Myths tell of strange beasts

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 13 October, 1999, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 13 October, 1999, 12:00am

There have been many mythical creatures in various cultures around the world throughout history. Both the Chinese and the Europeans believed in drag ons. While they were consid ered lucky in Chinese culture - where they were associated with prosperity - Western cul ture considered them evil.

Mermaids were thought to be sea-dwelling creatures with the upper body of a woman and the lower body of a fish. They were said to be so beautiful that they often lured sailors to their death.

Other mythical creatures in cluded the centaur, which was half-man and half-horse, the unicorn, which had one horn in the middle of its head, and the Cyclops, a giant with one eye.

In modern times there have been sightings of a giant crea ture in a Scottish lake called the Loch Ness Monster. As with Bigfoot, many people believe in it. No absolute proof of its exis tence, however, has ever been found.