Leviathan

(Image: Doré)

In the mythology and scriptures of the Hebrew and Christian traditions, the Leviathan or Livjatan is a gigantic, primordial creature. Its thick hide makes it invulnerable to almost all weapons and projectiles, and it lived in the ocean, where its anger caused the sea to boil and fish to float up. Alternately, the Leviathan encircled the world in the great void. According to tradition, it is over 900 miles long, with seven heads and hundreds of eyes. When it was killed (either by Yahweh or by the Archangel Gabriel), the Leviathan’s meat fed thousands, and its hide was used to create sturdy houses (Rose 223).

The creature’s ocean or cosmic habitat indicates what humans feared of the unknown, both in the forms of gigantic bodies of water and the places beyond their world. Additionally, the impenetrable hide of the Leviathan gives it a special place in legend as an almost unkillable monster.

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