History of Monsters

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RubyHypatia
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History of Monsters

Postby RubyHypatia » Thu Sep 22, 2011 2:56 am

I just read an interesting article about the history of monsters in the August issue of Realms of Fantasy magazine. My sister-in-law gave a bunch of these magazines to my daughter, and they caught my attention. I just love reading about the history behind mythologies. It's good that we don't live in fear of these imagined creatures like our ancestors did. It was bad enough being a child scared of monsters.

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Re: History of Monsters

Postby geology rocks » Thu Sep 22, 2011 4:23 am

RubyHypatia wrote:It's good that we don't live in fear of these imagined creatures like our ancestors did. It was bad enough being a child scared of monsters.


It's unfortunate, but I think many people still believe in monsters. Big Pharma/Government conspiracies, etc. Seems like imaginary monsters to me.
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Re: History of Monsters

Postby Gord » Thu Sep 22, 2011 10:27 am

I'm extremely interested in mythology too, especially comparative mythology. My local public library is disappointingly flimsy in this section of its collection, but currently I am borrowing Beyond the blue horizon : myths and legends of the sun, moon, stars, and planets by E. C. Krupp, and I'm waiting for them to bring in Star tales Ian Ridpath. (They both deal with myths about the stars and constellations -- I hope.)
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Re: History of Monsters

Postby Monster » Thu Sep 22, 2011 2:43 pm

geology rocks wrote:
RubyHypatia wrote:It's good that we don't live in fear of these imagined creatures like our ancestors did. It was bad enough being a child scared of monsters.


It's unfortunate, but I think many people still believe in monsters. Big Pharma/Government conspiracies, etc. Seems like imaginary monsters to me.

Well stated!

Yes, lots of people still believe in monsters. The traditional kind, such as Mokele Mbembe, and the less traditional kind, such as aliens that abduct people to perform experiments on humans.
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Re: History of Monsters

Postby RubyHypatia » Thu Sep 22, 2011 3:50 pm

I just read an article on Vampires in one of those magazines, and learned an interesting fact. Vampires were the scapegoat when cause of death could not be determined. People kept dying in this one family and they suspected their dead mother. They exumed her body twice, the second time they just totally destroyed her corpse. Supposedly that did the trick. How horrible it must have been to think a dead relative was killing your living ones.

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Re: History of Monsters

Postby Poodle » Tue Nov 22, 2011 12:24 am

There always was one group of people who would have had a vested interest in the promulgation of stories of creepy things in the woods.

Poachers.

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Re: History of Monsters

Postby OlegTheBatty » Tue Nov 22, 2011 1:09 am

The notion that the nobility owned the land, and hence, poachers came long after the stories of creepy things in the woods.
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Re: History of Monsters

Postby octopus1 » Thu May 30, 2013 6:26 pm

Wide-Eyed Disneyfied Little Girl: "Daddy? Will you check under my bed for monsters?"
[All instances of 'r' should be pronounced as 'w' and god help her if they're not...]
Father: "Oh, honey, there's no such thing as monsters!"
[Beat]
Father: "But yes. Yes I will. Just let me get my shotgun..."

That was an excerpt from my latest crowd-pleaser - "The Eight-Year Old Child Who Is Initially Very Shy But Is Subsequently Not Concerned By The Thought Of Dancing Very Professionally, Very Stereotypically And Very Embarrassingly In Front Of Several People Who (If They Were Real Human Beings) Would Want To Beat The Holy Beejesus Out Of The Cocky Little Brat."

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Re: History of Monsters

Postby Daedalus » Sat Jun 01, 2013 10:13 pm

OlegTheBatty wrote:The notion that the nobility owned the land, and hence, poachers came long after the stories of creepy things in the woods.


Ain't that the truth.

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Re: History of Monsters

Postby Alexander941 » Sat Aug 31, 2013 11:42 pm

Question: Did we ever find a creature of myth which was a real animal but got transformed into an evil bloodthirsty or supernatural beast?

I only know about these giant calmars which were found only recently to be real animals, anything else?

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Re: History of Monsters

Postby Poodle » Sun Sep 01, 2013 1:44 am

Maybe. There's a theory that the legend of Giants developed from the discovery of dinosaur bones.

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Re: History of Monsters

Postby octopus1 » Sun Sep 01, 2013 10:22 am

Poodle wrote:Maybe. There's a theory that the legend of Giants developed from the discovery of dinosaur bones.


That makes sense. I hadn't heard of it, but it does gel together!

Everyone sees things "wrong" the first time around. That's why people are initially segregated into schools, where they may learn to think better.

Or not, as the case all too often appears to be!
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Re: History of Monsters

Postby Daedalus » Sun Sep 01, 2013 1:36 pm

Alexander941 wrote:Question: Did we ever find a creature of myth which was a real animal but got transformed into an evil bloodthirsty or supernatural beast?

I only know about these giant calmars which were found only recently to be real animals, anything else?


That depends... if you mean "monsters" that turn out to exist as described, then you have giant and colossal squid, and maybe a few others.

If you mean misunderstood or poorly described "monsters" that are really something else, then there are a ton.
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Re: History of Monsters

Postby Alexander941 » Sun Sep 01, 2013 4:15 pm

I meantg the first.

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Re: History of Monsters

Postby Daedalus » Sun Sep 01, 2013 4:18 pm

Well then at one time probably most large cetaceans, sharks, mollusks, and fish, and a handful of birds like the Harpy Eagle. Gorillas and Baboons definitely were the subject of mythical treatment, and probably a handful of large snakes as well.
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"Given time and plenty of paper, philosophers can prove anything." (Robert Heinlein)
"The map is not the territory." (Alfred Korzybski)
“You’re in the desert, you see a tortoise lying on its back, struggling, and you’re not helping — why is that?" (Bladerunner)

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Re: History of Monsters

Postby Major Malfunction » Sun Sep 01, 2013 5:05 pm

When all you've got to protect you from the megafauna predators is the light of a campfire, a bark hut and a pointy stick, pretty much anything would seem like a monster.
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Re: History of Monsters

Postby Alexander941 » Fri Sep 06, 2013 7:09 pm

Is that really so?

I think a Monster is something more vague, "unnatural", and hard to access if i can say so.

Predatory Animals, which are a danger for Humans or their livestock, dont have these attributes, they are far to often sighted, killed and fought to achieve such a status.

Yes, our anescestors saw some of these animals as something extraordinary, maybe with supernatural powers, but not similar to the Yeti, Bigfoot, the Jersey Devil, the Chupacabra,...


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