Ancient Hellenic mythology is full of creatures, and many of them are part human, part animal. A short overview of the most prominent today. We don't know, exactly, why hybrid creatures are so often depicted in (Hellenic) mythology, by the way. Some say it's just entertainment, others that it's a way to relate with our more "animalistic" side. The ancient Hellenes were very aware of the fact that societal rules were all that distinguished humans from animals, which might explain why these hybrids were considered so terrifying!

The Centaur
Centaurs are depicted as half man, half horse; having the torso of a man extending where the neck of a horse should be. They were said to be wild, savage, and lustful, and in very old Hellenic artwork, they were often depicted as fully human, with a horse's end added to them. Somehow (prior to Harry Potter, anyway), Centaurs ended up being regarded as cute and cuddly, but most Centaurs in the ancient myths were very scary, and very dangerous.

The Chimera The Chimera is described as a composite creature, with the body and maned head of a lion, a goat's head rising from its back, a set of goat-udders, and a serpentine tail. There was only one, and it was slain by Bellerophon, but that does not have to mea anything in dreams.

In Hellenic mythology, Echidna was a half-woman and half-snake who lived alone in a cave. She was the mate of the fearsome monster Typhon, and known primarily for being the mother of monsters, including many of the most famous monsters of Hellenic myth.

The Harpyiai (Ἁρπθιαι) were the spirits of sudden, sharp gusts of wind. They were known as the hounds of Zeus and were despatched by the god to snatch away (harpazô) people and things from the earth. Sudden, mysterious dissappearances were often attributed to the Harpyiai. They are (most often) consdered the daughters of Thaumas and Elektra. They are depicted as birds with the head of a woman.

The Gorgons
The most famous of Gorgons is undoubtedly Médousa (Μέδουσα). In ancient Hellas, however, Médousa was one of three sisters, Khthonic daímōns called Gorgons. They were named Médousa, Stheno (Σθεννω), and Euryale (Ευρυαλη), and were born to the ancient marine deities Phorkys (Φόρκυς) and Keto (Κητώ), his sister. They were part of the Phorcides (Φόρκιδες), the offspring of Phorkys. Their sisters were Echidna (Ἔχιδνα, half woman, half snake), the Graiai (Γραῖαι, 'old women', sharing one tooth and one eye), and Ladon (Λάδων, the dragon serpent who guarded the golden apples in the garden of the Hesperides).

The Hippalectryon The Hippalectryon was a beast with the foreparts of a horse and the tail, wings and hind-legs of a rooster.The creature occurs only in early Athenian vase painting, and may be based on an early artistic rendering of the winged horse Pegasos. It is awesome, however, and you cannot tell me that a creature that looked like that would not scare you half to death if it came upon you.

Mantikhoras (Μαντιχορας) were Persian monsters with the body of a lion, the face of a man, and a spike-tipped arrow-shooting tail. The name 'Manticore' may have been derived from a Persian word meaning 'man-eater', and that did seem to be a favored past time of the creature.

Minos, king of Krete, requested Poseidon raise a bull from the sea, which the king promised to sacrifice; but when Minos refused to do so, Poseidon caused his wife Pasiphaê to fall in love with the bull. The child that came from this union was deformed in such a way that he had the head of a bull and the body of a man. It was locked in the labyrinth beneath the the palace, and eventually vanquished by Theseus.

Ophiotaurus, or Tauros OphisThis serpent-bull is a terrifying monster that deserves mention on the list. It was born with the foreparts of a black bull and the tail of a serpent and was slain by an ally of the Titanes in their search for a victory against Zeus during the Titanomachy.

Satyrs weren't considered evil, but they were definitely dangerous and wild. The satyrs were considered constant companions of Dionysos and had goat-like features and often permanent erections.

The Sirens are dangerous creatures who lured nearby sailors with their enchanting music and voices to shipwreck on the rocky coast of their island. Sirens were believed to combine women and birds in various ways. In early Greek art, Sirens were represented as birds with large women's heads, bird feathers and scaly feet. Later, they were represented as female figures with the legs of birds, with or without wings, playing a variety of musical instruments, especially harps.

A sphinx is a mythical creature with the head of a human, the haunches of a lion, and sometimes the wings of a bird. It is mythicised as treacherous and merciless. Those who cannot answer its riddle are killed and eaten. This deadly version of a sphinx appears in the myth and drama of Oedipus, for example.