This Is Why We Believed Cyclopes Were Real Way Longer Than We Should Have

They had evidence, or they thought they did
This Is Why We Believed Cyclopes Were Real Way Longer Than We Should Have

You would think that, when it comes to mythical creatures, there would be a pretty firm expiration date. Once science starts becoming an actual reliable source of information instead of an enemy to religion, its harder to believe in things like dancing little fairies. You also run into the problem of a total lack of evidence. No matter how rare or evasive a given cryptid might be, you eventually start to wonder why youve never found a unicorn skeleton. Upgrade that to something the size of a dragon, and you really feel like you should have found some bones to support their existence.

Which, at least according to one theory, is why cyclopes might have been considered a genuine threat. If anything, a kind of evidence-based science might have been part of their origin story. The only problem was, the evidence wasnt what they thought it was. Some historians believe that the reason we got tales of gigantic, one-eyed humanoids was because ancient peoples were, in fact, running into what they thought were cyclopes skulls. If you dig up what looks like a gigantic human skull with a singular eye-socket in the middle, a cyclops is pretty much the sketch youd issue too.

Obviously, cyclopes arent real. What is very real, however, are both elephants and woolly mammoths, which means that, given the timeline of the world, their skulls are all over the place. If you havent checked out an elephant or mammoth skull recently, perhaps because you dont live in the storage room of the museum, you might not remember what they look like, or their notable features. Like their massive, central nasal cavity, smack-dab in the middle of their skulls, right where an eye would be, while their actual eye sockets are practically unnoticeable.

Thomas Quine

Elephant is still definitely not my FIRST guess.

Now, elephants aren’t exactly native to Greece, a very cyclopes-heavy region as far as lore is concerned. The skulls of woolly mammoths, on the other hand, have definitely been found in Grecian lands. So when Ancient Greeks dug up some version of the picture above, its not surprising that they were fooled — especially considering that you could probably still post said picture on Facebook from a fake news account as a cyclops skull discovery and send a bunch of Boomers running for the hills.

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