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serpent/dragon with multiple heads (generally 7 or 9 heads.)
cut off, the heads would grow back. The Hydra lived in the Lernean
marshes, near Argolis (the region around Argos in Greece.)
exaggerated story about an octopus or giant squid. Octopus have 8 arms,
which will grow back if cut off. Squid have 10 arms, 2 of which are
longer and have flat ends with suckers on them.
Mythology- The Hydra had 9 heads, and the middle one was immortal.
Hercules fought the Hydra with his club, but each time he knocked off a
head, two more would grow back. Finally, he used a torch to burn off
the new heads, and buried the immortal one under a rock. Arrows dipped in
the Hydra's blood were poisonous. Hercules accidentally shot Chiron
with one later on.
Topsell- discounted the existence of the Hydra,
saying - "for that there shold be such a serpent with seven heads,
I think it unpossible, and no more to bee beleeved and credited than that
Castor and Pollux were conceived in an egge."
picture of a Hydra
The Story of Hercules and the Hydra: http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/Herakles/hydra.html