There is so much overlap once you start reading the myths from different cultures and times. Myths were originally a way to explain life and nature around us.
How these stories traveled around the world is pretty fascinating. Each culture has their own take! I recently chose to delve into Greek mythology again and it's been a blast. The Greek gods are as capricious as the average human, which is probably the point.
People shared their thoughts after Redditor Basalt420 asked the online community,
"What country has the best mythology?"
"If you do enough research..."
"Celtic mythology around The Fae is a pretty interesting rabbit hole to go down. If you do enough research, you start to realize that a lot of ancient civilizations with no connection to one another have similar versions."
It's so interesting to me how many separate countries have stories of similar creatures. Obviously some stories just traveled from place to place, but some are totally separate and developed independently.
"As a small child..."
"Japan. They terrify the s*it out of you."
"As a small child (maybe 3-4), I lived in Japan. One day, the preschool teacher told us that these two demons were going to come down from the mountains to try and kidnap us and eat our belly buttons."
Maybe that's why crime rates in Japan or so low. They instill the fear of mountain demons in you as a child.
"The Norse Gods..."
"The Norse gods have parallels in the other Germanic countries but the myths weren't preserved (sadly). 19th century folklorists did a lot of research on this. Also, Celtic and Slavic cultures have a similarly rich god/goddess/mythical creature cosmology."
"They share a common Indo-European heritage. The various different hunter gatherer tribes (eg, beaker culture) swept across Europe 8,000 years ago creating the tapestry we know today. I'm still reading up on this and studying it so my understanding is still a bit vague."
Norse myths are fascinating – it's very easy to fall down a rabbit hole reading about them.
"It's so good..."
"Greek mythology is absolutely the winner. It’s so good that I think people aren’t voting it just because it’s so ingrained in us and we’ve seen it to death."
Greek mythology is undoubtedly unparalleled.
"Egypt needs to be higher on the list. If asked, most people will recognize the names of a lot of Egyptian gods."
Egyptian mythology fascinated me as a child and has held a special place in my heart since.
"I had a book..."
"I had a book called The Rainbow Serpent about Aboriginal creation myths when I was a kid, and the stories have always stayed with me."
Dreamtime is the foundation of Aboriginal religion and culture. It dates back some 65,000 years.
"There's a great series..."
"There's a great series on Netflix called Cracow Monsters which is based around Slavic mythologies."
Glad you like it, but calling it great is... a stretch.
"Haven't they got..."
"Hindu mythology. Haven't they got mythology about gods flying over the world in flying machines, waging war and dropping nukes on each other? Amazing stuff."
Hindu mythology has some masterpiece anime level plot twists.
"I've been reading..."
"I've been reading into the mythologies of a few Native American tribes recently. While not my favorite, the Aztec mythos is so absurdly brutal that it's really worth checking out."
You should check out South American mythology. Peru, Bolivia, Brazil and Colombia have some great stuff!
"I've extensively read..."
"I’ve extensively read Greek, Roman, and Egyptian mythology while I growing up. I’ve got to say Greek mythology has been my favorite. The origin stories to how callous (and not above changing fates on a whim) the gods/goddesses are is just such entertaining reading."
The Greek gods are the definition of petty and we love it.
Down the rabbit hole you go! Every culture has its own myths and you don't have to look too closely to come across a multitude of similarities.
Have some suggestions of your own? Feel free to tell us more in the comments below!
Want to "know" more?
Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.
Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again.