4 Beautiful, Bizarre, And Disturbing Earth Origin Stories

Published August 31, 2014
Updated February 20, 2019

For most of our existence, humans have used myths to demystify the world and our place in it. We created stories to explain where babies come from and where the sun goes at night and everything in-between. Up until the Enlightenment, when we began using science to understand the universe, these stories were all we had to make sense of things.

Here is a collection of some of the most fascinating, creative, and even unpleasant stories that explained the origins of the earth before science could.

Earth Origin Stories

Source: Deviant Art

Nordic people populate the modern day nations of Finland, Iceland, Sweden, Norway, and Denmark. Besides minimalistic contemporary design and tall blondes, these countries are best known for long, dark winters, snow, and alcoholism. That might explain why their origin story involves so much murder and ice.

Here it is:

There was nothing in the beginning. Not sand, sea, heaven, or earth. But then there was was Niflheim—the Mist Home. From the Mist Home came twelve rivers. When the rivers spread north they froze, and everything was ice. From the ice came Ymir, the first frost-giant. Ymir was not a god, and eventually he turned evil.

A cow formed from the ice that created Ymir, and from her teats came enough milk to feed four rivers. Ymir fed on the rivers, and the cow fed on the salt in the ice, and after she licked the ice for three days straight a man named Buri emerged. Buri had a son named Bor, and Bor had three sons. One of his sons was Odin, the most powerful god of all.

Origin Stories Odin

Source: Deviant Art

Evil Ymir and the three sons of Bor had a showdown, but eventually Odin and his brothers prevailed. Ymir’s blood became the sea, which drowned all but one of the frost-giants. Bor’s sons dragged Ymir’s corpse into the middle of Ginnungagap. His bones became the rocks, his hair became the trees, his skull became the sky, and his brain became the clouds. They used his…eyelashes…to keep the other giants away. Don’t ask us why or how that worked.

Origin Stories Ice Giants

Source: Pinterest

Then, Bor’s sons turned two logs into a man and a woman, and the man and woman created two children so beautiful that the gods became jealous. They pulled the boy, Moon, and the girl, Sol, up into the sky and enslaved them forever. Sol will forever drive the chariot that carries the sun, and Moon the chariot which, you guessed it, carries the moon.

Origin Stories Norse

Source: Deviant Art

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Established in 2010, All That's Interesting brings together a dedicated staff of digital publishing veterans and subject-level experts in history, true crime, and science. From the lesser-known byways of human history to the uncharted corners of the world, we seek out stories that bring our past, present, and future to life. Privately-owned since its founding, All That's Interesting maintains a commitment to unbiased reporting while taking great care in fact-checking and research to ensure that we meet the highest standards of accuracy.
John Kuroski
John Kuroski is the editorial director of All That's Interesting. He graduated from New York University with a degree in history, earning a place in the Phi Alpha Theta honor society for history students. An editor at All That's Interesting since 2015, his areas of interest include modern history and true crime.