A creation myth (or cosmogonic myth) is a symbolic narrative of how the world began and how people first came to inhabit it.[2][4] While in popular usage the term myth often refers to false or fanciful stories, members of cultures often ascribe varying degrees of truth to their creation myths.[5][6] In the society in which it is told, a creation myth is usually regarded as conveying profound truths, metaphorically, symbolically and sometimes in a historical or literal sense.[7][8] They are commonly, although not always, considered cosmogonical myths – that is, they describe the ordering of the cosmos rom a state of chaos or amorphousness.[9]

Creation myths often share a number of features. They often are considered sacred  accounts and can be found in nearly all known religious traditions.[10] They are all stories with a plot and characters who are either deities, human-like figures, or animals, who often speak and transform easily.[11] They are often set in a dim and nonspecific past that historian of religion Mircea Eliade termed in illo tempore (‘at that time’).[10][12] Creation myths address questions deeply meaningful to the society that shares them, revealing their central worldview and the framework for the self-identity of the culture and individual in a universal context.[13]

Creation myths develop in oral traditions and therefore typically have multiple versions;[3] found throughout human culture, they are the most common form of myth.[7]