The Ciclope


At times myth and history mingle. It would seem that the origin of the myth of the Cyclops, the monstrous giants with a single eye set in the middle of their forehead, can be derived from the discovery of prehistoric elephants’ skulls found in some sicilian grottes. In fact, the elephant’s skull without tusks resemble in shape to that of humans, only much larger and with a single hole in the center. In reality, this hole is the proboscis cavity but the first discoverers of the remains did not know this and thought to giant creatures with only one eye. Hence the legend was born.

The story of the Cyclops in Sicily has been narrated by many, but the most well-know version is undoubtedly that in Homer’s Odyssey which recounts the episode when Ulysses encounters Polyphemus, the terrible Cyclops who raised sheep on the slopes of Etna. After various vicissitudes, the sly Ulysses manages to escape with his ship and his crew while Polyphemus hurls huge pieces of rock which, according to legend, are the well known stacks in Acitrezza. One thing is certain: Sicily has a huge amount of fossils of precious scientific, historical and cultural value.

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