10 Pokémon Inspired By Real-World Mythological Creatures

Gotta define 'em all.

Whiscash pokemon

Since its debut in 1996, the Pokémon franchise has taken over the world. Each iteration of the monster-catching video game introduces a slew of new Pokémon - many of which might look oddly familiar to Trainers.

It's no secret Pokémon draws massive inspiration from the real world when designing these creatures, either. Wouldn't it be easier to bring pre-existing fables, legends and objects to life in the form of adorable monsters? Duh.

Some animal influences are readily apparent in Pokémon, with names like "Caterpie," "Krookodile," and "Seel." Others have tongue-in-cheek names, like flipping their spelling (a la "Ekans" and "Arbok"), while more subtly nod to their animal influencers—typically via their appearance.

Similarly, plenty of natural plants make the real-world Pokémon roster. Victreebel's evil grin and distinct bucket mouth bear more than a passing resemblance to the carnivorous pitcher plant, while Gen IV's Carnivine is clearly inspired by the carnivorous Venus flytrap and its razor-sharp plant-jaws.

Like plants and animals, the monster designers have drawn inspiration from Japanese folklore, Norse gods, Midwest American-aliens, and more.

Some of the world's biggest legends hide beneath some of Pokemon's biggest monsters, including plenty of Legendary creatures.

10. Absol Is Based On The Bai Ze

Whiscash pokemon

Absol is a particularly unique Pokémon. With its dark blue body with tufts of white fur wrapped around its neck like a Russian stole, the Gen III monster has a feline face, a scythe tail, and sharp claws on each paw. With a side shave that would give Skrillex a run for his money, Absol's most distinguishing features a single raven-colored oval on its face.

According to Chinese legend, Yellow Emperor Huang Di happened upon a distinct creature, called Bai Ze.

With its fluffy white mane, horns, and many eyes, the monster taught said emperor the secrets of the supernatural. Similarly, Japanese folklore includes the story of the kutabe, who warned a small town the plague was coming.

The Pokédex highlights further similarities between Absol and Bai Ze. Both are known to emerge from the forests to warn humans of impending doom. Known as the "Disaster Pokémon," Absol—along with Bai Ze—detects catastrophes and warns humans of impending doom.

If you happen upon one, this helpful Pokémon doesn't evolve from - or to - a different monster. Still, it can evolve into Mega Absol, which is just a better, stronger and scarier version of its original self.

In this post: 
Posted On: 

Hi! I'm Hannah, and I am a copywriter based in Dallas, Texas. I like to throw around ideas, share amazing web finds, and tell the occasional story or two.