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The Hydra: Greek Monster and Mythical Creature
Hydra is an ancient Greek mythical beast that was mentioned in the tale of the twelve labors of Hercules (also called Heracles). The hydra has many heads (possibly 7, 8 or 9), the number of head varies from different versions of the legend, however, more accounts agree on nine. It was said that the middle one was immortal and it has very poisonous venom and breath.
If the heads are cut off, the heads would grow back. One head cut-off would result to two heads growing back in its place.
The Hydra was believed to have lived in the Lernean marsh which is located near Argolis, the region around Argos, Greece. Others say that the Hydra lived in Cave in the Swamp of Lerna
The serpent-woman Echidna and the hundred headed Typhon are the Hydra’s parents. His siblings include the Nemean lion, Cerberus, Chimera and Ladon.
The Hydra guards the entrance to the Underworld and from the murky swamps of the Lake of Lerna the monstrous serpent would rise and terrorize the city. The Hydra was finally killed by Hercules during his second labor.
The Hydra was said to have the body of a dragon/snake with many heads (possibly 7, 8 or 9), two arms & legs with knife-like claws, sharp spines/spikes & a long serpent tail.
Killing the Hydra: The Second Labor of HerculesAccompanied with his trusty nephew, Iolaus, Hercules set off to hunt the nine-headed monster. They went to the springs of Amymone and discovered the lair of the menacing beast.
Hercules lured the creature out of its den by shooting it with flaming arrows. When the beastly creature emerged, the Greek mythical hero seized it but the monster wound one of its coils to Hercules’ foot.
With one of his foot stuck, Hercules tried to break free by smashing the monster’s head, but as soon as he cut one, two more heads would appear on its place. And a huge crab began biting Hercules’ trapped foot to add nuisance. After smashing the crab with his club, Hercules called on to his nephew, Iolaus to help him out in fighting the looming monster.
Hercules persisted on slashing the monster’s head while Iolaus scorched each headless neck with a torch to prevent heads from growing back. Finally, the Hydra was slain as Heracles's second task was done.
After the Hydra was defeated, Heracles soaked the tip of his arrows in its venomous blood.
Other versions:Some accounts say that Hydra’s legend came about from exaggerated stories about a huge squid or an octopus. While Hydra has the ability to grow back its cut off heads, the octopus also has the ability to grow back its arms when cut off, thus the similarity.
There are many myths. I hope this has been unbelievably useful to everyone.
(As a small side note, This creature is alsoreferred to as the "Lernaean Hydra" or "Λερναία Ὕδρα")
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