Various cultures have given birth to various and exciting mythologies throughout history, chronicling the tales and trials of Gods, deities, and other supernatural beings. Some of these tales survive today, and some left no traces behind.
Here is a list of the top 12 weirdest deities from around the world.
Top 12 Weird Deities around the world
Loki is an evil Nordic God of mischief and mayhem who can shape-shift into any being of his choice. His weirdest moment occurred when faced with an impending death sentence for losing a bet with the other Gods.
Loki transformed himself into a mare to seduce a giant stallion belonging to his rival in the gamble. The ensuing sexual encounter led to Loki giving birth to a substantial eight-legged spider horse, which managed to save him from an untimely death.
One of the prominent figures of the Egyptian pantheon, Osiris, was said to be a kind and just Ruler alongside his wife, Isis. His kindness lasted only until his brother Seth, in a fit of jealousy, murdered him and cut up his body into numerous pieces to spread them throughout the land.
The weirdness began when Isis – not the kind of woman to give up easily – set about gathering the mutilated pieces of her husband’s corpse to resurrect him.
She found all the pieces, apart from his penis, which she promptly replaced with wood and brought Osiris back to life. Directly after his rather badass resurrection, they proceeded to make love. Their lovemaking led to the birth of Horus, a prevalent falcon-headed God of justice who eventually went on to kick Seth’s ass and succeed his father to the throne.
An obscure Hindu deity mostly worshiped in Northern India and Nepal, Chinnamasta means ‘she whose severed head.’ This Goddess carries around her severed head in one hand, and to make things just a little weirder, her severed head and two of her attendants constantly drink the blood issuing from her neck.
Legend has it that Chinnamasta and her attendants were bathing for too long, leading to their extreme hunger. This prompted the Goddess to decapitate herself to satiate the desire of her companions with her blood.
Inanna, also known as Ishtar, is the Sumerian Goddess of war and fertility, known for her voracious and varied sexual appetite. She tends to kill or decapitate her former lovers. These include the speckled allallu-bird, the lion, the horse, the shepherd, and the gardener.
She also unleashed the Bull of Heaven upon Gilgamesh when he refused her offer of a sexual union. At the funeral of said Bull in the underworld, the Ruler of the Underworld turns her into a corpse. He also hangs her upside down as punishment for sitting on his throne while naked. Inanna escapes this fate by exchanging her place with her husband, Dumuzi, whom she later mourns.
5. Sheela Na Gigs
Her name means ‘the old hag of the breasts’ – most often depicted as an old woman with an exposed and exaggerated vulva. She is known for being a lustful pagan Goddess, which further adds to her odd appearance. Despite her outwardly repulsive appearance, the latter attempted to seduce men by exposing herself.
Most men refused the offer, but those that accepted, she rewarded with prosperity and Kingship. She’s also known to be involved with fertility rituals and weddings. Most of her figurines originated in ancient Ireland and Britain.
Dionysus was the Greek God of wine, intoxication, chaos, and ritual frenzy. He was born prematurely when his mother died while gazing enraptured at the glory of his father, Zeus.
He was raised as a girl initially to hide him from the envy of Zeus’ wife, Hera. As a result, Zeus sewed him onto his thigh until he could survive independently.
As a result, he grew up to become the bisexual God of androgyny, transvestism, and the subversion of sexual roles. The Titans were lured into a cave to be killed, boiled, and eaten for dinner.
Upon being resurrected, he found a cult of female followers who often tore dissenters to pieces before devouring their flesh. He was also kidnapped at least twice by sailors. However, this did not concern him as he turned their oars to snakes and the sailors to dolphins.
Pan, one of the oldest Greek deities, has horns and hind legs and is the God of shepherds, flocks, and pastoral music. He rose from the union between Odysseus’ lonely wife and her 108 suitors, according to rumors.
Pan possesses a voracious sexual appetite and a willingness to copulate with almost anything that moves. When he attempted to seduce the nymph Syrinx, she ran away and was turned into a reed by her sisters. That prompted the love-lorn God to create the Pan-flute from her remains.
A fertility Goddess associated with vegetation and birth, Gefion was sent to Earth to find more land for Odin. She convinced the King of Sweden to promise her as much land as a plow in a day using four oxen.
She dashed off to Jotunheimr to quickly have four sons with a Giant. Then she promptly turned into four strong giant oxen that helped her pull her plow. She later married Odin’s son Skjold, with whom she proceeded to have some more kids. She presumably didn’t turn into wildlife, as they became the Royal family of Denmark.
This mighty warrior God was instrumental in capturing and taming Fenrir, a fierce wolf giant-like thing that resulted from a one-night-stand between Loki and a frost giantess. Fenrir was wild and untamed, wreaking havoc wherever he went, leading the Gods to bind him with a magical cord.
Fenrir would only allow this if one of the Gods stuck a hand in his mouth to signify good faith. Týr, being a brave and honorable warrior, complied – which inevitably led to him having one of his hands bitten clean off when Fenrir realized that he couldn’t break free of the cord.
10. Tu’er Shen
One of China’s stranger contributions in the mythology department, Pu’er Shen, is the God who manages the love and sex between homosexual men. His name means ‘rabbit deity.’ According to 17th-century legend, a soldier fell in love with a Government official and spied on him to see him naked.
The official had him captured and killed. However, he returned as a newborn rabbit in the dream of a village elder, urging him to build a temple to him in the village, where worshippers would light incense in the interest of ‘the affairs of men.’
Ixtab, or the Rope Woman, was the Yucatec Mayan Goddess of suicide. In Yucatec society, suicide by hanging was considered honorable under certain circumstances. Ixtab would accompany such souls to paradise, where they would get delicious food and rest under the shade of a lovely tree for eternity, free from all want.
The Japanese Goddess of fertility and creation, Izanami, had a function similar to Eve in Christian myth. Along with her husband, Izanagi, she was the initiator of the world and the entire human race.
After her death, a mourning Izanagi went to the underworld to bring her back. Izanami informed him that, having eaten the food of the underworld, she could no longer return to the world of the living.
The stubborn Izanagi refused to leave without her and lighted a torch, only to find that his once beautiful wife had turned into a rotting, maggot-infested corpse in the underworld. Horrified, he fled, with a furious Izanami chasing after him until he returned to Earth and blocked the way to the underworld with a giant boulder. Thus starting the cycle of birth and death in mortals.
I hope you enjoyed this short introduction to the fascinating and fantastic world of global mythology. The intriguing world of the supernatural shall never cease to attract both scholars and ordinary story-lovers such as you and me! There are many more myths to be explored and legends to be uncovered.