The Deadliest Monsters in Greek Mythology

Updated: Nov 25, 2021

A deep dive into the 5 deadliest monsters in the Greek mythology.

Photo Credit: Nils | Unsplash

Most people have heard of Greek mythology, the tales of Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades, but a lot of what the majority of people know comes from films such as "Hercules" or "Percy Jackson". The Greek mythos is a deep and interesting one that a wide range of people will miss out on experiencing if they don't put some time into exploring it which is a huge shame. Today I want to talk about 5 of the most dangerous creatures that are contained within the tales passed down surrounding the Greek Gods and their triumphs because no story is great without the monster under the bed. 5. GORGONS Gorgons are the definition of a bad hair day, they're described as women with venomous snakes instead of hair on their head and it is said that their gaze could turn people to stone. Sounding familiar? You're probably thinking of Medusa, the most famous Gorgon, however there are two other Gorgons stated in the legends, Stheno and Euryale. Gorgons are said to be the daughters of the sea creature Keto and her brother/husband Phorcys. They're depicted in many forms, sometimes having wings, tusks like a boars, and often even scaly skin. What makes the Gorgons so deadly is that anyone who looks upon them directly is turned to stone, making them very difficult to fight. The only Gorgon to be killed was Medusa by Perseus who used a shield given to him by Athena and avoided looking at her by using the reflection of said shield. Stheno and Euryale are considered to be immortals in basically all of the Greek mythos. To put it simply you wouldn't want to run into any of these women if you plan on spending your life as something other than a garden ornament. 4. CERBERUS Who doesn't love a good dog? That's right, nobody, and Cerberus is probably the best of them all. He's a three headed hound that guards the gates to the underworld and is considered to be the hound of Hades. Cerberus is often described as having three heads, a serpent as a tail, and multiple serpents emerging from all over his body. This makes for one terrifying visage. However there are lots of different views on his appearance, from the number of heads to the number of backs. One thing that is always agreed on is that Cerberus is the off-spring of Typhon and the Echidna which makes him related to essentially all other monsters. Cerberus is charged with guarding the gates of the underworld, or more precisely keeping souls in the underworld. This isn't his only role in the mythos however as he is also the twelfth labor of Heracles in which said hero had to capture Cerberus which was considered to be an impossible task, showing just how dangerous the hound truly was. 3. LAMIA Need a bogeyman to keep your children in line? Well look no further! Lamia is known in Greek mythology as 'The Child Devouring Queen' which is already enough to be terrifying but her actions are even worse. Lamia started off as a beautiful queen and just like anything remotely attractive in Greek mythology Zeus decided that he wanted her, romantically. This didn't sit well with Hera, Zeus' wife, who when she found out decided to curse Lamia. This curse started with making every child born to Lamia die almost immediately, people disagree on if this is Hera herself killing the children or Hera compelling Lamia to against her will. Hera also curses Lamia to restless nights, this combined with the previous part of the curse causes her to start going crazy. She then starts targeting mothers out of jealousy, kidnapping their children and dragging them to a cave where she had created a lair, but what she did to the kids when they got there is truly horrifying. She fed on all the kidnapped infants which just worsened her madness. Eventually Zeus gave her the ability to remove her eyes during the day to stop the chaos, however at night Lamia would still go out to hunt for any children left alone. 2. CHIMAERA Just like Cerberus the Chimaera is one of the more commonly known monsters from the mythos which is fitting as they're siblings. The Chimaera is a weird hybrid creature of a lion, a goat and a snake. It has the main head of a fire breathing lion, a second head growing out of its back that resembles a goats head, and a tail that ends with the head of a snake. Chimaera was mostly associated with misfortune, it was said to only be seen around times of pending trouble, for example it would be seen by sailors before a storm would hit or even a volcanic eruption. People would blame these events on the Chimaera as they didn't understand about stuff like tectonic plates. Chimaera was feared within the mythos and terrorized the kingdom of Lycia until she was eventually stopped by the hero Bellerophon, who at the time was just an exile, with the aide of the winged horse Pegasus. Using height to their advantage they took down the fearsome Chimaera. 1. TYPHON Typhon, the father of all monsters. It's pretty obvious what this guys deal is, it's right there in his title, he's the father of all monsters meaning they all stem from him, he is the original. Typhon is described exactly how you would expect the father of all monsters to look, so tall that his head touches the stars, the torso of a winged man but the lower half of him is two snake-like coils. On his head is 100 snake heads, all of which can breathe fire. There are many stories regarding his birth but the most common one places him as the child of Gaia and Tartarus, two primordial deities, making Typhon a God within the mythos. So not only is he the father of all monsters but he is also a God like Zeus and Poseidon. Typhon is extremely dangerous and is determined to defeat Zeus in a bid to control the cosmos but ultimately lost. Their battle was cataclysmic and Zeus barely managed to win using his infamous lightning bolts before trapping Typhon in Tartarus (The place not the primordial God) by putting a mountain over the entrance.

There are many more interesting and disturbing and more importantly deadly creatures in Greek mythology that I haven't covered today and I urge you to look into some of them, you might be pleasantly surprised with what you come across.

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