The scariest Greek Mythology Mythical Creatures | Kids Love Greece
The scariest Greek Mythology Mythical Creatures
Greek mythology is filled with amazing stories of heroes, warriors, and demigods that face unimaginable creatures and monsters. The following classic mythical beasts have captured imaginations for centuries.
Here we present you the top 7 scariest Greek mythological creatures.
One of the most famous Greek mythological monsters was Cerberus. He was a monstrous offspring of the ancient Typhon and Echidna, half woman –half snake. This huge multi-headed dog was a formidable guardian of the gate to the Underworld as a servant of Hades. Various ancient authors used to ascribe him from one to even one hundred heads, but the most accepted versions speak of three fearsome dog heads. Bringing this hound of Hades to Eurystheus was the last work of Heracles, which he completed by defeating the infernal dog with his bare hands.
Although the Sphinx is most closely associated with ancient Egypt, this mythical beast was also famous in the ancient Greek world. The Sphinx is a monster that was said to have the head of a woman, the body of a lion, and the wings of an eagle.
Sphinxes in the ancient Greek tradition were gatekeepers and were often depicted above tombs. The most famous sphinx, however, is the one that blocked Oedipus’s way and demanded an answer to the following riddle: “What creature walks upon four feet in the morning, upon two feet at noon, and upon three in the evening?” The creature threatened Oedipus with death unless he was able to provide the correct answer. Oedipus was wise though, and after some consideration, he answered the riddle: “Man crawls on all fours as a young child, walks on two feet as an adult, and during the sunset of his life requires the help of a cane.” That was indeed the answer to the Sphinx’s riddle and Oedipus was free to continue his travels, unlike many others before him who were devoured by the beast.
The Minotaur is another mixed creature that combined the head and a torso of a bull and the body of a man. His history is related to the king of Crete Minos, who refused to slaughter a white bull as a sacrifice to the sea god Poseidon. The furious god decided to punish Minos and cursed him. Thus, the Minotaur was born. To contain and hide the ferocious beast king Minos built a large Labyrinth, where he closed the monster. The inhumanly strong creature was used to eat human flesh, as every 9 years he was delivered 7 young Athenian boys and 7 girls. The tyranny of Minotaur was ended by an Athenian hero Theseus, who slew him with the help of a Cretan princess Ariadne.
Medusa is the name of the most famous of three sisters called the Gorgons. She was an atrocious winged beast that had snakes instead of hair. She was said to be so ugly that anyone who would dare to gaze at her face turned immediately into stone. Medusa met her fate when the demigod Perseus killed her and gifted her head to the goddess Athena. She then placed the awful head on her shield to scare away her enemies.
The Chimera was another hybrid creature that combined three separate animals: the body and head of a lion, a goat head that emerged from the lion’s back, and a tail that was ending in a snake’s head. On top of that this monstrous creature was able to breathe fire from all three heads and kill its victims from afar. The earliest mention and description of this deadly beast can be found in Homer’s Iliad. The Chimera was said to be the sibling of Hydra, Sphinx, and Cerberus. It was terrorizing the region of Lycia and to protect his people its king ordered Bellerophon, a Corinthian hero, to kill the dreadful creature. Bellerophon fought and killed Chimera with the help of his flying horse and a son of Medusa, Pegasus. From above he pierced the monster’s mouth with a spear, whose spike was made of lead. When Chimera tried to breathe fire, the metal melted flooding its internal organs and killing it on the spot.
Hydra was a monstrous many-headed water snake that lived in the swamps around Lerna in the Peloponnese. Her numerous heads were breathing a poisonous vapor, and even her blood was extremely deadly. The biggest advantage of Hydra was her incredible regeneration trait, which proved to be extremely hard to overcome with her fight with Heracles. Every time the hero cut off one of the serpent heads, two others grew in its place. The only way to defeat the monster was to burn down the wounds where the heads were chopped off so the next one could not grow. But the last of the Hydra’s heads was immortal, and could not die even separated from the body. To get rid of it Heracles put it under a huge rock.
As the youngest son of Gaia and Tartarus, Typhon was one of the oldest creatures that ever walked the Earth, and himself father of many monsters, such as the abovementioned Cerberus, Sphinx, Chimera and Hydra. He was a dreadful giant taller than the highest mountains, and whose head reached the skies and while stretching his hands he could reach both ends of the Earth. His upper part of the body was partly human-shaped, but he had a hundred snake heads on his shoulders, and a pair of huge wings. Instead of legs he had two enormous snake tails. He was the mightiest of creatures, his snake heads were intimidating his enemies with constant hissing, and his eyes were throwing flames as he wished. Typhon was so confident in his unnatural strength and the power of his fiery gaze, that he challenged Zeus over the rule of the world. This fight he could not win however, and he end up stroke be a Zeus’ lightning and crushed with the mount Etna on Sicily. To this day, when he struggles to get out, the earth shakes with him and his fiery breath melts down rocks of the mountain.
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