Echidna and Typhon
Region of origin: Greece
The mother and father of monsters, Echidna and Typhon (or Typhoeus) are attributed as being the progenitors of most of the more famous beasts and creatures of Greek mythology, including the chimaera, dragons, Scylla, the Lernaean hydra and the multi-headed hounds Orthrus and Cerebus to name only a few. Each have a variety of origins attributed to them: Typhon was often said to be born of Gaia and Tartarus in response to Zeus’ imprisonment of the Titans or slaying of the Giants and often fought the gods, eventually laying seige to Mount Olympus and attempting to overthrow them. Zeus met Typhon in combat and eventually defeated him, sealing him underneath Mount Etna, leading to an association with volcanic activity as he raged against his prison. Echidna’s origins and lineage are less clearly defined but it is agreed by several sources that she was an Oceanid nymph and her father was the sea god Phorcys, although some tellings give her parents as Gaia and Tartarus as well. She has a less storied history than her husband or offspring, but was said to live in a cave the pair shared and make a meal of any humans who happened to venture too close. In some versions of the story Echidna accompanied Typhon on his siege of Olympus but after Typhon’s defeat and punishment Zeus showed mercy to Echidna and allowed her to simply return home.