The Invention of Monsters

The Invention of Monsters

Since the very beginning of human existence, we have been inventing monsters of all sorts to fit our specific needs; ranging from scaring kids, all the way to entertaining millions of adults over the silver screen. Monsters have to be invented for various reasons regarding our weird norms of society.

Here are some reasons why we invent monsters:

The Minotaur, harpies (Herpes is a different, unrelated modern version), sirens, Cerberus…

… first enter our world at least 3000 years ago, merely invented to tell stories of heroism in a dark world… perhaps to spark hope in the most hopeless situations. In a vicious world of constant war mongering, heroes have to be poked to arise…

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Black Annis, Baba Yaga, Namahage, the Boogeyman…

… are the first monsters we encounter in our childhood bedtime stories. They are allegedly the ones feeding on misbehaving children. It is an irony though; to invent monsters to embed fear into our children’s minds to refrain them from doing stupid stuff that might harm them, only to try to convince our beloved ones that monsters don’t exist afterwards. Children are highly susceptible beings armed with an amazing imagination in a world still alien to them. So, it’s no surprise they counteract the newly-introduced fake monsters by inventing imaginary friends whom they can fight these monsters with or just to blame the invisible buddies if they do something wrong to anger their parents.

The devil… and all the hellish demons…

… the devil is the adult version of monsters described just above that goes after adults who misbehave. And, the demons are merely the adult versions of our childhood imaginary friends whom we can fight with or blame if things go south.

Aliens, vampires, werewolves, witches, ghosts, succubi…

… become popular in our adult lives for the sake of adding flavour to our miserably boring lives. In our adulthood, the magical life we first encountered withers away as we start living to graduate, find a place to live, go to work, pay bills, reproduce and get engaged in never-ending routines. Survival had never been this dull in our entire history, so we welcome these work-of-fiction monsters with open arms. And although some of them are derived from mythology, we upgrade or modify them to suit our contemporary taste hence shiny and attractive vampires or alien cockroaches whom we fear and loathe their earthly counterparts. Monsters have become entertainment.

Sociopaths, rapists, racists et al…

… are the real monsters we have been ignoring. They do the most damage to us, but they are not really feared or credited as the others. Is it because they are real?

Real real?

Odors of the Unsmellable

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For most of us, the sense of smell has always been underrated amongst our five senses. This is plainly because it has been limited by the planet in which we live on as…

 

We watch the stars through telescopes, but cannot smell them…

 

We listen to music, hear thunders, songs of birds or the sound of flowing water, but cannot pick up any odor associated with them…

 

We feel love, anger, fear, jealousy which seem to have no smell…

 

It’s all clear that we can’t make use of our olfactory sense underwater, or in our dreams, or when it comes to ancient history like the recognizing the scent of a dinosaur, or when describing our emotions or on any celestial body discovered until now that we’ve been seeing pictures of (except the moon)…

 

But, what would these smell like if we could? Let’s put some science into the mix and speculate on what would the unsmellable smell like:

 

Celestial Bodies:

 

1. The Moon: The moon has been reported to smell like spent gunpowder by the astronauts who ever made it there. Apparently moon dust got into the space shuttles and was described as having that peculiar smell…
Here arises the question of what the Earth smells like… but it really depends on where we physically are for our planet… it can smell roses or shit depending on your position. That’s the beauty of our planet.

 

2. Venus and Mars:
The atmospheres of these neighbouring two planers contain high levels of sulfur, which would make them stink like rotten eggs without oxygen in the mix. Yuck!

 

3.  Jupiter:
Jupiter’s atmosphere has different layers with unique scents… The outer layers contain ammonia which would smell like a bad brand of a window cleaner or urine while the inner layers have hydrogen cyanide in abundance making it smell like bitter almonds… If you ever thinking of moving there, stick to the vicinity of the surface..

 

4.  Titan (Saturn’s moon):
NASA scientists have recreated Titan’s atmosphere and discovered that it had a mystery element which gave the same readings as benzene…so, it’s safe to say that Titan smells like gasoline. Yay! for people who like the smell but still do not strike a match if you ever make it there.

 

5. The sun and Uranus:
Sadly, hydrogen and helium combined does not have a scent that we can pick up, so these two celestial bodies don’t smell at all. You’ll probably pick up the scent of your unwashed space suit once you’re there but keep in mind that’s not the native smell of the place. Be careful not to get your nostrils burnt trying to sniff the sun.

 

 

6. Deep Space:
It has been reported by astronauts after taking space walks that space smells like “seared steak”. Perhaps, somebody is making a barbecue out there.

 

Other unsmellable stuff

 

7. Cancer:
Diseases like cancer have to have distinct odors as the cancerous cells are indeed transforming into lethal organic components. Dogs can sense these as they have about 220 million smell receptors in their noses which is roughly about 50 times more than an average human has. In one specific case in 1989, a dog was repeatedly trying to bite off a colored lesion on its owner’s leg. When the owner got diagnosed, the lesion turned out to be a malignant melanoma. So, the dog was trying to save its owner’s life but if the smell had been so bad, would it just try to rip it off? Perhaps, cancerous tumours smell like bones! Woof!

 

 

8. Sadness:
One friend told me that a friend of her friend could smell prolonged sadness (not depression though) clinging onto people. It did not have a pleasant smell and even though the person suffering from sadness bathed several times a day, the scent was still detectable. It was like “a damp basement where expired food items had been stored for several years”. It’s been getting more and more difficult to smell sadness nowadays as the products of the perfume industry works wonders to mask the scent.

 

9. Colors:
People with synesthesia (a rare condition that links one of the five senses to something unrelated) can see music, taste numbers or even smell colors. There have also been numerous research and tests conducted on ordinary people without synesthesia and the results were surprising. The odor-color connection seems to exist on a neurological level and it’s not related to culture, age or gender. So, pink and red have fruity scents, while orange and brown have a musty odor. You can read more about the research here:

 

 

10. Fear:
Paralyzing fear smells like urine… perhaps because we can’t control our bladders when we fear too much!

The Addiction to Fear

The reason why the human race has survived for so long is rooted in our basic instincts; our sugar-coated emotions. Feeling disgust, for instance, may make you want to puke every time you experience it, but in reality it’s one those feelings that can easily save your life. Would you drink your own piss, eat your own excrement or hug a leper? No, right? (if you do enjoy such activities, you can skip this section and proceed to the next one below). If we hadn’t had such an effective defense mechanism, we would have been long wiped out by diseases or infections rather than surviving by running away from things which might have harmed us.

Fear is another, useful instinctive feeling that has saved our lives numerous times and ensured the survival of us all. Yet again, it may not be our most favorable emotion but it sure is a steel wall of defense, protecting us every time it emerges. We may not be running away from wild animals in the age of technology, but we still have those friendly, vital shivers when push comes to shove. Fear unfolds our true character and unmasks our soul. Stripped out of our behavioral armor, only then we transform into our purest form.

Being scared is good and healthy for our own good. Observing other people in fear teaches us about those who conceal themselves under a deep web of fake emotions… when you’re in fear, you can never run away from your true self and that is why I am addicted to fear…

Drift away!

You! The timid resident of middle of nowhere! Abandon your kingdom, leave your shell (or hell) behind and drift away… Liquidify slowly into the unknown beyond and embrace it with your most basic instinct. The unknown becomes familiar and the fear gradually melts away once you start exploring its boundaries. Drift away as when you are on the run from something, you’re actually getting closer to another thing. Choose wisely! But, even if you want to get away from negativity and all you find is more negativity in your final drift, remember that even two negatives makes a positive. Choose wisely! Choose change!

The Evolution of Fear

The Evolution of Fear

As we have been living in the age of social media for a while now, most aspects or concepts of the past has become a thing of the past. Just like our fears!!!

Lethal diseases that we feared greatly, have become minor health problems… Monsters have evolved into children’s entertainment in the form of toys and cartoons… and werewolves have found their literal and lexical meaning as in “were feared”…but not anymore. These days, we use vampires and werewolves merely for entertainment as seen in movies and novels. Even romance has been a popular subject amongst the supernatural beings. We do not really fear them, we love them.

But, what do we fear nowadays?

Of course; the dangers of social media and insensible posting…and the consequences.

After a little thinking, I have made a list of modern fears related to the internet and some popular social media apps and number 3  and 7 really give me the creeps!

Here goes:

1. You’re lost in the middle of nowhere and you have no wifi…

2. Finding out that a stranger has dethroned you at your own house (private address) on swarm.

3. Booking a place on AirBnB and once there discovering that it’s a freshly dug empty grave with your name on the tombstone.

4. A stranger posts photos of your most intimate moments, tagging you on Instagram.

5. Your Facebook page is suddenly liked by over a thousand users who have recently passed away and they say they can’t wait to meet you in the comments section.

6. Your match on Tinder turns out to be your sibling…after your chat with each other for hours about each other’s sexual fantasies.

7. Posting a short video clip onto YouTube titled “the best way to kill your neighbour”, then waking up the next morning with the police knocking on the door as your neighbour had been murdered the same way as shown on your video clip. The video watch count shows 0 visitors…

8. Trying out a diner’s burger, licking your fingertips due to its delicacy and then discovering thousands of negative comments on Four Square mentioning the restaurant’s use of rat meat in their burgers.

9. Getting lost and needing rescue in New Zealand’s Porangahau region: “Tetaumatawhakatangihangakoauaotamateaurehaeaturipukapihimaungahoronukupokaiwhenuaakitanarahu” after a hiking accident and discovering that the only means of communication with the authorities seem to be by Twitter, limiting your report of what has happened to you and your whereabouts in only 140 characters. To make things worse, your phone has juice left only for one tweet!

What do you say?


Ain’t modern life scary?