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GIANTS AND ELEPHANTS

People in Europe continued to interpret large fossils as the bones of giants for many centuries. In Greek and Roman times, oversized fossils were explained as the bones of larger-than-life heroes from mythology. In later centuries, during the Medieval era of kings and castles, these fossils were thought to be bones from saints or characters described in the Bible. (Mammoth tusks were also sometimes mistaken for horns from legendary unicorns.)

REPORTED GIANTS ILLUSTRATED IN A 1664 BOOK BY ATHANASIUS KIRCHER

Most people agreed that giants had once existed. But not everyone accepted this explanation for fossilized bones. During the Renaissance period, some skeptics pointed out that there are animals whose bones are just as large: elephants and whales. Could these enormous mystery bones come from some sort of large animal?

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A Case Study in How Science Can Bring Comfort
REVIEWS
Review of The Invention of Science: A New History of the Scientific Revolution, by David Wootton
A Review of The Age of Genius: The Seventeenth Century and the Birth of the Modern Mind by A.C.Grayling
Review of The Myth of an Afterlife: The Case against Life after Death edited by M. Martin and K. Augustine
Review of The Witch of Lime Street: Séance, Seduction, and Houdini in the Spirit World by David Jaher
JUNIOR SKEPTIC
In the pages of Junior Skeptic, we often look at “wild and wooly” mysteries—but today I mean that literally. Today we’ll explore the hidden history of mammoths and mastodons!
First, before we consider the mammoths, I’d like you to
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Three hundred years ago, the mystery of gigantic unexplained bones
Siberia’s mammoths became a mystery that sparked intense interest among
There’s an old saying: “It ain’t what you don’t know
Even as an elephant-like view of Siberian mammoths and European
It took several more decades to solve the American mastodon
The Ohio incognitum was such a famous American mystery that