Mythology still holds a firm place in academic curricula. In fact, you must have noticed how myths and legends from all over the world make for some of the best movies, books, and works of art. They are also great bedtime stories for kids. The informative TED-Ed videos below delve into some of the world’s most popular myths and attempt to explain them in all their legendary glory!
The Myth of Cupid and Psyche
Psyche was so beautiful that she was worshiped as a reincarnation of Venus, the goddess of love. However, because of this beauty, human lovers were too intimidated to approach her, and Apollo recommended her father abandon her on a crag where she would marry a cruel and savage, serpent-like winged creature. But Psyche's story ended up being much more interesting. In this video, Brendan Pelsue explains all!
The Tragic Myth of Orpheus and Eurydice
The marriage of Orpheus, one of the world's greatest poets and musicians, to Eurydice, a wood nymph, was heralded as the perfect union. Anyone could see that the couple were deeply in love. So when their wedding ceremony ended in Eurydice's untimely death, Orpheus has no choice but to take a trip into the underworld to reclaim his lost love. In this video, Brendan Pelsue shares the tragic myth of Orpheus and Eurydice.
The Myth of Prometheus
Before the existence of humanity, the Greek gods won the great battle against a race of giants known as the Titans. Most of the Titans were killed or driven to the eternal hell of Tartarus. However, the Titan Prometheus, whose name means foresight, persuaded his brother, Epimetheus, to fight alongside him against the Gods. Here, Iseult Gillespie talks about the myth of Prometheus.
The Myth of Oisin and the Land of Eternal Youth
In a typical hero's journey, the protagonist sets out on an adventure, undergoes a great change and returns in triumph to their point of origin. However, in the Irish genre of myth know as echtraí, the journey ends with a point of no return. In this video, Iseult Gillespie talks about the myth of Oisin and the land of eternal youth.
The Myth of Icarus and Daedalus
In mythological ancient Greece, Icarus flew above Crete on wings which were made from wax and feathers, defying the laws of science. To those on the ground, he looked like a god, and he felt like one too. However, in his society, the line that separated gods from men was absolute, and the punishment for mortals who tried to cross it was severe. In this video, Amy Adkins explains all!
The Science behind the Myth Homer's "Odyssey"
Homer's "Odyssey" recounts the adventures of the Greek hero Odysseus during his journey back home from the Trojan War. Though some parts might actually be based on real events, the encounters with monsters, giants, and magicians are complete fiction. However, there might be more to these myths than meets the eye. Matt Kaplan explains why.
The Myth of Arachne and Athena
From sailors who were turned into pigs, nymphs that sprouted into trees, and a gaze that converted the beholder to stone, Greek mythology is full of shape-shifters. The powerful Gods usually changed their forms at will, but for mortals, the mutations were often unwanted. Here, Iseult Gillespie shares how one such transformation befell the spinner Arachne.
The Myth of Thor's Journey to the Land of the Giants
Thor, son of Odin, God of Thunder, and protector of mankind - struggled mightily against his greatest challenge yet: opening a bag of food. How had such a mighty god fallen so far? Scott Mellor tells the myth of Thor's journey to Utgard.
The Scientific Origins of the Minotaur
The myth of the Minotaur tells the story of an angry beast forever wandering the corridors of a dark labyrinth, filled with a rage so intense that its deafening roars could shake the earth. But is this story just fiction, or an attempt by our early ancestors to make sense of the natural world? Matt Kaplan examines the myth's scientific roots.