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Mythical Creatures: Centaurs and Trolls

Across the globe, nearly every culture has legends centered on imaginary creatures , some of which possess supernatural powers or sub-human strength. There are beasts that have a combination of animal and human parts, while others are imagined critters that seem impossible to exist. In this article, you will encounter some of the most popular mythical creatures in the world.

Centaurs

The body of a centaur is half man and half horse. The creature has the head and arms of a human man with the body of a horse. The creatures appear in various Greek myths and are believed to have originated from Thessaly in northern Greece. The connection between this location and the centaur may have come from the great skill of horsemanship that the people of the land possessed. Centaurs are also mentioned in Roman myths.

One myth centered on the creatures involves their battle with the Lapiths , sparked by their attempt to carry off Hippodamia and the rest of the Lapith women. The centaurs attacked the people on the day of her marriage to the king of Lapithae (Pirithous), who was cousins with a centaur. The conflict between the two was used to illustrate the struggle between “civilized” people and the “lower classes.” Theseus, who was a hero in the myths, assisted Pirithous and helped drive off and kill the centaurs. In Greek myths, the centaurs were described as being just as wild as untamed horses.

Trolls

There is nothing cute and cuddly about trolls , they are described as hideous-looking creatures with malicious intents that scared many children in Scandinavia while listening to bedtime tales. Trolls were said to steal children while they slept in their bed at night , sometimes replacing the missing child with one of their own. Because of their poor eyesight, trolls are deemed active only at night. If they come in contact with sunlight, they turn into stone.

The Scandinavians were not the first to write about trolls, as the creature dates back to Norse mythology. They described trolls as living in isolated places, such as rocks, caves, and mountains. A variety of depictions of the troll include extremely old in appearance, very strong, slow and dim-witted. Some trolls are said to be able to eat humans. There is a Scandinavian folk belief that lightning scares away trolls.

Trolls are still alive in modern folk tales and other forms of entertainment. For example, Stephen King used a troll as one of his characters in his book ‘Cat’s Eye,’ which was turned into a box office film. In the movie, we see Drew Barrymore being terrorized by a troll that comes out at night from a hole in her wall. Throughout the tale, the troll is seen trying to harm the child, her pets, and a stray cat that she beings into her home.