The hydra which lived in swamps near to the ancient city of Lerna in Argolis, was a hideous monster with nine heads. The hydra was the offspring of Typhons and Echidna. The middle of hydra's head was immortal, and if any of other heads were severed another would grow in its place. Hydra's breath was toxic enough to kill men or beast.

Why Heracles killed the hydra?

Hercules, who killed his own family, prayed to Apollo, the Sun God, because hercules was looking for salvation.

The Apollo assigned him twelve tasks to complete for achieving salvation. One of the twelve tasks was killing the monster called Hydra.

Hydra Second Labour Of Heracles

By emerging from the swamps, the hydra would attack herds of cattle local villagers which terrorized the vicinity for many years. One day, Heracles jounreyed to Lake Lerna with Iolas(his nephew) in search of terrifying hydra.

When Heracles confronted a hydra, he told Iolas to stay away from him with the horses. Heracles courageously fought against hydra, flaying at each head with his sword.

Heracles,however, soon realized that the hydra's head would grow back in its place. Heracles asked Iolas for help, telling him to bring a flamming torch.

As Heracles cut off hydra's head, Iolas burned the open wounds with the torch preventing from growing back. Heracles removed all but one of the Hydra's heads.

The one remaining could not be harmed by any weapons. Heracles picked up his hefty club and crushed it with one blow, then he tore off the head with his bare hands and quickly buried it deep in the ground, placing a huge boulder on the top. After he had killed the Hydra, Heracles dipped the tips of his arrows into the Hydras' blood, which was extremely poisonous, making them deadly.



After Heracles destroyed completed one of his tweleve tasks, the Hydra and the crab were put into the sky. There is an alternative version that the crab is there to bother and bite his feet, hoping to cause his death. While the crab has the sign of caner of the sun, the constellation of hydra has its head nearby.


Greek Mythology In Popular Culture

  • Hydra can be found as a wooden roller coaster at Dorney park & Wildwater kingdom in Allentown, Penssylvania with a lernaean Hydra theme.The theme itself is the Hydra coming back to life and seeking revenge over Hercules.

  • The Ray HarryHausen film Jason and the Argonauts features both Hercules and a seven-headed hydra guarding the Golden fleece . The plot is where Jason lays a hand on the fleece, and the hydra is awakened. Strangely, it has more birdlike heads. It immediately proceeds to strangle an argonaut with its forked tail, and a brief battle ensues between it and Jason, until he thrusts his sword into its heart.

  • In 1997, Disney released an animated movie named Hercules. In the film Hercules fights the Hydra, however this hydra starts with a single head, and as the fight progresses, the monster gains dozens of heads, until all that can be seen is dozens and dozens of heads, each trying to eat Hercules. He defeats the monster by causing a rock slide, crushing the Hydra.

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Works Cited

Breeden, Dav. "Greek Mythology." Theoretical Chemistry Groningen. Web. 03 May 2011. [[<http:/theochem.chem.rug.nl/resources/Mythica.html>.|<http://theochem.chem.rug.nl/resources/Mythica.html>.]]

Harris, Browyn. "In Greek Mythology, What Was the Hydra?" WiseGEEK: Clear Answers for Common Questions. Web. 03 May 2011[[. <http:/www.wisegeek.com/in-greek-mythology-what-was-the-hydra.htm>.|. <http://www.wisegeek.com/in-greek-mythology-what-was-the-hydra.htm>.]]

"Greek Mythology in Popular Culture." Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Web. 03 May 2011. [[<http:/en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greek_mythology_in_popular_culture>.|<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greek_mythology_in_popular_culture>.]]