Medusa & Minotaur

A year or two ago, I finished up My Series of Monster Guides
by posting a terrible article about the Jersey Devil I had carelessly
dashed off in an afternoon. This has always bothered me. Surely this
was no way to treat a mildly entertaining series of guides about
monsters. There had to be another way. And then it dawned on me: There
WAS another way. I could continue to write pointless and sort of crappy
guides about various types of monsters! So that's what I did.

So I hope you'll join me for this look at Medusas and Minotaurs (part
[?] of a [?] part series). Thank you and thank you.



Oversimplified Origin

Medusa Statue

All the ancient Greeks agreed that as far as half-snake women went,
Medusa was not half bad. She had a pretty face, and a decent rack, and
a head of somewhat spectacular hair. So obviously there were always a
bunch of sweaty Greek guys around trying to win her over, but she was
having none of it. This pissed the Greeks off something feirce, but
what were they gonna do? The girl and her sisters were tough, and the
guys weren't all that eager to get their eyes clawed over a piece of
tail. Medusa doesn't care. She's a strong independent Gorgon who
doesn't need to rely on some pork-juice-swilling Greek to make her way
in the world.
But then one day Poseidon ("God Of The Sea...perhaps you've heard of
me?") pays a little visit to Medusa's temple. He takes one look at her
and goes insane with lust. Eventually, Poseidon slips Medusa some
Rohypnol, does his thing (Gods will be Gods, I suppose), and the next
morning she's waking up alone with a killer headache, clumps of
brut-smelling seaweed in her hair, and a uterus full of godly
Word of this gets around the Athena (Goddess & Sole Proprietor of
the temple in which the deed took place), who goes ape. "How dare this
woman allow herself to be violated by a god in my temple!" she screams,
sweeping an armful of papers off her desk in a fury. As punishment for
her "crimes" Athena transforms Medusa into a horrible snake-haired
beast who turns anyone who looks at her into stone. Hey, it's only
fair, right?
So Medusa mopes around for a few years, grumbling and making statues,
until finally some guy named Perseus comes along and lops off her head.
And that's that.

Monster Power: Stone Gaze

Medusa Face

Sure, everyone knows that Medusa has the power to turn anyone who looks
at her into stone, but few people actually stop to question the
logistics of how this might work. In the original story, Perseus is
able to defeat her by looking at her reflection instead of gazing upon
her directly, but the Greeks don't give much detail on why this even
So anyway, I am unclear on how the following items would effect
Medusa's stone gaze, so if there are any Medusaic scholars out there
who might be able to provide some insight into these, I would very much
appreciate it.

1. Binoculars/Night-Vision Goggles

If you looked at Medusa through night-vision goggles, would you still
turn to stone? I suppose it might depend on the sort of goggle or lens
you are using. I am also unclear on what effect--if any--a pair of
binoculars would have. Would the magnification between lenses render
the stone gaze ineffective, or would it simply speed up the process? If
so, if you looked at her through the wrong end of the binoculars, would
you turn to stone more slowly? It is difficult to say.

2. Complete Darkness

If you were to stare into the face of a Medusa in a pitch black room,
would you still be turned to stone? I get conflicting information from
my sources on this time. Some say that her power is dependant on you
actually "seeing" her directly (which would explain why they blind are
unaffected), but others claim that even in the dark, the mere fact that
you were looking in her direction (though you see nothing) will still
cause you to turn to stone. In my opinion, neither explanation is
satisfactory. The former makes little logical sense, while the latter
seems sort of cheap, even for a monster. But then again, what do I

3. Periscopes

While many older periscopes use a series of mirrors (which would
certainly provide as much, if not more, protection than a single
mirror) there are slightly more advanced models which operate using
prisms. Would refraction through a prism be just as effective as
reflection to nullify Medusa's stone power? And what of fiber optics
and other such transmission methods which are sometimes utilized in
modern periscopes? Surely viewing a medusa through this medium would
not turn a man to stone. I suppose we will never know for sure.

4. Honorable Mentions

Here are a few other things which may or may not reduce your likelihood
of being turned to stone while looking at Medusa: One-Way Mirrors,
Sleepwalking, Tinted Contact Lenses, Being Underwater, Progressive
Myopia, An Open-Eyed Semivegatative State.



Oversimplified Origin


Some dude named Minos asked the asshole god Poseidon for a fancy white
bull. Poseidon gave him the bull, but instead of sacrificing it like he
was SUPPOSED to, he decided to keep it as a pet. Poseidon got pissed
off, muttered "I'll show this ungrateful little shit what's what", and
waved his godly fingers, causing Minos's wife to become sexually
attracted the bull. She built a fake wooden bull, climbed inside, and
called the Fancy White Bull over so it know...with
Nine months later, out pops a kid. And wouldn't you know it? The kid
was half-bull. They decided to call him a Minotaur (because hey: why
not) and they lived happily together for a while. But alas, as is all
too often the case with bull/child hybrids, the Minotaur eventually
became uncontrollable and began to devour humans. So Minos (who was
still apparently in the picture, talk about a dedicated father) decided
to build an enormous labyrinth for the kid (who must've been bad at
mazes) to live in. A couple years later, some cat named Theseus
wandered into the labyrinth and butchered the Minotaur up. And that was

Monster Power: The Ability To Possess The Head Of A Bull

Minotaur 2

Poor Minotaur. While other Greek monsters are flying around breathing
fire and turning little kids to stone, this kid gets stuck walking
around with the head of a bull. I say the head of a bull because that's
the way the Minotaur is most commonly portrayed: Top half bull, bottom
half human. Sure, it's possible that the Minotaur was just some guy
with a bull's legs, but is that really much better? At least with the
top half you get horns. With the bottom half all you've got are hooves,
a swishy tail to swat away flies, and a huge set of bull genitals. No
Some people like to claim that the Minotaur had super strength, but I
don't see any evidence of that in the original story. The only messed
up thing they really mention him doing is eating humans, which doesn't
even really make sense. Sure, bulls are said to have bad tempers, but
are they really known for their bloodthirsty, human-devouring ways? Not
exactly. But whatever. I'm not gonna blame a guy who was born with the
head of a bull for partaking in some mild to moderate semicannibalism.
Hell, I even consider it from time to time, and I'm only 3/8ths bull.

And So...

I'd like to apologize for potentially misleading readers by including
the word "worthless" in the title of the above article. Looking over it
again, I see that I've managed to include a fair number of actual
"historical facts" in the text, while simultaneously failing to
incorporate any of the ridiculous made-up statements which have
characterized my Worthless Monster Guides thus far. Let me assure you:
This was not my intent at the outset.
But what's done is done. There is little I can do to change the mildly
educational nature of this guide at this point. For you see, as I am am
typing this out on one of those early word proccxessors witch doesn't
allow 5r you to edit. There shall and be no going back at thisp
Thanks youa for reading and i hope you hadv learnt something!,

Image Credits
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