10 True origins of myths and legends – listverse electricity lessons 4th grade

Over 2,500 years ago, people traveled from all over Greece to hear the advice and prophecies of the God, Apollo, uttered by his priestess at the Oracle of Delphi. The advice came out in ambiguous riddles that had to be interpreted by the listener with the help of assistant priests employed to explain what the priestess’s strange ramblings actually meant.

A geologist studying the rocks found oily limestone under the ruined temple. The temple itself was built over a fault in the rocks, which meant that they could move around and they heated up when they did. This heat allowed gas to escape from the limestone, travel up through the gap in the rocks, and rise to the surface where the priestess was sitting in her windowless room.

A chemist found evidence of ethylene, a gas which can make people feel confused and out of touch with the real world when they breathe it in. This could have caused the trancelike states and confused speech of the priestess as she sat above the crack in the rocks, breathing in the fumes. [1]

Most of the population of Haiti is descended from African slaves, and many people follow voodoo, which is based on the religions of West Africa. In voodoo, a zombie is a dead person brought back to life by a priest called a bokor. These “walking dead” have no free will and must obey their masters, who force them to work as slaves, toiling on farms from sunrise to sunset.

No one outside of Haitians took these tales of zombies seriously until one actually appeared! Clairvius Narcisse had been “dead” for almost 20 years when he suddenly reappeared. He claimed that a bokor had drugged him so that everyone thought he was dead—before digging him up after his funeral and putting him to work as a slave on a farm.

Hearing the story, Dr. Wade Davis traveled to Haiti to investigate. He learned that the bokors used a substance called “zombie powder,” which he analyzed and found to contain poisonous puffer fish and the skin of poison toads. He believes that these substances make victims appear dead with hardly any breath or heartbeat.

Sailors are superstitious at the best of times, and nothing sent a chill down the spine of mariners more than a sighting of the Flying Dutchman. This ghostly vessel was doomed to sail the oceans forever, and it spelled disaster for whoever saw the ship and its legendary crew hovering above the waves.

It’s believed that the cause of these sightings could be a special type of mirage called a fata morgana. These occur when there is a layer of cold, dense air near sea level with warmer air above. This can cause light rays to bend and make objects at sea level appear higher in the air. A ship sailing on the sea could therefore be projected into the air, creating a hazy, ghostly image of itself. [7] 3 Vampires

Fangs, avoiding sunlight, aversion to garlic—it can only be one thing, a vampire . . . unless it’s someone suffering from porphyria, a rare blood disease. People with this disease display symptoms such as skin sensitivity to sunlight. Their skin is disfigured if they go out in the daytime, and they also have an adverse reaction to garlic which can cause extreme pain.