Avoid people who talk to themselves. According to Ukrainian legend, that could indicate a dual soul and the second one doesn't die! Also watch out for the seventh son of a seventh son, a person born with a red caul (amniotic membrane covering the head), or a child born with teeth. A vampire can result if a cat or dog walks over a fresh grave, a bat flies over the corpse, or the person has died suddenly as a result of suicide or murder. Unfinished business can also cause a body to rise, as can inadequate burial rites, including a grave that is too shallow.
Long ago, the people of Nicaragua believed that if they threw beautiful young women into a volcano it would stop erupting.
One legend claims stealing someone's shadow (by measuring it against a wall and driving a nail through its head) can turn the victim into a vampire.
Most vampires are described in folklore as flushed and ruddy, with swollen bodies and bloated faces. Often, they can be identified because they're sitting up in the grave.
Trivia is the Roman goddess of sorcery, hounds and the crossroads.
Abe Silverstein, who headed NASA's Space Flight Development Program, proposed the name Apollo for the space exploration programs in the 1960's. He chose that legendary Greek name because the virile Apollo was a god who rode through the skies in a magnificent golden chariot. The precedent of naming manned spacecraft for mythological gods had been set earlier with Project Mercury, also named by Silverstein.
Ancient Greeks wove marjoram into funeral wreaths and put them on the graves of loved ones. The wreaths served as prayers for the happiness of the deceased in a future life.
In Greek culture, brides carry a lump of sugar in their wedding glove. It's supposed to bring sweetness to their married life.
The Sphinx at Giza in Egypt is 240 feet long and carved out of limestone. Built by Pharaoh Khafre to guard the way to his pyramid, it has a lion's body and the ruler's head.
The Vikings believed that the Northern lights which are seen from time to time in the north sky were caused by the flashing armor and spears of Odin's handmaidens as they rode out to collect warriors slain in battle.
On the stone temples of Madura in southern India, there are more than 30 million carved images of gods and goddesses.
To prevent evil spirits from entering the bodies of their male children, parents dressed them in blue. Blue was chosen because it's the color of the sky and was therefore associated with heavenly spirits.
Girls weren't dressed in blue, apparently because people didn't think that evil spirits would bother with them. Eventually, however, girls did get their own color: pink. Pink was chosen because of an old English legend which said that girls were born inside of pink roses.
In the 1700's you could purchase insurance against going to hell, in London England.
The Aztec Indians of Mexico believed turquoise would protect them from physical harm, and so warriors used these green and blue stones to decorate their battle shields.
The mythical Scottish town of Brigadoon appears for one day every 100 years.
Friday, July 3, 2009
I was using Stumble to randomly flip through the net (you can try it at www.stumbleupon.com) when I came across a web site called Weird Facts. As chance would have it, I came across their Weird Myths entry. Here are some of the better ones (you can read them all at the link above). Not all of them were actual myths, but some fun useless knowledge anyway.