The Hydra is a unique and lethal creature that has the body of a serpent and numerous heads. Hydras typically starts out with five heads, one of which can never be damaged by a weapon, and every time one head gets damaged or cut off another one grows back (in some myths the Hydra grows 2 more in its place). This enormous monster is known to have terrible breath and some myths believe it is horrendous enough to kill a person while other myths believe the Hydra has deadly venom too. The Hydra typically inhabits swamps in the city of Lerna in Argolis. Hydras are very often confused with the Nemean Lion due to the fact that the both are associated with Zeus’ son, Hercules.
The Hydras origin is unclear due to the fact that there are many versions of this creature. Some versions claim that the Hydra was the offspring of Echidna and Typhon because Echidna was half-maiden and half-serpent and Typhon had one hundred heads. Other versions state that the Hydra was the offspring of the Titan Pallas and Styx. Another version states that Hydra is the half-sister of the Nemean Lion.
The Hydra’s family tree is very complex because of the fact that Hydra’s origin is still unclear. Echidna was a monster who lived in a cave who would come out and eat the people who would be passing by. Echidna never aged but she wasn’t immortal and later on some myths state that she was killed by Argus Panoptes when sleeping one day. Typhon was the deadliest monster in greek mythology. Typhon was a giant who had enormous viper coils that writhed and hissed as Typhon moved. Typhon was known as the father of all monsters as well. Styx on the other hand was a goddess of the underworld river. Styx is personified as Daimon (a.k.a. Spirit) of hatred (Styx is translated from stygos). Styx was a firm ally of Zeus’s and brought her children to stand alongside the gods. As a reward to Styx, Zeus made her streams the binding oath of the gods. Pallas was the god of war craft he was the father of Styx.
The Hydra is usually associated with Heracles. In the story Zeus’ son Heracles, a demigod, went in search of the deadly beast with his cousin Iolaus on a chariot. Heracles lured the Hydra out using flaming arrows and when the Hydra came out Heracles tried to kill the Hydra but he didn’t know that the Hydra’s heads would grow back in multiples. In the myth Heracles couldn’t have defeated the terrible beast without the help of his cousin.
Iolaus saves Heracles when Heracles calls out to him realizing he needs help. Iolaus helped Heracles kill the monster through quartering the Hydra’s wounds with a flaming torch so that another new head would be unable to grow back every time Heracles would cut off another head. Many people might still be wondering “What did Heracles and Iolaus do about the head that couldn’t be harmed by any mortal weapon?” Well, when Heracles was left with the one last head he took his club and knocked the Hydra unconscious.
Once the Hydra was knocked unconscious Heracles ripped of the head with his hands and then buried the head deep underground. After beheading the creature and burying the head, Heracles took a boulder and placed it over the area where the head was buried. The myth also explains that once Heracles had killed Hydra he took his arrows and dipped the heads into her blood hence, making them poisonous and extremely deadly. Other versions state that the beast was raised by Hera, Zeus’ wife, and that when Hydra and Heracles fought; Hera sent down a giant crab to help the Hydra but Heracles killed the crab by stepping on it.
The Hydra has many unique powers. The Hydra is most famously known for is breath that is fatal for someone if they breath it in. Another unique power of the Hydra is its ability to grow back heads in multiples. Some myths state that the Hydra just grows another head while others claim that as many as two to three can grow back in the place of the one head. The Hydra had one immortal head that couldn’t injured by any immortal weapon. The Hydra’s fatal powers also included poisonous bile.
The Hydra was immortal so it never ages, and can never die. The Hydra was also Heracles’ second labor out of twelve. This mysterious monster was one of the few known to every live near a swamp. Most myths have creatures that are lured from their hiding spot which angers them hence, they terrorize villages but this animal was also one of the few known to ever leave its hiding place on its own to terrorize and kill people.
Works Cited (MLA Format)Edit
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