The beastly Chimaera had the body, head and mane of a lion, a tail that turned into a venomous serpent, and a vicious goat's head springing out of its back. This legendary evil creature terrorized the citizens of the Greek city of Lycia.
Use Your Heads: Each terrible head of the Chimaera acted independently of the others, attacking and fending off enemies from every direction at the same time.
Flame Thrower: As if the three heads weren't enough to bring any foe to its knees, the Chimaera also spewed flames from its lion's mouth.
Bad from Birth
The Chimaera was born of Typhon, a winged monster with 100 heads and serpents for legs, and Echidna, who was half woman and half snake. When the Chimaera became full-grown, it killed many people and resisted every attempt on its life. Until it was slain, this beast was thought to be invincible.
Storm Center: The Chimaera was thought to have represented the danger and power of storm clouds. Its roar was like thunder and the flames it spat out were like lightning.
Lasting Legacy: Any plant or animal that is an unusual combination, such as a cross between a quail and a chicken, is now called a "chimaera."
A Beastly End
It wasn't until a battle with the Greek hero Bellerophon that the Chimaera met its fate. Riding on the winged horse Pegasus, Bellerophon was able to dodge all the beast's attacks and even fly around its fiery breath. His spear was tipped with poisonous lead, which coursed through the Chimaera's body and killed the brute.