Pokémon (ポケットモンスター, Pocket Monsters; ポケモン, Pokémon?) are creatures that live in the Pokémon universe, both in the human world and Mystery World. There are currently 802 known and studied species in the human world, but there are more waiting to be discovered by the humans that live there. Inherent to these creatures are fantastic powers such as the manipulation of fire or electricity. Pokémon live in place of animals.
While most Pokémon resemble animals and may behave like them, there are many that do not resemble animals at all; taking on other forms such as plants, inanimate objects, machines, human-like forms or other more enigmatic and exotic appearances. Pokémon inhabit an extremely diverse range of habitats, ranging from the driest deserts to the lushest jungles, the deepest oceans to the highest mountains and everything else in-between, even outer space and other dimensions. Pokémon take up various ways of living in those places. However, all can be befriended and made into potential allies.
Many Pokémon are known to evolve from or into other Pokémon, a process that typically makes them larger and stronger, and more closely resembles growth and development or metamorphosis rather than evolution in the real world. Pokémon typically know several techniques that they can use in battle or elsewhere, either to defend themselves or their Trainer, or to perform a task.
Most Pokémon are known only to say their name, but others were taught to speak, such as Team Rocket's Meowth. Still others are able to talk due to the fact that they are Legendary or Mythical Pokémon, though the majority of these cases are achieved through telepathy.
Human World History
Pokémon have existed far before humans, with humans having evolved from Pokémon about four million years ago. Pokémon were not known as Pokémon, at first, but simply referred to as "magical creatures" (魔獣, majuu?). In these times, Pokémon were apparently feared due to their supernatural powers, so much that some of these were passed into legend and even regarded as myths.
PokéBalls have not existed forever and are a more recent development. The PokéBalls that a young Professor Oak used, for instance, were of a much older model than the ones used in the present time. Prior to the invention and mass-production of modern PokéBalls, people would use hollowed-out Apricorns from the Johto region.