Many cultures either worship the Sun as a deity or at least assign it some kind of personality (for instance, at the time of this writing, it's July and the Sun seems goddamned furious with us).
It's only a matter of time until it plummets angrily from the sky to kill us.
But our favorite depiction has to be from Native American folklore (particularly the Paiute tribes in the Western U.S.) who have given the whole cosmos a Silence of the Lambs twist.
Their story goes that the reason the stars disappear during the day is because they're running away from the Sun. Why? Because the Sun is known to eat them.
In fact, the reason the sun emits light is because of the stars he's digesting.The Science:
It is now thought that when the universe was formed, all the stars that were born were freaking huge, and they all were made almost completely out of hydrogen and helium. Metal was virtually non-existent. It was formed, however, as the first stars aged and then finally exploded.
After billions of years of this happening, this metal shrapnel was spread thoroughly around the universe, the remains of those stars getting swallowed up by newer ones. Like our very own Sun. It shines with the remains of old stars, just like the legend says.
Granted, the Paiute also believed the Moon was the Sun's wife and that they could give birth to more stars, presumably via some Sun-on-Moon fucking.
"Big dipper" indeed.
But give the guys a break. If you can't work a little erotic fan-fiction into your cosmology then why even bother?
Once again, the Old Testament is far from the only place where you find an "Adam and Eve" couple who gives birth to all of humanity. In Norse mythology, their Adam and Eve were named Ask and Embla.
It's a scene that can probably be found airbrushed on countless vans.
The Mongols tell of the first human couple being born out of clay. In Korea, the story goes that a tiger was transformed into the first woman, who was impregnated by the god Hwan-Ung. The Navajo say the first man and first woman were formed from ears of corn.
Like Nebraska fans.
You get the idea. It's all very silly, really, the idea that all of humanity came from one woman and one man.
It starts with the genes. There are certain genes (mitochondrial genes) that you can pretty much only inherit from your mother. What scientists found was that these genes are remarkably similar in every single person, everywhere. That led them to believe that there was in fact one single woman, who lived about 200,000 years ago, who donated this genetic material to every human on Earth. The researchers promptly nicknamed her "Eve."
Now, it's not that she was the only woman on Earth. And as far as we know, she was not made from an ear of corn. It's just that whatever other women were on Earth at the time didn't pass their genes down (the lines died out, or they only had sons, etc).
Then, just 60,000 years ago, there was a guy who scientists call Y-chromosomal Adam.
He was an unnamed dude who also lived in Africa, who managed to pass on his DNA to every single male reading this.
Look around. Every guy in the U.S., China, India, Russia, everywhere. Every dude connected to the material from one African man's balls.
Seriously, we should build a monument to them.
Or we could just build two replicas of Epcot Center next door to this thing.
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