyes, "pendulous genitals," and weirdest of all, backwards-facing feet.

via Lendas Folcloricas
When it moonwalks, it just comes closer.

Like the gentle dryad, the boraro looks after the animals of the forest and has no love for hunters. It's really only their methods that differ: The dryad has mystical, 1980s Lisa Frank-esque magic. The boraro has acid piss. The dryad will use the power of the World Tree to turn you into a deer for a day, so you can see that all life has value. The boraro will whip out its enormous dong and unleash a fire hose of face-melting urine on you.

The only warning that a hunter gets before his skin is melted by caustic pee is the boraro bursting out of the forest, penis firmly in hand, while yelling "boraro!" like the world's worst Pokemon. Luckily, there are ways to thwart them. For example, you can appease them with offerings of tobacco, because they evidently all have crippling cigarette addictions. Or, if you put your hands in their footprints, their legs stiffen up and they fall over. And considering their feet are pointed backwards, they have a hard time getting up again. Actually, that's a pretty great Pokemon, come to think of it. Get on it, Nintendo.

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Tsukumogami, the Japanese Ghost of Household Objects

Terajima Ryoan

The Version You Know:

The ghost is probably the most generic supernatural creature. Typically the spirit of a dead person whose soul is trapped on Earth for some reason -- vengeance, unfinished business, just really bad with directions -- they're used to explain creaking noises, missing socks, and anything else people are too lazy to slash open with Occam's Razor.

papa42/iStock/Getty Images
"Someone peed without flushing again. Must be the ghost."

The Weird Version:

If you live in Japan, you might be more inclined to attribute your bumps in the night to the ghosts of those actual missing socks. The tsukumogami are the ghosts of actual household objects that you've neglected enough that they come to life and mess with your shit. Have you got a busted umbrella? You better get it fixed before it turns into a karakasa-kozo, which will start hopping around licking people. Where have your old sandals gone? Oh shit, they've turned into bake-zori and are doing laps around the living room.

Tosa Mitsunobu
Their only weakness is the black hole in your dryer.

What was that sound from the kitchen? Don't worry, it's just Dad fighting Grandma's crockery since it's turned into a seto-taisho, a man made out of cracked china cups and plates, stabbing people with its chopstick spear. Never fear, it doesn't have time to attack you because it's too busy fighting the shiro-uneri, the ghost of the dishcloth you dropped behind the oven.

Toriyama Sekien
Not to mention the boroboroton, the ghost of your ratty futon.

Basically any object can turn into a ghost if you let it get too old, dirty and decrepit. Need a better reason to replace your ragged underwear than basic personal hygiene? How about it will come to life and strangle you in your sleep?

Fachen, the One-Legged Scottish Fairy

Andrew L. Paciore

The Version You Know:

The tiny, winged ladies of the forest, fairies spend their time whimsically dancing and playing and throwing glitter everywhere. Even gnomes have more street cred.

Luis Ricardo Falero
"We grew wings because they kept stealing our shoes."

The Weird Version:

In the highlands of Scotland, fairies are a little less family friendly. Peter Pan would read a little differently if his best friend was a one-eyed, one-legged fachen.

The fachen are as grumpy and cantankerous as basically everything else Scottish. He's not graceful or pretty, he doesn't like flowers, and he's less likely to flick pixie dust at you than he is to flay the shit out of you with the spiked chain he carries around.

K. Francis Schales
He'll turn your childhood into haggis and then make you eat it.

Why the temper? Apparently it's because he's jealous of the more recognizable fairy folk that can dance and fly while he's relegated to hopping around on one leg like an asshole. The legend also says that he's so hideous, you'll have a heart attack just by looking at him. Although, to be fair, it's probably not all that difficult to induce heart attacks in people whose favorite dessert is a deep-fried Mars bar.

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Umi-Bozu, the Japanese Sea Monster, Is Just a Dude Chilling in the Ocean

Utagawa Kuniyoshi

The Version You Know:

Seafarers of olden times had good reason to fear the ocean -- rogue waves, hurricanes, pretty much everything that lives in it -- and yet history is rife with stories about fictional sea monsters. As though nature needs any help terrorizing you into a fear-stroke.

Robert Hale
Europe would have found America four centuries sooner if they didn't fear Stuart, the sea serpent.

The Weird Version:

Japan's answer to the sea monster is the umi-bozu. Ditching that cliche nautical theme, the umi-bozu is not a titanic octopus, giant crab, or even a starfish of unusual size, but rather a gargantuan, black, featureless humanoid head that suddenly looms out of the sea.

via Columbia University
Possibly a fleshy, full-featured, gargantuan head's shadow.

According to folklore, these towering black heads will surge out of the ocean and either smash a ship to bits or command the sailors to give them a barrel. That second one seems like the sailors are getting off pretty lightly. Don't get us wrong: we know it hurts to lose a good, solid barrel, but it's not exactly drowning.

So the terrified sailors offer up their sacrifice, at which point these enormous dicks use it to scoop water into the boat until it sinks. However, even this can be thwarted by removing the bottom from the barrel, at which point the giant idiot will just pour water on itself all night.

Kii zotan-shu
It's the exact way Mario beat Donkey Kong.

It just ... it seems like a waste, Japan. Those things look fucking terrifying, yet their deadly attack is "reverse-bailing," and they can be defeated by A: not carrying a barrel, B: politely declining to loan them a barrel, or C: giving them a wacky prank barrel and trying not to laugh so hard that you spoil the joke.

Kurupi, the Paraguayan Dong Demon


The Version You Know:

The succubus, and its lesser-known male version, the incubus, are demons from Roman folklore that will break into your home in the middle of the night to have sex with you ... to death. Which, y'know, all told ...

Charles Walker
Really, you're going to die eventually, either way.

The Weird Version:

The Guarani people of Paraguay have their own sex demon, Kurupi, who lives in the forests and takes care of the animals, so he seems like kind of a swell guy. He also has an enormous, prehensile wang.

Patricia Perez
Almost twice the length of our own.

Legend has it that Kurupi's dick is so extensive that he has to keep it wrapped around his body like a fleshy sari. And while he enjoys sticking it where it isn't necessarily wanted, he doesn't need to go to a lot of trouble to do so. His dick is so long and agile that Kurupi doesn't even need to break into your house, like the succubus. He can just chill outside while his fiendish member sneaks into the house and goes to town on the woman within.

Gage Road Studios
The Guarani fight Kurupi with mousetraps baited with underpants.

Yes, Kurupi gets a lot of the blame for unexpected pregnancies among the Guarani, which sounds pretty silly: "it wasn't me; a disembodied dick just wriggled in here, right under the door."

But the sexual promiscuity of gods and monsters has long been getting women out of trouble, from the Greeks who got attacked by Zeus in the guise of a majestic swan, to ... well, we don't want to raise too much controversy, but you have to admit Mary made some pretty suspicious claims.

For more bizarre monsters, check out The 7 Most Ridiculous Ghost Stories from Around the World. And then check out 25 Tiny Changes That Would Ruin Horror Movie Monsters.

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