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A nasnas is a monstrous creature in Arab folklore. According to Edward Lane, the 19th century translator of The Thousand and One Nights, a nasnas is "half a human being; having half a head, half a body, one arm, one leg, with which it hops with much agility". In the Hadramaut they were eaten. A species having wings like bats lived on an island in the Sea of China.

It was believed to be the offspring of a demon called a Shiqq and a human being. A character in "The Story of the Sage and the Scholar", a tale from the collection, is turned into a nasnas after a magician applies kohl to one of his eyes. The nasnas is mentioned in Gustave Flaubert's The Temptation of Saint Anthony.

DescriptionEdit

The Nesnás is described as resembling half a human being; having half a head, half a body, one arm, and one leg, with which it hops with much agility; as being found in the woods of El-Yemen; and that one was brought alive to El-Mutawekkil: it resembled a man in form, excepting that it had but half a face, which was in its breast, and a tail like that of a sheep. The people of Hadramót, it is added, eat it; and its flesh is sweet. It is only generated in their country. A man who went there asserted that he saw a captured Nesnás, which cried out for mercy, conjuring him by God and by himself. A race of people whose head is in the breast is described as inhabiting an island called Jábeh (supposed to be Java), in the Sea of El-Hind, or India. A kind of Nesnás is also described as inhabiting the Island of Ráïj, in the Sea of Es-Seen, or China, and having wings like those of the bat.

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