The King of Beasts and the King of the Sky combined. They’re pretty awesome. I don’t know about you, but I’ve always thought they were just mythological creatures. Believe it or not, there is evidence indicating they may have really existed!
As I was studying these creatures, I stumbled across an old, super boring-looking paper postulating that griffins may have been real. Yes, I am a child at heart who wants the fantastical flying beasts to be real things. It’s true. But bear with me.
Adrienne Mayor, a classical folklorist and historian of ancient science, stated in said boring-looking paper: “The griffin is not an obvious hybrid like the half-human, half-animal Centaur, the Minotaur…the Sphinx, or Pegasus…. In fact, the griffin does not play a role in any surviving texts of Greek myths. Unlike other ancient monsters, the griffin does not interact with mythical heroes; instead it is encountered by real people of a distant land….The dissimilarity between the griffin and other mythical creatures, the consistency of the image over centuries, and the rather mundane details about nests and gold added by later writers, suggest that the griffin may have been based on something observed and verified over time by many people in a specific landscape.”
Woah! So all those times griffins were mentioned in ancient texts, people were talking about having seen them or hearing of other people seeing them. They were only mentioned in the recounting of events