Forewarning: I often make bad jokes and puns.
AKA: Firebird, Bennu, Feng-Huang, and Yel (all counterparts)
Origin: Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece, Persia, China (basically all over Euroasia)
The Phoenix is one of the most recognized mythical creatures of all time. It is mentioned throughout the world, but is nearly always a symbol of ever-lasting life. Having one of its earliest origins in Ancient Egypt where they believed the bird to be immortal, as many do, and was believed to be linked to the Egyptian creation myth. The most common theme with the Phoenix is the idea of rebirth, or reincarnation. The Arabic origins are where it is mentioned that the bird’s feathers are ranges of scarlet, red and orange, giving it the look of being on fire. It lives off of plants, killing nothing in order to survive and it holds itself in a regal manner. The Chinese Phoenix has many of the same characteristics, as well as representing the union between Yin and Yang. It is also the representation of the power from the heavens to the emperor/empress.
Two notable mentions of a Phoenix in modern media is in the Harry Potter franchise and in Pokemon where one of the legendary Pokemon, Ho-Oh is based on the Chinese Phoenix, Feng-Huang.
What’s so weird about it?
Not so much as weird as it is amazing. Quite possibly the most known traits of the Phoenix is the flames and rebirth. Some believe there can only be one Phoenix on this Earth at time, which makes it a very lonely birdy in my opinion. Its lifespan varies, some sources saying it is every thousand years, 500 years, 1461 years, or even 12,994 years.
Once it decides it’s the time to take a break, it will make itself a funeral pyre. The funeral pyre is made out of sweet smelling branches and twigs as well as spices. It then proceeds to light itself on fire and turns into ashes. After a period of three days, it will emerge out of the ashes, or even out of the still-burning fire, as a younger Phoenix ready to take on the world.
It will then gather the ashes of the previous Phoenix and put them into an egg-like container and carry it to the altar of the sun god at Heliopolis, Egypt. This is meant to represent the “death” of the sun, as it rises and sets.
On a mildly unrelated note, Warsaw, the capital of Poland, is nicknamed the “Phoenix City” for how it as survived and rebuilt throughout its history.
What if I see it?
Kneel before the Phoenix and be in awe of its glory.
Honestly it is a kind gentle king of birds, there is no reason whatsoever to fear it.
Unless your hair catches fire of its flames, then panic.