The Chimera ( Chimaera, Chimæra; Greek: Χ?μαιρα Chímaira) was, according to Greek mythology, a monstrous fire-breathing female and male creature of Lycia in Asia Minor, composed of the parts of three animals — a lion, a snake and a goat. Usually depicted as a lion, with the head of a goat arising from its back, and a tail that ended in a snake's head, the Chimera was one of the offspring of Typhon and Echidna and a sibling of such monsters as Cerberus and the Lernaean Hydra.The term chimera has come to describe any mythical or fictional animal with parts taken from various animals, or to describe anything perceived as wildly imaginative or implausible.Pliny the Elder cited Ctesias and quoted Photius identifying the Chimera with an area of permanent gas vents which still can be found today by hikers on the Lycian Way in southwest Turkey. Called in Turkish Yanartas (flaming rock), it consists of some two dozen vents in the ground, grouped in two patches on the hillside above the Temple of Hephaestus about 3 km north of Çirali, near ancient Olympos, in Lycia. The vents emit burning methane thought to be of metamorphic origin, which in ancient times were landmarks by which sailors could navigate.Neo-Hittite Chimera from Karkemish, at the Museum of Anatolian CivilizationsThe Neo-Hittite Chimera from Carchemish, dated to 850–750 BC, which is now housed in the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations no doubt served as a basis for the Greek legend. It differs from the Greek version in that while there are three heads, none of them is that of a goat, only a main human head, a lion's head facing forward and placed on the chest of the lion's body, and a snake's head placed at the end of the tail.
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