Here are some facts about Medusa.
- Medusa was a monster in Greek mythology, known as a Gorgon. She had the face of a hideous woman, but had poisonous snakes on her head, instead of hair.
- She was the daughter of Phorcys, a God of the sea, and Ceto, a female sea God. Phorcys is said to have had claws for legs and skin covered with red spikes.
- Medusa was originally a beautiful woman with long golden hair. She was punished by the Gods for falling in love with Poseidon.
- Medusa spent some time wandering in Africa. According to legend, some baby snakes fell from her head, which is why there are so many snakes in Africa.
- Anyone looking directly at Medusa would be instantly turned to stone. She was killed by Perseus who saw her reflection in a mirror, to avoid looking at her.
- Perseus is one of the most famous of the Greek heroes. He was sent to kill the Gorgon, armed with a mirrored shield, winged-sandals, and a cloak of darkness.
- Medusa was killed when Perseus cut her head off. From her neck emerged a winged horse, Pegasus, which has become one of the most well known mythological creatures.
- The head of Medusa was often seen to be a protective symbol. She can be seen on roman mosaics excavated in Pompeii, and during the French Revolution she was seen as a symbol of freedom.
- She has been featured in several films, including two versions of Clash of the Titans. She was the star of a 1964 British horror film, called The Gorgon.
- Medusa appears on the flag of Sicily, as well as on the flag of a village in the Czech Republic. She has been depicted in paintings by many well known artists, including Pablo Picasso, Rubens and Caravaggio.
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