Superstitions are everywhere and pretty common. Here’s an interesting list of superstitions about animals from all over the world, ranging from lucky to unlucky.

Fireflies and Fortune

According to a 2013 article by Liz Langley published in National Geographic, if a firefly enters your home, it means one of several things: good luck, an unexpected visitor, or even an impending marriage if there’s a single person in the house. It could also mean there will be a party soon. Apt when you think about that song about ten million fireflies lighting up the world — dance lights, perhaps?

Wily Coyote

Luckily enough, coyotes aren’t anywhere close to native in this country and in others, you would have to be smack in the middle of the desert to come across one. See, according to Navajo folklore, coyotes bring misfortune.

If a coyote crosses your path, it would be a better idea to turn around and not continue on with your journey, said Ernest Bulows in an article for NavajoCentral.org. It would be safer to just go home and try again the next day if you need to go somewhere.

Once You Go Black

Black cats have a bad rap for being unlucky. They are also associated with witchcraft, and even the spooky and the undead (the witch hunts in the dark ages didn’t help at all). However, in the UK and Ireland, that’s not quite the case.

A 2018 news article by Becky Pemberton for The Sun UK says that black felines are not as unlucky as people might think. If one crosses your path or walks toward you, it can mean good luck. And if a random black cat enters your house, no worries. According to the Scots, it’s a sign of prosperity.

A Bug for the Better

Thanks to a 2000-year history, China considers crickets to be symbols of luck. To the Chinese, the cricket is a lucky charm that symbolizes longevity, according to ChinaTravel.com.

They see the cycle of life, death, and even resurrection in a cricket. The sound of cricket chirps were said to bring out poetic inspiration and even to soothe one to sleep. The cricket is an all-around little bug, it seems.

Counting Crows

Seems like if an animal is black, it can’t really catch a break with being unlucky, huh? Crows don’t even have to fly into your home or peck at your windows for them to be considered unlucky; they kind of just have to be there. Sad things.

What’s more, the superstition goes that if a number of them are seen to hang around a singular house, it means incredibly bad luck for those living there – to be more specific, death. Want to avoid that? Tip your hat at it or even take a bow to supposedly reduce any risk of disaster, according to The Encyclopedia of Superstitions by Richard Webster.

The good news is that if you see a single crow just hanging around and sitting on its own, then go ahead and make a wish. A lone crow is the ultimate good luck charm.

Foxy Tricks

In Japan, foxes have a duality to them. According to old lore, foxes are divine creatures. All foxes have supernatural powers and may either be good or bad entities.

The good foxes are referred to as Inari-foxes because of the god they serve and are associated with prosperity. The bad foxes are afraid of the Inari-foxes. The foxes aren’t gods, but just messengers and servants to them. To the Japanese, you have to show a fox respect to be able to communicate with the god Inari, according to the book Glimpses of Unfamiliar Japan, written by Lafcadio Hearn in 2010.

This appeared in Animal Scene magazine’s October 2018 issue.