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A creation myth (or cosmogonic myth) is a symbolic narrative of how the world began and how people first came to inhabit it.
The classification identifies five basic types: ex nihilo, Earth diver, emergence myths, creation by the dismemberment of a primordial being, creation by the splitting or ordering of a primordial unity such as the cracking of a cosmic egg or a bringing order from chaos.
Creation myths often share a number of features. They often are considered sacred accounts and can be found in nearly all known religious traditions. They are all stories with a plot and characters who are either deities, human-like figures, or animals, who often speak and transform easily. They are often set in a dim and nonspecific past that historian of religion Mircea Eliade termed in illo tempore ('at that time').