Dinosaur bones became griffins, volcanic eruptions were gods fighting – geomythology looks to ancient stories for hints of scientific truth

Dinosaur bones became griffins, volcanic eruptions were gods fighting – geomythology looks to ancient stories for hints of scientific truth

Everyone loves a good story, especially if it’s based on something true.

Dinosaur bones became griffins, volcanic eruptions were gods fighting – geomythology looks to ancient stories for hints of scientific truth Akkharat Jarusilawong/iStock via Getty Images Plus – The Conversation

Consider the Greek legend of the Titanomachy, in which the Olympian gods, led by Zeus, vanquish the previous generation of immortals, the Titans. As recounted by the Greek poet Hesiod, this conflict makes for a thrilling tale – and it may preserve kernels of truth.

The eruption around 1650 B.C. of the Thera volcano could have inspired Hesiod’s narrative. More powerful than Krakatoa, this ancient cataclysm in the southern Aegean Sea would have been witnessed by anyone living within hundreds of miles of the blast.

aerial view of Santorini Caldera The massive eruption of the Thera volcano more than 3,500 years ago left behind a hollowed out island, today known as Santorini. Steve Jurvetson, CC…

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