By Jane Sin
The excitement that surrounds many stories rarely comes from the realistic characters or real-life events that they originate from. Instead it comes from myths that are unexplainable by natural phenomenons. Whether it be unicorns striding in the forest, sirens captivating sailors in the open seas, or dragons soaring in the sky, myths have never failed to captivate an audience’s amazement. As years pass by, people accept the fact that these tales were unrealistic and settle to admire them in fictional books or television shows. However, there are some myths and characters were inspired by true stories.
Amazon Women: Popularized by Wonder Woman and the resurgence of Greek mythology, the Amazon Women are well known for their tall, toned figures with superior skills and strength in combat. After being captured by the Greeks at the Battle of Thermodon, shiploads of captured Amazonians intermarried with Scythians and their descendants became a new race called the Sauromatians. A Russian team of archaeologists found 2,000-year old burial mounds of the Sauromatians along with graves of warrior women who had injuries that they sustained from battle. They had weapons laid next to them, body structures that resulted from many years of riding horses, and unnaturally tall figures for their time.
Berserkers: Found in numerous books and movies, Berserkers were famous in old Norse literature for being warriors that fought in an uncontrollable, frenzy-like state until death and were admired for their inhuman strength in war. The Berseker’s rage was the work of drugs and food with psychoactive properties, psychological processes, and medical conditions. Drugs such as the hallucinogenic mushroom, Amanita muscaria, and large alcoholic consumption would result in shivering, chattering of the teeth and swelling of the face that caused a change in color. The transformation would then be followed by great hot-headedness, extreme rage, and beastly howling at which point they would cut down all in it’s path with inexplicable strength.
Imoogi: Korean legends of the Imoogi, enormous pythons believed to be juvenile dragons, were not entirely false. Legend says that the Imoogi lived in the water or caves, and had to survive for a thousand years before they could ascend to heaven and become full-fledged dragons. Although they originated from South America, the Titanoboa was so huge that it was easily mistaken for a young dragon. The Titanoba sounds similar to the mythological Imoogi. The now extinct monster snake was roughly 14 meters in length and weighed a ton. It could constrict a force of 400 PSI (pounds per square inch), which is equivalent to the Brooklyn Bridge’s force falling upon a person.
Dire Wolves: Familiarized through numerous role-playing games and also seen in the hit show, Game of Thrones, dire wolves were known for their large size and vicious strength. In real life, dire wolves existed during the Pleistocene Age alongside early man and mega-fauna. Just like how they are portrayed in shows, dire wolves were larger and stronger than the average wolf and had sharper teeth. However, they met their end when they were unable to adapt when their main prey went extinct.