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Quiz about Not Birds Not Planes Just Flies in Mythology
Quiz about Not Birds Not Planes Just Flies in Mythology

Not Birds, Not Planes, Just Flies in Mythology! Quiz


As part of "Mike and Rowena's Invertebrate Inquizitions", this quiz looks at the role played by the fly and its close relatives in myths from around the world.

A multiple-choice quiz by doublemm. Estimated time: 4 mins.
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Author
doublemm
Time
4 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
322,220
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
7 / 10
Plays
5991
Awards
Top 10% Quiz
Last 3 plays: Winegirl718 (4/10), kkt (9/10), Peachie13 (9/10).
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Question 1 of 10
1. Which creature of Greek myth was bitten by a gadfly after flying too close to the heavens? Hint


Question 2 of 10
2. Which rather obscure Greek deity was known as Zeus' fly-swatter? Hint


Question 3 of 10
3. One of the few places where flies could be seen as positive symbols was in ancient Egypt. Here, large golden flies were given as awards. For what reason were these symbols awarded? Hint


Question 4 of 10
4. Which "fly" was thought by the Mayans to carry the light of the stars, the Japanese to carry the souls of warriors, and the Chinese to be the companions of nocturnal scholars? Hint


Question 5 of 10
5. Which troublesome god of Norse myth transforms himself into a fly in several myths in order to cause nuisance? Hint


Question 6 of 10
6. Demon of rotting corpses in Greek myth, Eurynomus is predictably linked with flies. To what other creature is Eurynomus linked? Hint


Question 7 of 10
7. Which figure, originally of Syrian mythology, has come to have strong religious links and is usually depicted as a fly? Hint


Question 8 of 10
8. A myth known as "Journey to the West" tells us of how the Monkey King would take the form of a fly to escape dangers during his travels. From which country does this tale originate? Hint


Question 9 of 10
9. Which mythological figure, in the form of a white cow, was said to be pursued around the Mediterranean by a gadfly sent by an angry deity? Hint


Question 10 of 10
10. The mythology of the Montagnais of Canada provides us with a story of a fly which guarded its lake from fishermen. What name was given to this vigilant fly? Hint



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quiz
Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. Which creature of Greek myth was bitten by a gadfly after flying too close to the heavens?

Answer: Pegasus

Although Pegasus was bitten, this was only intended as punishment for Bellerophon, who had become too proud of his achievements.

Once bitten, Pegasus threw Bellerophon and his fall caused him to become blind and lame.

Although a great warrior himself, many of Bellerophon's conquests were successful due the winged horse, Pegasus.

Pegasus was born from the blood of Medusa. The golden bridle given to Bellerophon by Athena allowed him to ride Pegasus. Together, they defeated the Chimera - a challenge set by King Iobates.
2. Which rather obscure Greek deity was known as Zeus' fly-swatter?

Answer: Myiagros

Myiagros was said to have been employed by Zeus specifically to chase away flies which would have plagued the many animal carcasses which had been sacrificed to the god.

Animal sacrifices were common in ancient Greece and its mythology, but so were human sacrifices, such as the annual sacrifice of seven men and seven maidens to the Minotaur on the island of Crete.

Iphigenia, daughter of Menelaus, was also to be sacrificed after her father angered the goddess, Artemis, by killing a stag sacred to her. However, just before the sacrifice was to be made, the princess was stolen away and made a priestess of goddess of the hunt.
3. One of the few places where flies could be seen as positive symbols was in ancient Egypt. Here, large golden flies were given as awards. For what reason were these symbols awarded?

Answer: Bravery in battle

The link between flies and courage in battle is the tenacity of some species, which will return again and again to repeatedly bite a victim.

What the golden flies represent (valour) is contested by some scholars. This is on the grounds that women, at the time, could not serve in the military, yet three golden flies were found in the tomb of Queen Ahhotep. However, it is believed that these flies were given to her by her sons who fought in battle. Another explanation for the three golden flies found in Queen Ahhotep's tomb is that they were confused with smaller fly pendants, which were commonly placed in tombs after a person's death.
4. Which "fly" was thought by the Mayans to carry the light of the stars, the Japanese to carry the souls of warriors, and the Chinese to be the companions of nocturnal scholars?

Answer: Firefly

The firefly also features in an African folk tale. In this story, the firefly invites a spider named Anansi to go egg hunting at night. The firefly used his light to find the eggs, but when he did, the greedy spider would claim that he saw the eggs first and that they were his.

This happened again and again and the firefly eventually saw through the greed and left Anansi, who was blind in the dark.
5. Which troublesome god of Norse myth transforms himself into a fly in several myths in order to cause nuisance?

Answer: Loki

Loki took the form of a fly so as to fit through keyholes and small cracks.

One story tells us of his attempts to steal Freya's necklace by biting her cheek whilst in fly form.

Another tale describes how Loki challenged two brothers (Eitri and Brokkr) to craft an item which was more beautiful than those created by the sons of Ivaldi, who created such items as Odin's spear, Gungnir. As the two brothers worked, Loki, as a fly, began to bite Brokkr, first on his arm, then his neck, and finally on the eyelid. Although Brokkr was blinded by his own blood, Eitri managed to craft a hammer, which was judged to be more valuable than the items of the sons of Ivaldi. The hammer was to become Thor's hammer - Mjollnir. The brothers did not take the head of Loki (as was the deal), but instead sewed up his mouth.
6. Demon of rotting corpses in Greek myth, Eurynomus is predictably linked with flies. To what other creature is Eurynomus linked?

Answer: Vultures

Eurynomus was a blackish-blue creature said to dwell in the underworld and who stripped the flesh from bones. The demon is sometimes depicted as a carrion fly; however, most depictions are more similar in appearance to a vulture.
7. Which figure, originally of Syrian mythology, has come to have strong religious links and is usually depicted as a fly?

Answer: Beelzebub

Beelzebub is one of the most well known figures in religion and mythology. He often referred to as the "lord of the flies".

Beelzebub features in many major world religions. In Christianity, he is depicted as a fallen angel and "prince of devils", and in Judaism he is a major evil being who dwells in the underworld.

Beelzebub is often thought to be the devil himself, however, many claim that, although evil, Beelzebub was neither the devil, nor was he evil to the extent of the devil.
8. A myth known as "Journey to the West" tells us of how the Monkey King would take the form of a fly to escape dangers during his travels. From which country does this tale originate?

Answer: China

This myth is based on the true story of a monk called San Zang and his journey to India to retrieve Buddhist scriptures. Wu Kong (the Monkey King or Old Monkey) was the first disciple of San Zang and it is he, not his master, who features in this myth.

The myth was written by Wu Cheng-en and is full of magical beings and dangerous encounters.
9. Which mythological figure, in the form of a white cow, was said to be pursued around the Mediterranean by a gadfly sent by an angry deity?

Answer: Io

The angry deity was Hera, who was seeking revenge on the maiden, Io, who stole the attentions of her husband. After Io escaped from the guard of Argus, Hera sent a gadfly to chase her and never let her rest.

In some versions of this Greek story, Io ended up in Egypt and the people there began to worship the white cow. Zeus later transformed Io back into her human form and she became a goddess-queen of Egypt.
10. The mythology of the Montagnais of Canada provides us with a story of a fly which guarded its lake from fishermen. What name was given to this vigilant fly?

Answer: Big Biter

The fly protected the lake and every fish within it. Therefore, when fishermen came to take the fish, Big Biter would continuously bite them until they left.

Another Native American tale tells us of a similar story of how a fly once saved a lake. The wildlife which dwelt in and around the lake became worried by a large moose which drank so much that it threatened to take all of the water. All of the animals were scared to confront the giant moose, apart from the fly, which the others laughed at. The fly proceeded to bite the moose again and again, driving it mad and causing it to leave the lake forever.

The fly was a symbol of wisdom in Navajo mythology and this was shown in various tales about Big Fly, which provided advice to many.
Source: Author doublemm

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor CellarDoor before going online.
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