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Some of the World's Most Famous Legends

Updated on September 29, 2016

History is full of legends that mystify and entertain. These legends of from different cultures around the world. Some are still held as strong beliefs, however some of them have faded away with time.

Here are the legends we share:

The Most Famous Legends of All Time

  1. Lady Godiva
  2. Robin Hood
  3. The Fountain of Youth
  4. Atlantis
  5. Bloody Mary
  6. El Dorado
  7. King Arthur
  8. The Gordian Knot
  9. Yamashita's Treasures
  10. Prester John

Lady Godiva
Lady Godiva

The Legend of Lady Godiva

Lady Godiva is believed to be an Anglo Saxon woman who lived during the time of 980-1064 AD. She was the wife of the ruler of Coventry, England. She loved her husband dearly, but she always opposed the way her husband treated his people.

When her husband issued a heavy tax on the local people, she decided to protest by wandering the city naked. And so she did, covering herself only with her hair, she wandered the streets of the city. The woman was so highly respected that the entire city shut down their windows while she did so. The only exception was a tailor, who watched through a hole in his shutter as the naked woman roam the city.

The tailor was named "Peeping Tom".

Godiva’s husband abolished the law immediately after her protest.

Robin Hood statue Nottingham, England.
Robin Hood statue Nottingham, England.

The Legend of Robin Hood

Robin Hood is one of the most famous legendary characters of all time. Though his existence is not clearly verified, he is believed to be an Englishman from medieval times.

He was a thief who fought against injustice and tyranny by stealing from the rich and giving the money to the poor. It is believed that he had a group of men working for him whom he called his “Merry Men.”

The Legend of the Fountain of Youth

The legend of the fountain of youth tells about a special fountain which contains water with special powers. It is believed that by drinking this water, a person gains eternal youth. Nobody knows where this fountain is. American legends claim that it is somewhere in Florida, while European legends claim it is in Spain.

The Legend of Atlantis

It is believed that about 9,600 years ago there was an island named Atlantis. It was also a continent that sunk over time. The Ancient Greeks called this place a holy city and believed that it used to lie beyond the Pillars of Hercules. The reason it sunk, according to the legend, is because Greece were not successful in conquering Athens.

The logical explanation of the matter however is that the island sunk due to submarine convulsions or volcanic eruption. The location of Atlantis is alternately given as in the Mediterranean Sea or the Atlantic Ocean. According to research, however, there was never any such island. The matter has been under debate for centuries as many still believe that the island did exist.

One legend about Bloody Mary is depicted in this Halloween card in which a young girl stares at the face of her future husband in a mirror in a darkened room, while the shadow of Bloody Mary lurks behind.
One legend about Bloody Mary is depicted in this Halloween card in which a young girl stares at the face of her future husband in a mirror in a darkened room, while the shadow of Bloody Mary lurks behind.

The Legend of Bloody Mary

Bloody Mary is one of the most popular ghosts in the world. But who was she, really? No one actually knows. There are hundreds of legends about this famous legendary character.

Some say that she was a widow who killed her children, while some say she was a young child who got killed and is wandering around her grave.

The most common legend about Bloody Mary tells that if a person, after midnight, says "Bloody Mary" three times in front of the mirror, Mary's ghost will appear and kill the person.

Some legends also portray her as a good ghost, but mostly she is an evil spirit.

The Legend of El Dorado

The legend of El Dorado originated in South American during the 1530s. It is the story of a tribal chief who lived in a secret kingdom behind the waterfalls of the Amazon River. It is said that the chief of the tribe would cover himself with gold dust (which was present in an ample amount in his kingdom) and jump into the pure water. Legend has it that the story was brought to the world by Spanish wanderers who discovered the kingdom.

King Arthur in combat.
King Arthur in combat.

The Legend of King Arthur

King Arthur is a British legendary character who existed during medieval times and is believed to have led the defense of Britain against the Saxon invaders during the early 6th century. Many theories about his existence have been given by scholars over the centuries, while others say he never existed.

Alexander cutting the Gordian Knot.
Alexander cutting the Gordian Knot.

The Legend of the Gordian Knot

Gordian was an ancient Phrygian king who was prophesized by the gods to become the king of Phrygia. The prophecy told that the first man who enters the city with a cart will be the new king. When Gordian became King, he tied his cart to a tree using a special knot. It was then prophesized that the first man who opened the knot would be the new king. In 333 BC, Alexander entered the city. He sliced the knot with his sword and became the king.

Tomoyuki Yamashita
Tomoyuki Yamashita

The Legend of Yamashita’s Treasures

This legend is comparatively new. According to the legend, during World War II the Japanese General Tomoyuki Yamashita hid a treasure in caves somewhere in the Philippines. The treasure was actually stolen loot, consisting of gold items including bars and some antiques.

The Prester John
The Prester John

The Legend of Prester John

Prester John is believed to have been a king who ruled a nation somewhere in Europe during 12th-13th centuries. According to the legend, he was a righteous man and his kingdom was comprised of great wealth. His kingdom also consisted of magical objects and creatures. However, somehow his kingdom disappeared. Although today many people call it a mythical story, it was believed for many centuries and inspired adventurers to hunt for the lost kingdom and treasure.

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    • profile image

      ea 2 weeks ago

      I like your legends THANKS

    • profile image

      Me 3 weeks ago

      It was a wonderful information related to my studies

      THANK YOU

    • profile image

      Vismay.s.kachrola 3 weeks ago

      Yo

      Hey I liked the post.

    • profile image

      Ask or dare Saki and pasta's 5 weeks ago

      Oki I searched up the bloody Mary legend and found this site with a bunch pf comments debunking the myth so..

    • profile image

      meh 5 weeks ago

      Can some1 tell me other legends?

      BLOODY MARY

    • profile image

      Spongebob 2 months ago

      Spongebob

    • profile image

      hollie roberts 3 months ago

      this is fancastic i like legends

    • profile image

      Jemma 4 months ago

      THANKS

    • profile image

      Bbop 4 months ago

      Thank you

    • profile image

      Bobby 4 months ago

      "Bloody Mary, Bloody Mary, Bloody Mary!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

    • profile image

      bendy 4 months ago

      is there such thing as a ink monster. well i know there is something like it but is it a legends

    • profile image

      mango 4 months ago

      Now I can do my homework. It's due in tomoz.

    • profile image

      Hadouken Mayo 5 months ago

      WHY THE **** IS LADY GODIVA EVEN A FAMOUS LEGEND, NEVER MIND THE MOST POPULAR ONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WHY IS IT EVEN A LEGEND??????????????

    • profile image

      cathy 5 months ago

      Great!

    • profile image

      mike hawk 5 months ago

      nice

    • profile image

      hihiih 6 months ago

      hi people

    • profile image

      8====D 6 months ago

      noice

    • profile image

      rohey 7 months ago

      good

    • profile image

      Avani Nagar 7 months ago

      All the legends are great except the Bloody Mary legend is false. She did actually exist and she was in fact Queen Mary, King Henry the 8th's daughter. She grew up not liking the rules her father made. When she became queen she started to burn people for not following her religion. A name for her started spreading around 'Bloody Mary'. As royalty she needed to have a baby to be the heir to the throne. Fortunately for her she got the symptoms of having one. Her belly grew larger and larger. After nine months everybody waited for the baby. A rumor spread she had a baby boy but that was false. After a few months her belly went back to normal. People said it was a ghost baby. Shortly after another false pregnancy she died. The bloody mary mirror thing is just a game people made up for fun.

    • profile image

      ju 7 months ago

      hi this is cool.

    • profile image

      me 7 months ago

      hi you people

    • profile image

      DreamLotus 8 months ago

      Actually Bilal Shahid. Mary was a real person at one point in time. It's not common knowledge so I understand why you would think she isn't real. This site is interesting but its depiction of the real Bloody Mary is wrong. Mary was a Catholic woman, and she had so many protestants put to death through viscions means, such as having them burned at the stake. Because of this she earned the nickname Bloody Mary. Here's a link. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_I_of_England

    • profile image

      Aleeya liya 8 months ago

      This is very legend, this is good,i cant do my homework now

      Easy and i dont like the bloody marry its scary^_^

    • profile image

      naya 8 months ago

      it helped me with my reading quz

    • profile image

      ANONYMOUS 9 months ago

      ATLANTIS

    • profile image

      dora 9 months ago

      amazing...most of these are so cool

    • profile image

      bilal shahid 5 years ago

      all legends are wonderful except bloody mary which is someone's selfmade.

    • profile image

      Sp 5 years ago

      The Island sunk not "Got sink".

    • profile image

      ozzie edwards 5 years ago

      i didn't know the frist 1 she must have been super hot!;)

    • profile image

      isobel 5 years ago

      great site really helped my son with is work xxx

    • profile image

      HK 5 years ago

      It helped me with my Art work :L

    • profile image

      EpicPinkyPieFan 5 years ago

      It helped me with my english too!

    • profile image

      Nun of ur beeswax 5 years ago

      They helped me with my lame english project!!!!!!!!!!! :P

    • profile image

      5 years ago

      what a legend

    • profile image

      KSR 5 years ago

      I like reading about legends. I like the legend of bloody mary.:-)

    • MysteryPlanet profile image

      MysteryPlanet 6 years ago

      Interesting stuff, I love reading about myths and legends. Watched a program on TV last night about the Trojan Horse and the Cyclops. Great topic Hassam!

    • hassam profile image
      Author

      hassam 6 years ago from Pakistan

      Thanks for sharing the link! :)

    • kentuckyslone profile image

      kentuckyslone 6 years ago

      Nice hub, I shared this on our facebook fan page at http://www.facebook.com/MythsandLegends , I hope it gets you some new readers.

    • crystolite profile image

      Emma 6 years ago from Houston TX

      nice Article. that shows that Gordiva is a virtuous woman.

    • kislany profile image

      kislany 6 years ago from Cyprus

      Great hub. Btw, I hope nobody really believes the Dracula tales and legends :) He really was a great leader for the Romanian people fighting the Turks in those times...

    • agusfanani profile image

      agusfanani 6 years ago from Indonesia

      A very informative hub, Thank for having written this topic.