You are watching: What is a natural phenomenon myth
Today we have irrefutable clinical explanations for organic phenomena like eclipses, comets, and hurricanes. And all the scientific evidence has resolved the questions around just why the planet sometimes shakes and also what causes massive seaside storms. But old peoples didn"t have data and white lab coats and also other points that make science irrefutable, so they had actually to come up v their very own explanations.
Today a solar eclipse is cause for celebration, statewide traffic jams, counterfeit eclipse glasses, and also people damaging their eyes because they weren"t warned around the counterfeit eclipse glasses. In ancient times, a solar eclipse was often a portent the doom. Follow to old Origins, the Greeks thought that bad things would certainly follow a solar eclipse, and that to be pretty tame contrasted to what some other societies thought.
The idea that part terrifying creature was trying come devour the sunlight is pretty extensive — the ancient Chinese assumed it to be a dragon, if the Vietnamese to be pretty certain it was a giant frog. But the winner that the "which sun-eating creature is an ext scary" dispute goes come Hindu mythology, which says that throughout an eclipse the sunlight is swallowed coincidentally by the decapitated head that a demon.
In other cultures, the sun was simply thought to have actually been stolen, generally by misbehaving canines. The Koreans thought it was superordinary dogs, and the Vikings said it was wolves. The finest of every the legends, though, probably comes from a tribe in West Africa — in your mythology an eclipse would occur when the Sun and also Moon were having a disagreement, which people alone might end if only they would all just obtain along. ~ above the other hand, if that one were true we would all be in the shadow of a permanent solar eclipse.
The thing around comets is the one will probably at some point kill us all, so in a means the old legends about them aren"t really that much off. Old Origins says the Greeks and also Romans both believed the figure of a comet was a prophecy of some major event, whether good or bad. A comet that showed up shortly after the assassination that Julius Caesar was believed to have validated Caesar"s claims of divinity, i m sorry must have actually kind of sucked for the senators who killed him.
Most of the time, though, comets were thought to portend death — comets appeared before the fatality of Charlemagne in 814, prior to the occupation of England in 1066, and before the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 A.D.
Even in modern times there are world who think comets have actually some supernatural significance — in 1910 a pseudo-religious group referred to as "The spiritual Followers" tried come sacrifice a virgin because they assumed Halley"s comet to be coming to gain them. And in 1997 over there was more than one group that assumed the comet Hale-Bopp had sinister, alien motivations.
All the doom and also death attached come comets doesn"t really aspect in the part where there have been tons of historic tragedies, battles, and disasters the were not preceded by the illustration of a comet, yet evidently the isn"t yes, really something that old people believed about.
The sucky thing about having multiple gods is it seems prefer they"re always fighting with each other, but at least all the god drama and unconstrained smiting is a pretty good way to explain the unexplainable.
The indigenous Hawaiians were surrounding by the unexplainable and also unpredictable — they stayed in one the the many volcanic locations in the world, where huge eruptions to be just an additional day in paradise. And according come the BBC, scientists have the right to actually uncover evidence of old volcanic eruptions simply by looking at the Hawaiian mythology. Because that example, Pele, the goddess that Kilauea, is stated to have set fire to a forest as an act of revenge versus her sister Hi"iaka. Pele threw the body of Hi"iaka"s lover into the crater the Kilauea, and also when Hi"iaka make the efforts to dig to destruction him out, she sent rocks flying into the air. Volcanologists believe the legend tells the story of the 15th-century eruption the Kilauea, i beg your pardon lasted because that 60 years and eventually led to the summit come collapse into a caldera.
Some people think the story the Atlantis might be an in similar way based on an actual volcano event, which could one day maybe bring about the discovery of the shed city. That would be cool, because over the years Atlantis has kind of ballooned into like the stupidest legend ever, and it yes, really is time because that it to come to be just a bunch that rubble at the bottom of one underwater volcano.
The name "Aurora" and also "borealis" come from the Greeks, who thought the northern lights were the goddess of dawn riding her chariot across the sky. Boreas, the north wind, was claimed to make the lights move. According to the Telegraph, the native Sami civilization of Scandinavia and also parts of Russia believed the lights come from the souls of the dead, i beg your pardon is terrifying because researchers to speak the aurora borealis are somewhere between 50 and 250 miles tall. Instead of rushing the end to excellent them, i beg your pardon is what contemporary humans do, the Sami stayed indoors for fear the lights would take them.
A the majority of myths about the northern lights need to do with shed souls — the human being of Greenland believed the north lights were the souls of stillborn babies. The phibìc American Fox tribe assumed the lights were the souls of your dead enemies, which is yes, really pretty terrifying as soon as you take into consideration that a dead enemy could not possibly have a peaceful motivation for payment a visit. Some people in Canada thought their ancestors" souls to be kicking about the skull of a dead walrus, i m sorry is not rather as sinister as it is weird.
A few outliers believed the north lights could be something other than creepy souls gift extra-creepy — the Scots preferred to think the the lights as dancers, i m sorry is an extremely sweet and kind that surprising coming from a culture that also believed in a type of Loch Ness pony.
In norseman mythology, thunder happens once the god Thor battles Dark Elves for possession the the reality Stone. Five wait, that"s Marvel mythology. In vikings mythology, Thor rides around the skies in a chariot traction by 2 goats, which for a supervisor sexy and all an effective god the thunder sort of sounds favor a entirely wimpy point to do. Goats? since stallions or fire breath dragons room too manly for you, god of thunder?
Anyway, according to norseman Mythology, Thor rides about on his chariot through his 2 goats called "Teeth Barer" and also "Teeth Grinder," i m sorry is ambitious but okay. Therefore the goats traction the chariot, and also when the wheels roll throughout the skies the people on earth hear thunder, and when they make sparks the world see lightning. Thor can also create lightning through his hammer, which that does a lot due to the fact that he"s feeling emasculated around the totality goat-pulled chariot thing.
Unsurprisingly, many other cultures also had divine explanations because that thunder and also lightning — the Greeks assumed lightning to be a weapon the Zeus, and they often put up temples in the locations where lightning struck, mostly so they could ask the god to please protect against hitting them through lightning.
It"s hard to believe, yet once, hurricanes were not simply political tools and also fun challenges for the graphics departments at major news outlets. Hurricanes actually destroyed homes, lives, and also sometimes also killed people. Wait, you mean that still happens today? Jeez.
Anyway, earlier in the dark times, prior to massive computer animation budgets at significant news outlets, as soon as huge, terrifying storms descended without warning on seaside populations, the was basic to imagine the there must be a supernatural force behind every the destruction. According to old Pages, the Chinese believed that hurricanes were brought about by fierce dragon monarchs who live beneath the sea in palaces make from crystal. Hurricanes occurred when the dragon majesties breached the surface ar of the water and flew through the air.
The Greeks had actually ideas around hurricanes, too, because the Greeks had actually ideas about everything. In Greece, massive coastal storms were called cyclones, and also they were resulted in by the god Poseidon, who cursed the city of Athens ~ he shed a battle of wits versus the goddess Athena. So, yay girl power, boo hurricane curses. Larger Greek mythology has one more hurricane legend — some stories say that Zeus had some buddies called the Hekatonkheires who had 50 heads and also 100 hands, and they can use your ridiculous variety of appendages come smack the water around and also whip increase a hurricane. Yikes.
Human beings have actually walked on the Moon, yet beliefs around our celestial neighbor"s cosmic influence are remarkable persistent. Simply ask any kind of kindergarten teacher with a classroom complete of riotous kids on a full moon. In truth the word "lunatic" comes from the Latin "luna" because that moon due to the fact that of the one-time widespread belief that the crazies come out throughout those few fully illuminated nights of the month. Yet most contemporary people over the period of, say, 8 know the scientific research behind the waxing and waning of the moon — in the old days, it wasn"t so simple.
According to India Divine, in the historical Vedic faith (which formed part of the basis for modern Hinduism), the Moon was one of elements of Soma, i m sorry you may remember native the flashback you just had to your center school English class was also the surname of the drug supplied to store the populace compliant in Aldous Huxley"s Brave brand-new World. In the Vedic mythology, Soma to be the elixir of the gods. The Moon was periodically seen together the cup whereby Tvastar, the guardian the Soma, maintained the wonder drink. The Moon waned as soon as the gods were having their mystical version of a kegger, and also it waxed as soon as the cup to be topped up.
Explanations for the waxing and waning of the Moon vary quite a bit, yet interestingly, virtually no old legend seems to include riotous kindergarteners. Probably the difficulty is that teachers are tired and don"t acquire paid enough.
Earthquakes are an additional natural phenomenon the really begs for some type of cosmic explanation. It"s really basic to imagine how old people can have mistaken that seemingly arbitrarily shaking of the earth as an upset god trying to rattle some sense right into an unruly population.
According to Scientific American, the Japanese once thought that an eternal struggle between the god Kashima and also a gigantic catfish dubbed Namazu is the root resource of one earthquake. Kashima is tasked with immobilizing Namazu v a large stone, however even gods obtain sick of repeated tasks and also every now and also then Kashima slacks off. As soon as that happens, the fish wiggles his huge tail, and the world gets one earthquake.
The idea that earthquakes are caused by giant animals is in reality a pretty common one. In some indigenous American traditions, the mythical thunderbird resulted in earthquakes and also tidal tide whenever he had a disagreement through a whale. In China, the classic explanation for an earthquake is the an extremely precarious place of planet Earth, i m sorry is wedged in in between a bunch that elephants, which space standing ~ above the back of a turtle, i m sorry is hosted up through cobra. So once one of the elephants needs to scratch itself, or really move at all, the planet shakes.
Tornadoes room so terrifying that they"ve also spawned contemporary legends — there"s the one around the girl who was brushed up up in a tornado and also then ended up in a wonder land occupied by witches and also flying monkeys, and also there was additionally that one legend whereby Bill Paxton chases tornadoes approximately for fun and also adventure, which no one remembers since that movie sucked.
Anyway, tornadoes are scary, and also if you"ve ever witnessed the damage one that them pipeline behind, it"s quite wrath-of-god. So old people not only required an explanation because that tornadoes, they also needed some sort of hope that they could be controlled or at the very least diverted, since otherwise crap.
According to NPR, the Kiowa tribe of Oklahoma believed that tornadoes were brought about by a mystical "Storm-Maker" named Red Horse. Red steed was equine in virtually every way except because that his tail, which was the backside the a snake. Once Red equine whipped his tail, that made a tornado.
Thankfully, over there were also people in ~ the tribe who supposedly possessed the capability to divert a tornado, which to be handy if you weren"t crazy about the idea of pack up one entire village on short an alert because Red horse was to plan a visit. The idea the humans have the right to influence the direction that a tornado even persists in some areas today.
Tornadoes are scary, and so space earthquakes and also hurricanes and volcanoes, but if you desire to talk uber, ultra scary, climate a 1,720-foot tsunami is around as negative as the gets.
Like the aboriginal Hawaiians, the ancient people that the northwestern United states lived under the continuous threat of natural disaster, only their supernaturals stirred up the waves rather of the mountains. And evidence that past occasions can be uncovered in their verbal stories, too.
See more: Saint Bernard Weight At 3 Months, How Fast Do St Bernards Grow
According to Forbes, Duwamish legends say there room boulders along the shores the Puget Sound that are haunted by terrifying shape-shifters. Anyone hope to strategy the boulders knows no to perform it from the coastal side, because the upset spirits will certainly shake the ground and also whip up substantial waves to punish the hapless trespasser. Researchers have actually been maybe to determine the resource of some of these boulders — a primitive landslide that may have been associated with a significant earthquake and tsunami event. It makes sense the these sites finished up through terrifying legends attached come them. First, the legends warned people around tsunamis, and second, mobile boulders perform sort of cry the end for a superordinary explanation.
These stories room echoed in various other tsunami-prone areas, too, however the major common denominator is the inquiry of what one need to do in situation of a tsunami. "When the sea disappears," warn old story from Thailand, "don"t look back, but run as quick as you can to the following hill."