In Greek mythology, the Gorgons are a group of three sisters, monstrous creatures with snakes for hair and a gaze that could turn people to stone. The most famous of the Gorgons is Medusa. The Gorgons are typically depicted as three sisters, the daughters of the sea deities Phorcys and Ceto. The names of the three Gorgons are commonly given as Stheno, Euryale, and Medusa. One of the most distinctive features of the Gorgons is their hair, which is composed of live, venomous snakes. This serpent-infested hair is a central aspect of their monstrous appearance.

Illustration of the Gorgons, snake-haired sisters with a petrifying stare.

Physical characteristics

Snake Hair: The most iconic feature of the Gorgons is their hair, which consists of live, venomous snakes. These serpents writhe and slither in place of traditional human hair.

Winged Appearance: While not always present in every depiction, some representations of the Gorgons include wings.

Fangs and Snakeskin: Gorgons are often described as having fangs and, in some interpretations, snakeskin or scales covering parts of their bodies.

Female Humanoid Form: Despite their monstrous features, Gorgons are typically described as having a humanoid form, resembling women. .


The earliest known references to the Gorgons can be traced back to the works of Hesiod and other ancient Greek poets. Here are some key aspects of the origin of the Gorgons:

According to Hesiod’s “Theogony,” the Gorgons are the offspring of the sea deities Phorcys and Ceto. Phorcys and Ceto are both primordial sea gods, and their children, including the Gorgons, are often portrayed as monstrous beings.

The Gorgons are typically presented as three sisters: Stheno, Euryale, and the most famous among them, Medusa. While Medusa is the best-known Gorgon, the trio collectively represents a group of monstrous beings sharing similar characteristics.

The Gorgons are sometimes linked to the realm of the dead and are said to reside on the farthest edge of the western ocean. Their connection with death and the supernatural reinforces their role as fearsome and otherworldly creatures.

Perseus and Medusa: One of the most well-known myths involving the Gorgons is the story of Perseus and Medusa. In this tale, the hero Perseus is tasked with beheading Medusa, the only mortal Gorgon, and he succeeds with the help of various gifts from the gods.

The three gorgon sisters with snakes for hair

powers and abilities

Petrifying Gaze: The most infamous ability of the Gorgons is their gaze, which had the power to turn any living being who looked directly at them into stone.

Venomous Snakes for Hair: The snakes were capable of striking and injecting venom into their victims.

Immortality and Mortality: While the Gorgons were often depicted as immortal beings, some versions of the myths suggest that they were not entirely immune to death.

Winged Abilities: In some artistic representations and interpretations, the Gorgons were portrayed with wings. These wings symbolized their supernatural and swift nature, allowing them to move with agility and traverse different realms.

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