NPR has published an article detailing the many similarities between Asian and European monster legends.
The article cites a Five Monster Collection by Pliny the Elder hailing from the first century, AD. Pliny the Elder was a Roman scholar who collected descriptions of creatures who lived at the very edge of the known world. His work was repackaged by Roman writer Julius Solinus, who, in turn, was the inspiration for Toby Lester’s book The Fourth Part of the World.
Toby Lester mentions numerous beasts from BEYOND MYTHOLOGY, such as the one-eyed, female warriors known as Amazons as well as the single footed Sciopods and the headless, torso faced monstrosities known as Blemmya and, of course, dragons. According to Lester, when Westerners conjured up creatures from distant lands it resembled a sort of the medieval version of Star Wars.
What shocked Lester while researching this phenomenon was just how much these beasts resembled those that were chronicled in the ancient Chinese text: “The Classic of Mountains and Seas.” The Chinese imagined big-eared monsters, Cyclopes and face-on-my-chest monsters, just like the Europeans.
It would seem that while 2,000 years ago Europeans and Chinese had very little contact, they still managed to imagine a startlingly similar cast of frightening and fantastic creatures. Could it be the reason is that these entities weren’t flights of fancy, but real flesh and blood creatures? It’s worth considering, perhaps, that these bizarre beings were from OUT OF THIS WORLD, explaining why there is no evidence of them in the fossil record.