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Existance of mythological creatures

  1. May 10, 2010 #1
    Okay, I just thought that I would like to bring this up.

    There are a few people out there who are firm believers of mythological creatures, Big Foot, Loch Ness, ect. So what do you think? Post why, or why not you believe. I try to be open minded, and so I will put why I think at least somewhere, creatures of this stuff can exist. Maybe not here, but in other planets, ect.

    My logic is based on the fact that space is infinite. Take the 8/9 (Whether you consider pluto a planet) planets and you can come to this.

    Infinity - 8 (Or 9)
    Infinity

    With these chances, the probablity that there is some sort of mythological being that we invision elsewhere.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. May 10, 2010 #2

    matthyaouw

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    If it's somewhere else in the universe, it's not really the Loch Ness monster is it? :smile:
     
  4. May 10, 2010 #3
    In my opinion, certain "mythological" creatures could have once or (less likely)still exist.
    Such as Big Foot or the Loch Ness monster.
    I would be OK with that.

    But, for myself, creatures such as a 20-foot flying fire-breathing dragon is out of the question.

    EDIT: My comments assume Earth-based creatures.
     
  5. May 11, 2010 #4
    "Release the Moon Kraken!! :rofl:
     
  6. May 11, 2010 #5

    Ivan Seeking

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    I think this whole business of mythological creatures is blown way out of proportion. Let's say that in the extreme, as an example, we find a bigfoot. Everyone would oooh and ahhhh for a time, but very quickly we would accept it as just another fact of life. So a few hominids that we thought died out long ago happened to survive? That's not really so incredible. After all, we have the great apes. It's not like the notion of another human-like being is fantastic. What really makes it interesting to many people is the mystery. People love a good mystery.

    We are still discovering new creatures. One that I thought was funny was the breed of horses discovered, I think in the Himalayas. We have all seen the drawings on the walls of caves in which the artist was seemingly unable to get the proportions of a horse correct. They always look too thick in the middle. It turns out that horses really do exist that look like the drawings on cave walls - a very old and wild breed of horses - but we only discovered them a short time ago.

    Loch Ness? Geologically, it doesn't seem likely. The lake isn't that old. But is it possible that a few members of a species previously thought to be extinct, or one not recognized, might have surived this long? We have dinosaurs all around us - alligators, sharks, birds... Why not one more? I don't think it likely that the Lock Ness monster exists, but even if it does, it wouldn't really be a monster. It would be an animal.

    Do you believe in elves, leprechauns, pixies, brownies, goblins, or hobbits? You might want to read up on Homo floresiensis, and consider the potential historical signficance before deciding.
     
  7. May 11, 2010 #6

    CEL

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    If by Big Foot you mean a giant primate and by Loch Ness Monster you mean an aquatic lizard, you are right. Gigantopithecus and plesiosaur both existed long time ago, but are extinct.
    The probability that beings so large still exist undetected is very tiny.
    For example, Loch Ness maximum estimated population of fish is around 30 metric tons. Since predators consume around 10 times their weight in food, the monster should be a sole specimen of 30 ton or 10 specimens of 300 kg.
    Unless Nessie is immortal, there must be at least a sustainable population of monsters reproducing in the lake.
     
  8. May 11, 2010 #7
    These are all good arguments to support my lunar kraken conjecture.
     
  9. May 11, 2010 #8
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 25, 2017
  10. May 11, 2010 #9
    New species sure, but MYTHOLOGICAL ones? Dragons, Basilisks, Kraken, Scylla and Charybdis, you can argue that we have a couple of lizards, giant squid, a whirlpool, and some rocks, but that is an explanation, not the discovery of myths. New species of frogs or snakes are not mythological, just unknown.
     
  11. May 11, 2010 #10

    Ivan Seeking

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    What is the difference between a myth, a legend, and an unproven claim?
     
  12. May 11, 2010 #11
    Yeah, I know Frame, I was just adding some tangential info for intellectual enjoyment on this thread.
     
  13. May 11, 2010 #12

    Ivan Seeking

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    I noticed that no one answered. These are "mythical" creatures, aren't they?

     
    Last edited: May 11, 2010
  14. May 11, 2010 #13

    Ivan Seeking

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    It seems highly plausible that dragon myths were spawned in part by the discovery dinosaur bones. However, one wonders about the potential role for the komodo dragon, esp within the context of hobbits! The home of Homo floresiensis was also home to komodo dragons that were twice as large as they are today.

    It also seems highly plausible that cyclops myths resulted from the discovery of ancient elephant skulls.
     
  15. May 11, 2010 #14
    There is a Boolean factor here... a legend and a myth may be unproven claims, but they may not be a claim to reality at all you know? Lets hit the dictionary for this one, because it's useful.

    From Merriam-Webster:
    MYTH:
    LEGEND:
    As for unproven claim, that covers everything, or most things depending on your standard of proof. Myth, can be differentiated from Legend, and further from the notion of a Fable.


    Btw, the hobbit issue remains up in the air, I'll try to find the relevant citation but there are doubts as to whether the "hobbits" were a unique subgroup, or just mutants/malnourished. I tend towards them being hobbits, but it's important to remember that is is possible that "dragon myths" existed independently of dinosaur bones. Hell, nightmares and common themes in psychology could be a cause, as reinforced by "monstrous bones".
     
  16. May 11, 2010 #15
    That may be true, but it could also be pure hindsight. The notion of a giant, or a dwarf may be very basic to human esperience, and relative. For every Scylla and Charybdis which turns out to be a maelstrom and some rocks, there are probably a dozen mythological creatures that were spun from the cloth of the human subconscious and nothing else. That one can later assign a rational discovery as "proof" of that preconception, doesn't mean that was the reason these myths were born, and evolved. That last part, the evolution of the tale, is the key between Myth, and Legend, Religion, and Fable. Some of it is just how long something has been around, and how it has evolved.

    I have gotten into some heated debates (read screaming fights) when I casually referred to "Christian Mythology" or "Jewish Mythology" or "Hindu Mythology"... I would say Islamic Mythology, but I enjoy living too much.
     
  17. May 11, 2010 #16

    Matterwave

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    If we ever discovered any of these mythological creatures (like scientifically proved they exist), then they wouldn't be mythological creatures...>_>
     
  18. May 12, 2010 #17
    Yeah, It's amazing how we can be given a death sentence for that. :eek:
     
  19. May 12, 2010 #18
    I really think you're barking up the wrong tree ascribing elves, etc. to passed down stories of Homo floresiensis sightings. Hallucinations of liliputian sized figures are found in abundance in more ordinary phenomena, common enough to account for the extensive lore:

    http://books.google.com/books?id=mM...&resnum=7&ved=0CDQQ6AEwBg#v=onepage&q&f=false

    From the footnote on the same page:

    ("General paresis" mentioned in the above paragraph is a dementia causes when syphilis attacks the brain)


    Also:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11843872

    I have also read that Lilliputian hallucinations are associated with tumors in the temporal lobes, and I've read a couple reports of them appearing during simple partial seizures.

    Of course, I must point out the obvious: there are also human dwarves in all societies and races, occasionally really short. General Tom Thumb was only 2 feet, 1 inch tall. If you're "far traveling" through the woods back in the day and you saw a dwarf out collecting his firewood it would be obvious to assume he was a leprechaun, or elf or goblin, and your sighting could fuel a thousand stories when you got back home.

    There is really no reason to suppose stories of elves, leprechauns, etc originally arose from anything outside these common sorts of things. Alcoholic Delerium Tremens alone is common enough to account for all of the lore.

    Hobbits, unlike the other things you mentioned, are not even legends or myths. They are fiction invented wholesale by Tolkien, and citing Homo F. as the possible origin of Hobbit legends or myths makes no particular sense. There aren't any Hobbit legends.
     
  20. May 12, 2010 #19
    I am not a fan of Jung, but the notion of archetypes in our minds, of common experience such as Zoobyshoe is speaking of makes as much sense as ancient archeologists. Tiny, Giant, Lizard, Fire, Wishes, Riches, Something BIG under water, these are like the monster under the bed, it is a fear endemic to people. To me, finding the reality for basing myth, is unnecessary, and misses the point of science, like those poor deluded men who think Pyramids are alien engineered. Double edged, that sword.
     
  21. May 12, 2010 #20

    Ivan Seeking

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    We all know that people hallucinate and imagine things. This is trivial. And I'm not ascribing anything to anything. However, the potential does exist that these creatures not only interacted with humans for many thousands of years, but also that they played a significant role in human history. One cannot at this time logically exclude the possiblity that some of the myths have a basis in fact - Homo floresiensis. To do so would be naive.

    That you think I'm barking up the wrong tree is a statement of faith.

    What really raises an eyebrow are statements from one member of the archeological dig, and the locals, that living hobbits have been seen recently! That one is a reeeeeeeal stretch. The locals do have an oral history of the hobbits that apparently goes back over ten-thousand years; or perhaps the hobbits survived into modern times and the stories aren't that old.
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2010
  22. May 12, 2010 #21
    True enough, but they haven't been yet.

    EDIT: Wow... I didn't expect so much of a response.
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2010
  23. May 12, 2010 #22
    It's not trivial when you are looking for the origins of myths and legends. (In fact, I can't think of any way of looking at hallucinations as "trivial". They teach us so much about the brain.) You are the one who raised the subject of elves, etc. The hallucination of miniature human-type beings is common to various forms of delerium. That, therefore, is the obvious thing to suggest as the origin of elf, fairy, leprechaun, etc, legends.

    Second most obvious place is the fact of occasional, very short, human dwarves.

    You might as well cite African Pygmies for all the same "potential". There are migraineurs, people suffering from alcohol withdrawal, people in various kinds of fevers, people doing coke and other drugs, located on every continent of the world, some of whom are having lilliputian hallucinations as you read this. I'd say it's naive to ignore the ubiquitous causes of this kind of hallucination and point, instead, toward a remote island in Indonesia where extremely short people once lived as the source of world wide stories of magical miniature humanoids.

    It's obviously a statement of considered, informed opinion, not faith.

    Again, there is no dispute about the present and past existence of a large tribe of very short humans in Africa, the pygmies, and dwarf humans exist all over the world, so Homo F. is at the bottom of the list of potential flesh-and-blood sources of elf, etc. legends.
     
  24. May 12, 2010 #23
    I don't think Lilliputian hallucinations are a Jungian archetype. They probably arise from a disturbance of aspects of vision that are processed in the temporal lobes. Elaborate, as opposed to elementary, visual hallucinations are associated with a specific area of the temporal lobes (name escapes me).
     
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