Huodou (Chinese: 祸斗) is a legendary creature originating within the minorities of southern China.[1]


It is described as having the appearance of a large black dog that can emit flames from its mouth. Fire would break out wherever the Huodou went, so the ancients saw it as a sign of fire and often an ominous symbol. It is probably a demonized tribal symbol of southern China.[2]

The "Shanhaijing" states: "There are people and beasts in the south who eat fire. Their country is near Hei Kunlun (Black Kunlun). People there can eat coals, and fire-eating beasts are also known as Calamities." The Shanhaijing also mentioned that the body of the Huodou is black.

It is also noted in the Chiya[Chinese script needed] of the Ming Dynasty: "the Huodou looks like a dog and eats dog dung, it eats fire and spits fire, it is ominous".


  1. ^ Strassberg, Richard E. (5 March 2018). A Chinese Bestiary: Strange Creatures from the Guideways Through Mountains and Seas. University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-29851-4.
  2. ^ Shizhen, Li (2 February 2021). Ben Cao Gang Mu, Volume II: Waters, Fires, Soils, Metals, Jades, Stones, Minerals, Salts. University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-37989-3.