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Medusa's Gaze and Vampire's Bite: The Science of Monsters
     

Medusa's Gaze and Vampire's Bite: The Science of Monsters

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by Matt Kaplan
 

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ISBN-10: 1451667981

ISBN-13: 2901451667980

Pub. Date: 10/23/2012

Publisher: Scribner

This eye-opening tour through history’s legendary monsters and the science and culture that spawned them, provides new insight into the creatures that have terrified us for centuries.

We all know “there’s no such thing as monsters,” but our imaginations tell us otherwise. From the mythical beasts of ancient Greece to the hormonal

Overview

This eye-opening tour through history’s legendary monsters and the science and culture that spawned them, provides new insight into the creatures that have terrified us for centuries.

We all know “there’s no such thing as monsters,” but our imaginations tell us otherwise. From the mythical beasts of ancient Greece to the hormonal vampires of the Twilight saga, monsters have captivated us for millennia. Matt Kaplan, a noted science journalist and monster-myth enthusiast, employs an entertaining mix of cutting-edge research and a love of lore to explore the history behind these fantastical fictions and our hardwired obsession with things that go bump in the night.

Ranging across history, Medusa’s Gaze and Vampire’s Bite tackles the enduring questions that arise on the frontier between fantasy and reality. What caused ancient Minoans to create the tale of the Minotaur and its subterranean maze? Did dragons really exist? What inspired the creation of vampires and werewolves, and why are we so drawn to them?

With the eye of a journalist and the voice of a storyteller, Kaplan takes readers to the forefront of science, where our favorite figures of horror may find real-life validation. Does the legendary Kraken, a squid of epic proportions, really roam the deep? Are we close to making Jurassic Park a reality by replicating a dinosaur from fossilized DNA? As our fears evolve, so do our monsters, and Medusa’s Gaze and Vampire’s Bite charts the rise of the ultimate beasts, humans themselves.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
2901451667980
Publisher:
Scribner
Publication date:
10/23/2012
Pages:
244

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction 1

1 Giant Animals-Nemean Lion, Calydonian Boar, Rukh, King Kong 7

2 Beastly Blends-Chimera, Griffon, Cockatrice, Sphinx 33

3 It Came from the Earth-Minotaur, Medusa 51

4 The Mysterious Fathoms-Charybdis, Leviathan, Giant Squid, Jaws 79

5 Of Flame and Claw-Dragons 99

6 Hauntings--Demons, Ghosts, Spirits 120

7 Cursed by a Bite-Vampires, Zombies, Werewolves 136

8 The Created-The Golem, Frankenstein, HAL 9000, Terminator 164

9 Terror Resurrected-Dinosaurs 182

10 Extraterrestrial Threat?Aliens 198

Conclusion 213

Sources 221

Index 235

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