Monday, April 9, 2018

A-Z Challenge: H is for Hydra

Today is the start of week two of the AtoZ Challenge and we're on the letter H! So far, I've featured some really cool creatues for my Under the Sea Myths & Legends and today is probably one of my favorite.

H is for Hydra

Imagine a multi-headed, serpent-like dragon from Greek Mythology that can't kill.  This water freak-beast is awe-inspiring and you guessed it...evil. If I had to bet on a sea creature kicking the most ass this would be the one. 

According to Britannica, Hydra was a "gigantic water-snake-like monster with nine heads (the number varies), one of which was immortal." He had wicked-sharp teeth and supposedly deadly breath to humans. The creature had regenerative capabilities and also, poisonous blood. If one head was cut off, several would grow in its place. With all these traits and the fact that it was immortal, this sea monster was formidable.

Gustave Moreau's 19th-century
depiction of the Hydra,
influenced by the Beast from
the Book of Revelation
The Hydra lived in a cave near  "Amymone spring" which legend states was an entrance to the underworld. Hydra was the gatekeeper to the mouth of hell and would often terrorize and eat local villagers. Hercules was said to have killed the beast by beheading Hydra, one snake-head at a time. Eventually, he cut off the immortal head and was said to bury the head under a rock. This image below depicts a larger version of Hydra.

Older Greek references have the beast looking more snake-like than dragon.  It's parents were  Typhon, "a grisly monster with a hundred dragons’ heads"  and Echidna, a snake-like monster who was half woman, half serpent. Hydra's father, Typhon, who was beyond vile, was cast out by Zues himself and sent to the underworld. Yikes, that's one terrifying sea monster with a heck of a family tree.

That's it for the letter H!

1 comment:

mshatch said...

I didn't know Hydra was the offspring of Typhon! I guess like father like son, right?