Name: Scorpion Men, Aqrabuamelu, Girtablilu
Features: Body and torso of a man, lower body of a scorpion
Source: Mesopotamian Mythology
Habitat: Ancient Middle East
Of all the mythical hybrids of ancient legends, these creatures were one of the most threatening to exist. Their head and torso was that of a strong, muscular man. Their body, legs and sting were of that of a scorpion.
These hybrid monsters had a huge arching tail that ended with a giant sting. Just like real scorpions, their tails were loaded with deadly venom – theirs was filled with a poison so strong it could kill a full grown man in just seconds.
Not only did they have venomous stings, these monsters also had god like powers and were the best archers in the land. It is said that every arrow they ever shot always hit its target with a fatal accuracy.
They were also said to be guardians of the gates to heaven. They stood so tall that their heads touched the clouds and they had the power to turn people to stone with just one glance.
According to Mesopotamian legend, Tiamat goddess of the seas was the one who gave birth to the set of these dreadful creatures. The Scorpion men came into existence shortly after Tiamat’s husband Apsu was killed and her daughter enslaved.
She sent her offspring off to battle against the other younger gods as revenge for what had happened to her family. Her children won numerous battles against the gods until Marduk stepped in and sent them to the underworld.
The powerful and deadly twins were also busy tending to the sun god Shamash. When the sun rose, they parted the gates. When the sun would set, they did the same. That is also when they would retire back to the underworld where they punished the dead. They would torture the dead by making them lie on their bellies and eat dirt.
In the ancient poem “Epic of Gilgamesh”, these deadly guardians questioned Gilgamesh as he tried to pass through the gates of the twin peaks of Mount Mashu. By his responses, they deducted that he was also part god and granted him entrance.