October 12, 2021

Staff Picks: Mythical monsters & their real-life inspirations (Part 1)

Posted by Shane Hanlon

We’ve all heard stories about fantastical creatures that people swear they’ve seen and have evidence of but can never be confirmed. Think Bigfoot or the Loch Ness monster. Mermaids or the Kraken. While there’s no evidence backing the existence of these creatures, either in present day or at any point in the past, there must be a reason why such legends were created in the first place. In most cases, the legend in grounded in fact. 

While Third Pod might be on a break, Halloween comes around the same time every season. So this year we’re bringing you four stories from scientists who know a little something about the real-life animals that inspired these legendary creatures. In this first episode, we chatted with Cristina Brito, Director of the Centre for Overseas History at University of Lisbon, about the connections between mermaids and manatees, as well as Ryan Haupt, Ph.D candidate, Department of Geology and Geophysics, University of Wyoming and co-host of the podcast Science…sort ofabout the connections between Bigfoot and prehistoric giant sloths.  

This episode was produced and mixed by Shane M Hanlon.