A Sphinx is a mythological creature that originated in Egypt, and was later imported to Greece, with the word "sphinx" itself being of Greek origin. The Egyptian sphinx is most often depicted as a reclining lion with the head of a human man. Less commonly, it will be a lion with the head of a ram, in which case it is called a "criosphinx." The most well known example of the Egyptian sphinx is the Great Spinx at Giza.
The creature was later imported into Greek mythology, where it became a daughter of Echidna and Typhon. This sphinx is described as having the head (and in later times, breasts) of a woman, the body of a lion, and the wings of an eagle. It sat on the road to the city of Thebes, and asked all who passed by a famous riddle: "What creature walks on four legs in the morning, two legs at noon, and three legs at night?" She killed all those who answered wrong. Oedipus finally gave the correct answer of "man," and the Sphinx immediately killed herself in rage.
Sphinx first appears alongside Seth in his boss room in the Abyss Tower instance of alternate Shinjuku Babel. It also appeared in the Ordeal of Soul event instance alongside Anubis. It was implemented as an obtainable PG and plug-in during the follow-up event.
"A beast from Greek lore with the head and breasts of a woman, but the body of a lion and feathered wings. The goddess Hera sent her to Thebes, where she asked a riddle of those attempting to pass. Oedipus answered correctly and she threw herself off the cliff, killing herself. In Egyptian lore, she was a statue related to the sun god. One Sphinx had the head of a pharaoh."
"To think the cognitive version of a person would transform into such a horrible monster and attack us..."
—Yusuke Kitagawa, Persona 5
CognitiveWakaba Isshiki is the the boss of Futaba's Palace and takes the form of a giant Sphinx with Wakaba's head. Unlike most Palace Bosses, she is not the battle form of a Shadow Self (and in fact Shadow Futaba appears as an ally), but a Cognition formed from Futaba Sakura's survivor guilt, desire for self-destruction and belief that she was an unwanted burden on her mother. (In other words, this is how Futaba views Wakaba.) As Futaba never interacts with others, Cognitive Wakaba is the only Cognition within the Palace. She has a spiteful and vengeful personality, existing only to "punish" Futaba for being the reason the real Wakaba died (as Wakaba sacrificed herself to save Futaba) and repeatedly mocks both her and the Phantom Thieves of Hearts for being childish and useless.
Sphinx is the Atma Avatar of Zaphia, one of the two bodyguards of Jinana. She is credited as the fastest Atma in her own tribe. During the raid of Solids' citadel in Anahata, Sphinx carries Serph along with the unconscious Jinana who is near the verge of being completely overwhelmed by the hunger back to Embryon's base in Muladhara in order to allow her be treated by Sera. The desperate rescue is successful.
"A beast from Greek mythology with the head and breasts of a beautiful woman, the body of a lion and hawk-like wings. In a rage, the goddess Hera sent Sphinx to punish the people of Thebes, where Sphinx asked a riddle of those attempting to pass, eating those who could not answer. The hero Oedipus answered correctly and in shock threw herself off a cliff, to her death. However, in Egyptian lore, she was worshiped as a symbol of the sun god."