Saturday, June 25, 2011

Romancing the Beast: Beyond Vampires and Werewolves.

Centaurs

Here's my last post of the day. I could spend days talking about the vast variety of creatures spawned by mythology since humans first started drawing on cave walls, but that would mean me rambling on for days. So I'll end with centaurs--which have been used many times in fantasy, but I love them anyway.

In Greek mythology, the centaur was a half-human, half-horse being, and as you can imagine, was often depicted with a somewhat wild and untamed nature. They weren't above stealing and carrying away nymphs and other women. To do what, I don't wish to speculate. In early Greek mythology there wasn't mention of female centaurs, but they do appear in later mythologies upon occasion. Thank the heavens. That solved one of the plausibility issue I have with centaur reproduction.

Still, I wonder how the centaur's human upper body deals with the nutritional needs of his horse lower body. An average horse eats about a bale of hay a day. Maybe centaurs like oatmeal. A lot of oatmeal. LOL. And just how does a human's respiratory system draw in enough air supply for a horse's body? Welcome to the wonderful realm of fantasy.

Take a moment to examine Centaur biology and see if you can come up with answers. I'm stumped. I'm getting a little off topic here, but dragons are another mythological beast which raises questions. They were supposed to be able to fly and breathe fire. Breathe. Fire. Ouch.

There are other horse-like creatures in various mythologies. The unicorn. Interested in virgins. Yep. That sounds like a loaded question. Moving on. The kelpie, a shape-shifting black pony from Irish folklore with the bad habit of drowning anyone he could trick into riding him. Imagine him having to explain that to a woman if he ever happened to fall in love.

There is so much mythology to explore; I could probably talk about it for the next couple months. If you ever have a free moment, or need a break from your present work in progress, go to your library and do some research, see if any myth call to you. Remember to have fun.

2 comments:

Heather Haven said...

Well, Lisa, this has been an exploration of mythology like never before. I've often wondered if there ever were unicorns and if so, did they became extinct like the woolly mammouth? I wonder if in 1000 years someone will think the Giant Panda, who seems to be heading out, was merely a myth. Well, that's where my mind goes. I really like the Phoenix, as I mentioned before. Great blog, toots.

S.Durham said...

Hi Lisa, late here:) but I thoroughly enjoyed reading the information you've shared about mythological beasts, and how you crafted each to make them unique to your stories. The phoenix and gryphon are especially intriguing as dark heros. Looking forward to reading your work:)

Cheers, Sara