Belief in the existence of monstrous races of human beings was central to medieval thinking, although almost everything about them was open to debate and discussion. The only characteristic universally agreed upon was that they were always to be found far away, beyond the borders of the world as it was then known. Almost as common were references to the physical deformities of the monstrous races: there were gigantic races and tiny races, those with extremities misshapen, missing, enlarged, or multiplied, and every variety of human/animal hybrid.
Sarah J. Biggs: Monsters and Marvels in the Beowulf Manuscript, in: Medieval and Earlier Manuscripts Blog, 2013-03-06.
Miniatur eines Vertreters der langohrigen Panotii, aus den Marvels of the East, England, Ende 10. Jh., British Library, Cotton MS Vitellius A XV, f. 104r.
The panotii were so timid that they would flee immediately upon seeing a stranger, ‘so swiftly one might think that they flew.’