In Japanese myth there’s a creature called the Ashiaraiyashiki. It is a giant, unwashed foot that appears before you and demands to be washed. If you don’t wash it, it will rampage through your house.
There is a scientific theory that early humans survived the ice age by stumbling upon a temperate and fertile stretch of land in southern Africa about 200,000 years ago. If correct, this area is likely the inspiration for the Garden of Eden and various other paradise myths.