|Tanzanian Cheetah (Gaurav P)|
The Twelve Olympians are as follows: Zeus (sky god and leader of the Olympians); Hera (Zeus' wife and sister – incest laws apparently do not apply here); Poseidon (Zeus' brother and ruler of the sea); Hades (Zeus' other brother and ruler of the underworld); Hestia (virgin goddess and Zeus' sister); Ares (Wikipedia states that he was disliked by his parents, Zeus and Hera – no wonder he became the god of war); Athena (favorite child of Zeus and goddess of wisdom); Apollo (god of light, truth and music who is the son of Zeus, not known for his fidelity to Hera, and Leto); Aphrodite (either the daughter of Zeus and Dione or the result of Uranus' castration by Cronus – as well as the goddess of love); Hermes (son of Zeus and Maia and the messenger god); Artemis (daughter of Zeus and Leto, Apollo's twin sister, and goddess of the wilderness); Hephaestus (said to be the "ugly" son of Zeus and Hera, married to Aphrodite – talk about beauty and the beast – and the god of fire).
Non-human "Olympians" can also be found in the natural world. Alan Boyle, Science Editor of NBCNews.com, tells us that the International Union for the Conservation of Nature has its own list of Olympians. These include the cheetah (the fastest land animal at 70 mph, as compared to famed human sprinter Usain Bolt at 27.79 mph), the rhinoceros beetle ("which can lift more than 30 times its body mass," as compared to famed human weight-lifter Hossein Rezazadeh who can't even lift twice his body mass), and the froghopper insect (that "can jump 115 times its body length," which is "1.25 times the height" of the human record-holder, Javier Sotomayer).
Boyle also reports that there's a fungus that grows on Mount Olympus called Zeus olympius which should
surely be an honored guest at the London festivities.
Copyright July 28, 2012 by Linda Van Slyke All Rights Reserved