The Amphisbaena is a two-headed creature with reptilian skin, the feet of an eagle, and eyes that shone beams of light. One of it's heads holds the other at the neck, bending the creature into a circle. It usually moves by rolling itself like a hoop, and can go in any direction in this way, though it is also capable of running on its feet. The Amphisbaena lives in northern Africa, is the first creature to come out of hibernation in the spring, and hatches from and egg. It has very extremely poor eyesight and likes to eat ants. Its bite is very deadly, because its saliva causes wounds not to heal.

According to the Roman writer Pliny, the skin of the Amphisbaena can be taken as a remedy for cold shivers.

The word Amphisbaena means "to go both ways" in Greek.

Pantheon: Greek


  • Matthews, John & Caitlin. The Element Encyclopedia of Magical Creatures. Barnes & Noble Publishing, Inc.: New York, 2005.
  • Rose, Carol. Giants, Monsters & Dragons: An Encyclopedia of Folklore, Legend, and Myth. W. W. Norton & Company: New York, 2000.
  • Sedgwick, Paulita. Mythological Creatures: A Pictoral Dictionary. Holt, Rinehart and Winston: New York, 1974.

    Back to Creatures Page