5. The 200 Million Horsemen
This epic army also appears in the visions of Revelation, although they’re not to be confused with the far more famous Four Horsemen, the guys who symbolize Death, War, Famine and Pestilence. But these riders aren’t to be messed with, either. Their horses have the heads of lions, tails like serpents, and spit smoke, fire and brimstone out of their mouths. Eventually, they’re responsible for the deaths of a third of all mankind. The horsemen army is led by four fallen angels, which is never good.
4. Daniel’s Beasts
Like Revelation, the book of Daniel is largely made up of visions which are meant to symbolize real-world events. In one of these visions, Daniel sees no less than four monsters emerge from the sea: one is a lion with eagle’s wings, which is then transformed into a human-like creature and has its wings plucked off; one is a bear-like creature who is told to gorge himself on flesh; one looks like a leopard with four wings and four heads, and one has iron teeth and ten horns, with which it destroys the whole earth. And believe it or not, the vision actually gets weirder from there. These beasts are often said to represent four different nations that existed in Daniel’s day.
3. The Dragon
Another beast from Revelation, the great Dragon is described as having seven heads and ten horns (those are very popular in Revelation.) He also has a tail capable of sweeping a third of the stars out of the sky. The author later identifies this dragon as Satan himself, who fights against God’s angels and is cast into hell.
The King James Bible refers to ‘dragons’ elsewhere, but like its mentions of ‘unicorns,’ these are mistranslations. Most modern versions of the Bible identify them as jackals, hyenas, or snakes.
2. The Nephilim
Much confusion surrounds the Nephilim, or ‘fallen ones,’ who pop up in Genesis and are described only as the offspring of ‘sons of god’ and ‘daughters of men.’ Some have interpreted this to mean the offspring of angels and human women. Another, less interesting explanation is that the passage refers to the mixing of two human tribes: ‘godly’ people descended from the good-guy Seth and the somewhat less godly descendants of bad-guy Cain. If that seems too dull, don’t worry: there’s also a strong Internet community that believes that the Nephilim were in fact extraterrestrials.
The second of the great monsters described in the book of Job, Leviathan is a massive sea-monster who’s impervious to human weapons, breathes fire, and emits smoke from his nostrils. Leviathan is probably related to another Ancient Near Eastern monster called Lotan, a seven-headed giant serpent who represented primeval chaos. As with many other Biblical creatures, there are some less exciting theories that insist that Leviathan is just a poetic depiction of a crocodile, although last time I checked crocodiles did not breathe fire.