Domenichino’s A Virgin with a Unicorn. Artists of the Middle Ages believed the unicorn could only be captured by a virgin.
Unicorns are a staple of social media. Today we might think of them as all magic and rainbows, but their past is one of ferocious beasts, religion, and mistranslation.
Brandon Stark’s story extends far beyond the world of Westeros.
The original origins of some key characters names might give hints to their fates in Game of Thrones.
The Premature Burial.
Antoine Wiertz (1854)
New research is uncovering medieval legends about the undead in Britain.
An 1894 image of Lambton fighting the worm from the book More English Fairy Tales.
A monstrous worm that features in English mythology shares remarkable similarities with the watery serpents of Indigenous stories.
Mount Mazama, a volcano in Oregon. Indigenous stories preserve tales of its eruption more than 7,000 years ago.
Old stories from around the world tell of drowned islands, volcanic eruptions and upheavals to the land around them. Increasingly we are realising these tales preserve actual memory, often from thousands of years ago.
The Achievement of the Grail / Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery
Is the Grail the chalice from the Last Supper – or the Crucifixion? Does it contain the elixir of life? Or is it Mary Magdalene's womb?
Historic heroes like King Arthur have helped audiences through the ages to cope with troubling times.
Cataclysmic natural disasters frame indelible human stories.
Francis Danby, The Deluge
New research suggests a mythical flood in China really happened about 4,000 years ago. It's the latest case of scientists matching ancient tales to actual local natural disasters.
Less unicorn, more hairy rhino.
Fantasy often meets reality when we try to find explanations for mythological creatures.
A sonar image of the ‘Nessie’ found 180 metres deep in Loch Ness.
The hunt for 'Nessie' has been going on for decades but there's a good reason why nothing has been found.
Mary Evans Picture Library/Alamy
The myth of a monstrous giant squid prowling the oceans has persisted for centuries but scientists have been able to reveal the truth behind the stories.
Is the real villain in Frankenstein the scientist who created him, or the people who refused to understand him?
Stamp via www.shutterstock.com.
Critics of controversial science like GMOs and cloning often invoke the myth of Frankenstein to highlight the dangers of new technology. But these critics may overlook the moral of Shelley's story.
Guenevere in May, Malory’s Le Morte D'Arthur, abridged ed. Alfred W. Pollard, illustrations by Arthur Rackham, 1917.
Bangor University Library Rare Book Collection
We just can't have enough of all things Arthurian – the legend and its many possible permutations never cease to fascinate.
The muscle man.
Kerry Brown/© 2014 Paramount Pictures and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures.
Hercules is once again back on our screens. This latest version has Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson in the title role, alongside an international cast which includes a host of British stars. John Hurt is Cotys…
Next time you have a bad day at work, consider Sisyphus. His annual appraisal by the ancient Greek gods was so bad (over the previous 12 months he demonstrated deceitfulness, greed, malice and homicide…
What happens to Romulus and Remus?
It has been reported that new archaeological finds have pushed back the age of Rome. A team of archaeologists discovered the remains of a wall built to channel water, which dates back to the ninth century…
The submerged, petrified forest at Borth, northwest Wales.
It is said that if you listen carefully on the shores of Aberdyfi in northwest Wales you can hear the bells of the drowned…