The Lernaean Hydra is a legendary creature from Greek mythology, best known for its association with one of the twelve labors of the hero Heracles (Hercules in Roman mythology). The Hydra is often described as a serpent-like water monster with multiple heads. The number of heads varies in different accounts, with the most famous version stating that the Hydra had nine heads.One of the Hydra’s most formidable features was its ability to regenerate heads. If one head was severed, two would grow in its place. This made the creature virtually immortal and challenging to defeat.

Dynamic depiction of the Lernaean Hydra, a many-headed serpent, in battle.

Physical characteristics

Serpentine Form: The Hydra is often portrayed as a serpent-like creature with a long, coiled body. It usually dwelled in the Lake of Lerna, with its lair associated with the waters.

Multiple Heads: One of the most prominent features of the Hydra is its multiple heads. The exact number of heads varies in different accounts, but the most famous version of the myth describes the Hydra as having nine heads. Each head was said to be dangerous on its own.


The Lernaean Hydra is often considered the offspring of Typhon and Echidna. Typhon was a monstrous and powerful serpent-like creature, and Echidna was a half-woman, half-serpent figure, both of whom were primordial beings associated with chaos and monstrous progeny.

The Hydra is part of a lineage of legendary monsters. In addition to being a sibling to the Chimera and the Gorgons (such as Medusa), the Hydra shares its parentage with various other mythical creatures, contributing to the rich tapestry of Greek mythology.

In some versions of the myth, Hera, the queen of the gods and a frequent adversary of Heracles, plays a role in the origin of the Hydra. It is said that Hera sent the Hydra to Lerna as a punishment, and the creature became a guardian of the lake.

Portrait of the Lernaean Hydra, a many-headed serpent

powers and abilities

Regenerative Heads: One of the most challenging aspects of battling the Hydra is its ability to regenerate heads. If a head is severed, two new heads grow in its place.

Venomous Breath: The Hydra is often depicted with poisonous breath. Its breath, as well as its blood, is said to be toxic and capable of causing harm or death.

Immortality: The regenerative ability of the Hydra, particularly its ability to replace severed heads, contributes to its perceived immortality.

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