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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Myths and Legends

I just read these articles about the factual basis of certain myths. The articles discuss how certain aspects of myths and fairy tales are, or could be, based on real life.

"The Science of Fairy Tales" discusses how Rapunzel could have used her hair to allow a prince to climb up to her tower prison, and the science behind a floating carpet.

In "The Science of Sea Monsters" we read that a Narwhal's tusk was the basis of unicorn myths, and other creatures (such as the Giant Squid) were perceived as sea monsters.

And in "The Surprising Realities of Mythical Creatures" we learn that, after a closee encounter with a "sea maiden", Columbus wrote in his journal that they were "not as pretty as they are depicted". It's funny that anyone would think a manatee was any kind of "maiden".

And there are many other animals that were the actual basis of many other legendary monsters. King Kong was based on actual gorillas. Dragons were based on MUCH smaller lizards. Just imagine, how you would perceive a tarantula, if one fell on your face after a scary trip and fall in the dark. An exceptionally strong man might easily have been the basis for Hercules, Samson, etc..


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