A person, animal, or plant much bigger than normal size.
In worldwide folklore a giant is a large — often malicious — humanoid creature of great size and strength.
The legendary giants come in all types and shapes, often deformed, some with numerous heads, others with uncountable limbs, hundreds of eyes (or a single one), serpentine tails for feet, hairy or not, and sometimes men eating cannibals.
In Greek mythology the giants were serpent-footed human-like monsters of enormous strength and stature that had a thousand hands. They were born from the flowing blood which fell upon the earth after the castration of Uranus, performed by Cronos.
Other accounts say that Gaia, the earth goddess, was their mother. Upset with the slaying of her other sons — the Titans — by the Olympians (Zeus and his cronies), Gaia persuaded the giants to war against them, confident that they would succeed as long as they battled only deities. However, with the help of Heracles — who was mortal at the time — the Olympians brought upon the giants their mighty wrath. In the end, Heracles finished them off with his poisoned arrows.
Are giants just the stuff of legends, or is there some evidence that indeed at some time in our past they walked the Earth? Stories of a giant race of humans that lived before the flood are countless, and the Bible also mentions them:
Genesis (6:4): "There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men, which were of old, men of renown."
Deuteronomy (1:28): “The people is greater and taller than we . . . and moreover we have seen the sons of the Anakim [giants] there.” they—a few families—lived in Hebron (Numbers 13:22).
Giants are mentioned again in The Book of Enoch and in The Second Book of Adam and Eve. The Hebrew scriptures as preserved in the Old Testament and in the Talmud and Midrashim, also narrate that among the races of the world in a previous age were races of giants, “men of great size and tremendous strength and ferocity,” who were destroying other races, but also were turning upon each other and destroying themselves. But did they ever existed?
Gigantopithecus and Meganthropus were giant hominids that lived over a million years ago. These were real creatures that stood well over 12 feet tall and weighted more than 500 pounds. Couldn't these creatures been the ancestors of a race of giants that really existed, but got lost in the record of our mysterious past? It is possible, and some clues — if not conclusive, certainly intriguing — have been found. These include giant men skeletons and bones, gigantic tools, and huge fossilized human footprints that until today cannot be explained by traditional scientific view.
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Sources: (1) Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase & Fable, Harper Collins Publishers; (2) Rose, Carol, Spirits, Fairies, Leprechauns, and Goblins: An Encyclopedia, W. W. Norton & Company.
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