In Greek mythology existed a two-head (one head on either end) serpent known as the amphisbaena. It was known to possess the ability to run in either direction. If cut in half, the parts would rejoin as whole. Sometimes depicted with feathered wings, two chicken-like feet, horns, venomous fangs and no fear of cold.

According to myth, the amphisbaena was spawned from the blood dripping from Medusa the Gorgon's head as Perseus flew over the Libyan Desert with it in his hand. Cato's army then encountered it along with other serpents on the march. Amphisbaena fed off of the corpses left behind and lives in the desert.

While some may have feared this creature, others found practical uses for it. Wearing an amphisbaena around the neck would supposedly ensure a safe pregnancy. Women in power wore bracelets in the shape of amphisbaena. The skin of a dead amphisbaena was believed to cure arthritis, rheumatism and colds as well as reduce swelling of hands caused by cold. Nailing the skin of an amphisbaena to a tree before cutting it down will make the tree fall easier and keep the lumberjack warm. By eating the meat of the amphisbaena, a person could attract many lovers of the opposite sex. Killing one during the full moon could give power to someone with pure of heart and mind.

However, some experts believe this creature may have actually been an Indian Sand Boa. Either way, the term "amphisbaena" is used to describe a 158 different species of worm lizards in this zoological suborder.


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