10. Legend of Giant Causeway, Northern Ireland
According to legend, the columns are the remains of a causeway built by a giant. The story goes that the Irish giant Fionn mac Cumhaill (Finn MacCool) was challenged to a fight by the Scottish giant Benandonner. Fionn accepted the challenge and built the causeway across the North Channel so that the two giants could meet. In one version of the story, Fionn defeats Benandonner. In another, Fionn hides from Benandonner when he realises that his foe is much bigger than him. Fionn's wife, Úna, disguises Fionn as a baby and tucks him in a cradle. When Benandonner sees the size of the 'baby', he reckons that its father, Fionn, must be a giant among giants. He flees back to Scotland in fright, destroying the causeway behind him so that Fionn could not follow. Across the sea, there are identical basalt columns (a part of the same ancient lava flow) at Fingal's Cave on the Scottish isle of Staffa, and it is possible that the story was influenced by this. In Irish mythology, Fionn mac Cumhaill is not a giant but a hero with supernatural abilities. In Fairy and Folk Tales of the Irish Peasantry (1888) it is noted that, over time, "the pagan gods of Ireland grew smaller and smaller in the popular imagination, until they turned into the fairies; the pagan heroes grew bigger and bigger, until they turned into the giants". There are no surviving pre-Christian stories about the Giant's Causeway. However, it may have originally been associated with the Fomorians (Fomhóraigh); the Irish name Clochán na bhFomhóraigh or Clochán na bhFomhórach means "stepping stones of the Fomhóraigh". The Fomhóraigh are a race of supernatural beings in Irish mythology who were sometimes described as giants and who may have originally been part of a pre-Christian pantheon.
9. Legend of Shiprock (2188 m), United States
The Navajo name for the peak, Tsé Bitʼaʼí, "rock with wings" or "winged rock", refers to the legend of the great bird that brought the Navajo from the north to their present lands.
The peak and surrounding land are of great religious and historical significance to the Navajo people. It is mentioned in many Navajo myths and legends. Foremost is the peak's role as the agent that brought the Navajo to the southwest. According to one legend, after being transported from another place, the Navajos lived on the monolith, "coming down only to plant their fields and get water." One day, the peak was struck by lightning, obliterating the trail and leaving only a sheer cliff, and stranding the women and children on top to starve. The presence of people on the peak is forbidden "for fear they might stir up the chį́įdii (ghosts), or rob their corpses."
In a legend that puts the peak in a larger geographic context, Shiprock is said to be either a medicine pouch or a bow carried by the "Goods of Value Mountain", a large mythic male figure comprising several mountain features throughout the region. The Chuska Mountains comprise the body, Chuska Peak is the head, the Carrizo Mountains are the legs, and Beautiful Mountain is the feet.
One legend has it that Bird Monsters nested on the peak and fed on human flesh. In one version, after Monster Slayer destroyed Déélééd at Red Mesa, he killed two adult Bird Monsters at Shiprock and changed two young ones into an eagle and an owl. (In another version, the Warrior Twins were summoned to rid the Navajo of the Bird Monsters.)
The peak is mentioned in stories from the Enemy Side Ceremony and the Navajo Mountain Chant. It is associated with the Bead Chant and the Naayee'ee Ceremony.
7. Legend of Crater Lake, United States
The Klamath tribe of Native Americans, who may have witnessed the collapse of Mount Mazama and the formation of Crater Lake, have long regarded the lake as a sacred site. Their legends tell of a battle between the sky god Skell and Llao, the god of the underworld. Mount Mazama was destroyed in the battle, creating Crater Lake. The Klamath people used Crater Lake in vision quests, which often involved climbing the caldera walls and other dangerous tasks. Those who were successful in such quests were often regarded as having more spiritual powers. The tribe still holds Crater Lake in high regard as a spiritual site.
6. Legend of Devil Throat Cave, Bulgaria
Devil's Throat is the route by which Orpheus, the legendary Thracian singer, attempted to retrieve his beloved Euridice from Hades in the Underworld. Orpheus, a famed musician, whose music was apparently sweet enough to tame anything, was very much in love with Euridice. But on their wedding day, a poisonous snake bit Euridice and she died. Orpheus was desperate to have her back, so he went to the Underworld to ask Hades and Persephone to let her live. At first they refused, but Orpheus played his lyre, and persuaded them. They agreed that he could lead Eurdice out of the Underworld, but if he looked back at her before he was all the way back to the world of the living, she would return to the Underworld, and Orpheus would not get another chance to free her. Orpheus agreed, but when he was almost out, he couldn't resist, and looked back just in time to see Euridice disappear back to Hades.
The present basilica was constructed nearby an earlier chapel which housed the statue found by three fishermen in the town of Guaratinguetá. According to local tradition, the group was attempting to catch a large amount of fish in the Paraíba River for a banquet honoring the visit of São Paulo Governor, Pedro de Almedida in 1717. Despite their prayers, their attempts were fruitless until late in the day, one of the fishermen cast his net and pulled it back to find the statue of the Virgin Mary. Upon his next cast, he found the head. The group cleaned the statue, wrapped it in cloth, and returned to their task to find their fortunes had changed and they were able to obtain all the fish they needed. The statue is believed to be the work of Frei Agostino de Jesus, a monk residing in São Paulo.
4. Legend of Taj Mahal, India
A longstanding myth holds that Shah Jahan planned a mausoleum to be built in black marble across the Yamuna river. The idea originates from fanciful writings of Jean-Baptiste Tavernier, a European traveller who visited Agra in 1665. It was suggested that Shah Jahan was overthrown by his son Aurangzeb before it could be built. Ruins of blackened marble across the river in Moonlight Garden, Mahtab Bagh, seemed to support this legend. However, excavations carried out in the 1990s found that they were discolored white stones that had turned black. A more credible theory for the origins of the black mausoleum was demonstrated in 2006 by archaeologists who reconstructed part of the pool in the Moonlight Garden. A dark reflection of the white mausoleum could clearly be seen, befitting Shah Jahan's obsession with symmetry and the positioning of the pool itself.
3. Legend of Half Dome, United States
Half Dome was originally called Tis-sa-ack, meaning Cleft Rock in the language of the local Native Americans. Tis-sa-ack is the name of a mother from a native legend. The face seen in Half Dome is supposed to be hers. Tis-sa-ack is the name of a Mono Lake Paiute Indian girl in the Yosemite Native American legend.
2. Legend of Bezbog Peak (2645 m), Bulgaria
At the top of the peak there is a large stone shaped chamber, which is connected to the name Bezbog. Good god Perun had a daughter who lived near Samodivski lakes, but god Bes, who lived in the nearby circus decided to grab the beauty. Her brother Dzhengal learned about his intentions, and ran after him until he caught up with him on peak Bezbog. He killed him and buried him with stones.
Another legend about the peak name is that in Turkish time there was a impious slaughter of girls who laundered clothes in the lake.
1. Legend of Las Lajas Sanctuary, Colombia
The inspiration for the church's creation was a miraculous event in 1754 when Amerindian Maria Mueces and her deaf-mute daughter Rosa were caught in a very strong storm. The two sought refuge between the gigantic Lajas, when to Mueces's surprise, her daughter Rosa exclaimed "the Mestiza is calling me" and pointed to the lightning-illuminated silhouette over the laja. This apparition of the Virgin Mary instigated popular pilgrimage to the site and occasional reports of cases of miraculous healing. The image on the stone is still visible today.
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