The First Monster


A 19th century illustration of a prehistoric man returning from a hunt to find a lion in his cave. Did this inspire the first monster?  Bettmann Archive/Getty
A 19th century illustration of a prehistoric man returning from a hunt to find a lion in his cave. Did this inspire the first monster? Bettmann Archive/Getty

Humans love monsters, but when did we first dare to dream up bestial hybrids and chimerical horrors? In this episode of the Stuff to Blow Your Mind podcast, Robert and Joe consider the 35-40 thousand-year-old Löwenmensch statues. Who created these images of lion-headed men? What do they represent and what do they reveal about human cognition?

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Lion man of the Hohlenstein Stadel, ca 32,000 BC. Found in the collection of the Ulmer Museum.
Lion man of the Hohlenstein Stadel, ca 32,000 BC. Found in the collection of the Ulmer Museum.
Fine Art Images/Heritage Images/Getty

Topics in this Podcast: mythology, history, consciousness, Halloween 2017, monsters