Monday, October 15, 2007

Featured Creatured: Amphisbaena

[As a (hopefully) ongoing new feature at General Admission, I will be posting illustrations and profiles of famous mythological and imaginary creatures. With any luck, I will post a new one each week, so be sure to check in.]


Debate rages on the origin of the venomous Amphisbaena, but most experts agree that it was most likely created from the blood of Medusa's severed head. Legend tells it that, as Perseus returned from slaying Medusa, he flew over the Libyan Desert on his steed Pegasus. Having not packaged her head properly, its blood rained down upon the earth, and the Amphisbaena sprung forth where ever it fell.

Another area of contention is the Amphisbaena's mode of locomotion. Some claim that it has chicken legs it runs upon, while others tell of wings that enable it to fly. These two statements are most likely fiction; but the reality is that is that it either slithers in a traditional manner, or more dramatically, its two heads clasp together and it rolls like a wagon wheel.

With its two deadly mouths, one is encouraged to stay away from any Amphisbaenae, but that doesn't keep the adventurous and desperate from using it in many traditional folk remedies: Pregnant woman often wear Amphisbaenae around their necks to insure a safe childbirth. Its skin offers relief from arthritis, or to provide warmth for lumberjacks on a cold day. Finally, if your goal is romantic success, its flesh can be eaten.

The Amphisbaenae primarily feed upon ants, which is why it is sometimes called The Mother of Ants. But, they have also been seen feasting upon corpses at night. It is best to avoid the Amphisbaena at night since its eyes, which glow in the dark, also cause death during full moons.

Wikipedia: Amphisbaena


Sarah said...

I love the bestiary idea, and I also like the contrast of the happy pastel colors with a deadly, scary snake. Can't wait to see the next installment.

The General said...

Thank you, honey!