The symbol of Irkutsk, Russia, is a mythological monster known as the babr. When the city first created its coat of arms in the 1600s, it used “babr,” an old local word, to describe a Siberian tiger. Sadly, as the years went on, tigers became extirpated and the chosen word fell out of fashion.
In the late 19th century, when officials in Saint Petersburg were tasked with redrawing the city’s coat of arms, they were baffled by the strange, foreign-looking word. Thinking someone had accidentally misspelled bobr (beaver), they took it upon themselves to concoct an entirely new creature.