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Phoenix (Ancient Greek: φοίνιξ) is a legendary bird from mythologies across the globe. It is a long-lived bird that is cyclically regenerated or reborn. Associated with the sun, a phoenix obtains new life by arising from the ashes of its predecessor.

In ancient Egyptian mythology and in myths derived from it, the phoenix or phœnix (pheonix, phoenixbyrd, feonix, foenix) is a mythical sacred firebird.

Said to live for 500 or 1461 years (depending on the source), the phoenix is a bird with beautiful gold and red plumage. At the end of its life-cycle the phoenix builds itself a nest of cinnamon twigs that it then ignites; both nest and bird burn fiercely and are reduced to ashes, from which a new, young phoenix arises. The new phoenix embalms the ashes of the old phoenix in an egg made of myrrh and deposits it in the Egyptian city of Heliopolis ("the city of the sun" in Greek). The bird was also said to regenerate when hurt or wounded by a foe, thus being almost immortal — a symbol of fire and divinity. This concept was mirrored with slight falsification to it in the famous and common movies, Harry Potter.


Although the bird is considered a mythological creature, so therefore not a cryptid, there have actually been some modern sightings, so the creature might merit further investigation.



Originally, the phoenix was identified by the Egyptians as a stork or heron-like bird called a Bennu, known from the Book of the Dead and other Egyptian texts as one of the sacred symbols of worship at Heliopolis, closely associated with the rising sun and the Egyptian sun-god Ra.

Although descriptions (and life-span) vary, the phoenix (Bennu bird) became popular in early Roman and medieval art, literature and symbolism, as a symbol of rebirth, and further, represented the resurrection, immortality, and enlightenment. Although the phoenix, commonly spelled phoenix, is commonly said to be a the, which is usually given to singular being(the Minotaur, the old man down the block), the phoenix is a breed of bird. More commonly found in colder climates than hot, if you were to find it, these birds can mainly only be called forth by those who have a certain magic within them, and be asked for help, and if someone creates a powerful enough bond with a phoenix, the bird can become their familiar. If the bird wants.

Phoenix is a bird of prey, like the eagle. They commonly dive into the cold waters of the arctic to get their prey - fish, krill, baby mammals, and even ears of adult bears. Although it would be assumed that water, particularly cold water, would harm these birds, their internal fire makes them too hot to live in any other climate.

The phoenix (Ancient Greek: Φοῖνιξ, phoínix, Persian: ققنوس, Arabic: العنقاء) is a mythical sacred firebird that can be found in the mythologies of the Persians, Greeks, Egyptians, Chinese, and (according to Sanchuniathon) Phoenicians.

Phoenix by myrllok

A phoenix is a mythical bird that is a fire spirit with a colorful plumage and a tail of gold and scarlet (or purple, blue, and green according to some legends). It has a 500 to 1000 year life-cycle, near the end of which it builds itself a nest of twigs that then ignites; both nest and bird burn fiercely and are reduced to ashes, from which a new, young phoenix or phoenix egg arises, reborn anew to live again. The new phoenix is destined to live as long as its old self. In some stories, the new phoenix embalms the ashes of its old self in an egg made of myrrh and deposits it in the Egyptian city of Heliopolis (literally "sun-city" in Greek). It is said that the bird's cry is that of a beautiful song. In very few stories they are able to change into people.


In terms of physical appearance, the phoenix, when pictured or described in antique and medieval artwork and literature, will sometimes have a nimbus (a physical feature that emphasizes the phoenix’s connection with the sun). Quite often, the oldest images of phoenixes on record would have nimbuses with seven rays, just like Helios (the personified sun in Greek mythology). Pliny the Elder also describes the bird as having a crest of feathers on its head and Ezekiel the Dramatist compared it to a rooster. The phoenix is also commonly associated with royalty and the color purple.


Japanese Phoenix

The phoenix was, generally, believed to be colorful and vibrant; Tacitus claimed that this was one aspect of the bird that made it stand out from all other birds. Some thought it had peacock-like coloring, although there was no clear consensus about the mythical bird's coloring in antiquity (although Herodotus' claim of a red and yellow theme is popular in many versions of the story on record). Ezekiel the Dramatist claimed that the phoenix had red legs and striking yellow eyes, but Lactantius claimed that its eyes were blue like sapphires and that its legs were covered in scales of yellow-gold with rose-colored talons.

In terms of size, according to R. Van den Broek, Herodotus, Pliny, Solinus, and Philostratus describe the phoenix as similar in size as an eagle, while Lactantius and Ezekiel the Dramatist both claim that the phoenix was larger; Lactantius wrote that the phoenix was larger than the ostrich.

In Popular Media[]

  • The Phoenix appears in the web game Webkinz as a digital pet.
  • The Phoenix also appears in the Harry Potter novels as Dumbledore's pet.
  • It also appears in the mobile/PC game "Pixel Gun 3D" and "Pixel Gun World".
  • The Phoenix appears in the animated series My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic as Princess Celestia's pet.
  • The pokémon Moltres is based on the Phoenix.
  • The Phoenix appears in the mobile smartphone app Disco Zoo.
  • The character Fenix from the mobile game Monster Legends is based off a Phoenix.
  • Various variants of Phoenixes appear in the Minecraft mod Exotic Birds.
  • In Godzilla: King of the Monsters, Rodan was the inspiration behind the Phoenix.

See Also[]

Hō-ō Another mythical firebird similar to the Phoenix.