Features: Face of a man, antlers, wings and four legs
Source: Native American Legend
Habitat: Along the Mississippi River
The Piasa had the face of an angry bearded man, a mouth full of sharp pointy teeth and large antlers sticking out of its head.
It also was covered with scaly skin, had bat-like wings and a scorpion’s tail.
This horrible mythical creature was just an evil mish-mash of a bunch of different creatures – it even had powerful talons on its hind legs.
Legend says that before the banks of the Mississippi river were inhabited, this monster would feed on the buffalo that would gather there to drink.
It could very easily pick one of them up with its huge talons and carry it off to its cave up high in the cliffs to dine.
When the Illini arrived and started to make camp along the river, this beast eventually captured one of them to snack on.
After that day, its taste for human flesh over buffalo meat continued to grow.
A vision finally came to the Illini chief that would help his people get rid of this monster once and for all.
He set himself up as bait while warriors equipped with poisoned arrows positioned themselves hidden nearby. The creature fell for the trap and when it found the chief, it was shot full of arrows and finally killed.
To celebrate the event, it is said that the Illini painted a colorful pictograph of this evil beast up on the rocky bluffs of the Mississippi river.