Gold-guarding griffins, Cyclopes, killer lakes, man-eating birds,
and "fire devils" from the sky-such wonders have long been
dismissed as fictional. Now, thanks to the richly interdisciplinary
field of geomythology, researchers are taking a second look. It
turns out that these and similar tales, which originated in
pre-literate societies, contain surprisingly accurate,
pre-scientific intuitions about startling or catastrophic
earth-based phenomena such as volcanoes, earthquakes, tsunamis, and
the unearthing of bizarre animal bones. Geomythology: How Common
Stories Reflect Earth Events provides an accessible, engaging
overview of this hybrid discipline. The introductory chapter
surveys geomythology's remarkable history and its core concepts,
while the second and third chapters analyze the geomythical
resonances of universal earth tales about dragons and giants.
Chapter 4 narrows the focus to regional stories and discusses the
ways these and other myths have influenced legends about griffins,
Cyclopes, and other iconic creatures. The final chapter considers
future avenues of research in geomythology, including geohazard
management, geomythology databases, geomythical "cold cases," and
ways the discipline might eventually set, rather than merely
support, research agendas in science. Thus, the book constitutes a
valuable asset for scientists and lay readers alike, particularly
in a time of growing interest in monsters, massive climate change,
and natural disasters.
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