Sharks are pretty terrifying but up against the creature Hydra, I’d probably try to ride the shark for all holy hell, not looking back at the giant creature in my path. With this scary creature, you’re better off staying on the shores.
What is it
A massive and utterly vicious serpentine water creature with a minimum of 5 to 9 heads (or can have more than a hundred) in the swampy waters of Lerna. With tough skin and at least one of the heads immortal, defeating a hydra is near impossible, the striking of one head multiplying more (because of course, you’d be up against such a thing!) and the blood and breath of the animal are poisonous. Though fascinating looking, the hydra is not a creature to be messed with.
Hydra is from Greek mythology in Theogony and lurked in the lake waters of Arigold and Lerna, the latter being rumored as the entrance to the underworld. The creature itself was the offspring of Typhon and Echidna but has also been seen in other writings in Greek mythology. The most notable is its demise from Greek hero Hercules and Iolaus. This was only possible due to cutting off the heads and searing the skin, stopping the regeneration and finally removing the immortal head (and if that wasn’t enough, burying the monster under a giant rock). What’s great about hydra is the myths paper trail across all works of art.
Other than in relations to Hercules, hydra isn’t used so specially as a many-headed water snake, but the word itself has stood the test of time. For example, Hydra is the name used by the secret evil organization in the marvel universe (Captain America – hail hydra!), is a constellation, and is a station in the show Lost (where I’d say there are plenty of snakes there…). It’s no coincidence but certainly clever. However the creature itself is hardly used in pop culture, perhaps because how the creature can be destroyed has been written. As far as video games are concerned, Dark Souls and God of War both have the creature featured.
Ignore my last line because as a writer you have the weapon to change its characteristics and how it’s destroyed (or not destroyed). This is a very unique creature to use in any facet. As far as genre, horror, action adventure and dare I suggest romantic comedy could have a hydra present. Two plausible scenarios:
- People scoping out a picture of old Nessie realize it’s only one head…of many. This whole time hydra has been in the Lake Champlain. Appearing friendly at first, the creature soon turns its rage against the people and the town.
- A Hayao Miyazaki style tale of a young character that explores a new world on the back of a hydra. I could actually see this scenario play out.