Sunday, November 05, 2006
Monsters of Old
As a child I had an obession with dinosaurs and mythical creatures such as dragons and the loch ness monster. I used to read and paint them to a point whereby my parents thought that the obession got rather unhealthy. That phase passed over time as other exciting things like women took over.
I was watching Swimming with Sea Monsters last night and I must admit that the programme ran for an amazing hour and a half. I actually felt quite immersed in amongst all those sea creatures, some frightening and some awe inspiring. It got me thinking later that night and this night about how perhaps mythology and prehistory creatures may actually be similar or the same. Many archiologists believe in the old asteroid killed the dinosaurs theory which is all well and good but many paintings such as St George and the dragon, or the depiction of slinky, massive sea monsters in etchings/drawing from sailor of old that resemble the scientific paintings/drawings. Is there any truth to these tales? Perhaps. There are two clear ways to think about why these creatures in mythological paintings came to be. The first being at the point in history that people painted these weird and wonderful creatures. Many things at the time could not have been explained. Dragon slaying was a popular past time back then. With so many accounts of such encounters it really does add some truth to the fact that some kinds of dinosaurs did survive but were at that stage were indeed on the verge of extinction and not some sixty five million years ago. Or the possible mistake of an oversized snake. Either way, as the monsters of the time were seen as a threat they were no doubt seen as something to kill. We shall never know for sure but I do suspect that there may have been a little more than an exaggeration.