Soft Round Baby Walker

Coming up with hundreds of imaginary monsters is tough work. There are only so many permutations of wings, claws, and teeth that you can attach before you start repeating yourself.

The creators of Pokemon turned to many sources to help spur their inventions. Some Pokemon are thinly veiled versions of real creatures, but others draw their inspiration from myth and legend. Here are 10 Pokemon that may be more familiar than you realize.

Whiscash is a Generation III Pokemon. This water/ground type Pokemon resembles a large catfish with enormous barbells—the “whiskers” from which it takes its name. The Pokedex entry for it describes the Pokemon as extremely territorial. When threatened, it will cause earthquakes by thrashing around.

Namazu is a figure from Japanese mythology. Namazu is one of a number of mischievous spirits that cause calamities. His own special province of disaster is earthquakes. Interestingly, this spirit shows himself in the guise of a giant catfish. Woodcuts of the period show the astonishing resemblance between Whiscash and Namazu.

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