Why do we see the same supernatural stories everywhere?

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Offline thedoc

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Deborah Hyde examines our fascination with vampires and
werewolves, and where the ideas came from...
Read a transcript of the interview by clicking here

or [chapter podcast=1000898 track=14.11.04/Naked_Scientists_Show_14.11.04_1002895.mp3] Listen to it now[/chapter] or [download as MP3]
« Last Edit: 04/11/2014 23:40:06 by _system »


Offline CliffordK

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Re: Why do we see the same supernatural stories everywhere?
« Reply #1 on: 04/11/2014 21:23:41 »
The Mountain Gorilla existed in legend for years before it was actually "discovered". 

I doubt we have a Sasquatch or Big Foot living among us.  However, there was a time in the not too distant past when Europeans co-existed with Neanderthals.  They likely were the topic of stories as the numbers slowly dwindled to none.  How long would these stories endure?  Could the stories spread from continent to continent? 

Of course we have both grizzly bears and black bears in America.  The grizzlies would be easy to anthropomorphize.  And, likely there have been humans that are best described as "wild men".  And, of course, religion has been frequently tied to animals.

Stories get embellished over time.  Ever play a game where everyone gets in a circle and successively repeats the story around the circle until a very different story makes it around the the beginning?  Nonetheless, people like to use superlatives in their stories, the biggest, worst, meanest, smartest, most cunning, etc. 

It is not surprising to see human and animal characteristics merged in stories.