I don’t know, there’s something about eggs resulting from divine love making that just tastes better…

Everyone be talkin’ about the ancient Greeks. Have you seen their sculpture work? Examined their beautiful columns? Explored the philosophy of Socrates?

Have you heard about their inter-species erotica?

Oh yeahhhh.

Leda and the Swan tells the story tells of a beautiful young woman named Leda who catches the lustful eye of the mighty Zeus. To hide his actions from his vengeful wife, Hera, Zeus takes on the form of a swan and flies to earth. He flees from a pursuing bird of prey and lands in the arms of the lovely Leda who finds herself drawn to the bird. The two lay together (aka – get it on) on the same day that Leda makes love to her own husband, Tyndaerus. Their copulation results in Leda giving birth to two eggs that, when hatched, contain her semi divine children, one of which grows up to be the famous Helen of Troy. The story tends to get a little muddled at this point. Because Leda was with both Zeus and Tyndaerus on the same day, the children are often seen to be a mixture of both divine and human blood. Helen is always shown as being the blood of Zeus, the result of Leda’s love with the swan, but the other offspring are not as clear.

Strangely enough, Greek mythology is full of this kind of zaniness. Inter-species lovemaking is something that occurs several times throughout the more well known parts of Greek myth and often leads to some of mythology’s most intriguing or terrifying figures. The strangest part of all this is that the animal-human sexy time is always divinely inspired, either as a curse (as in the case of Pasiphae) or thanks to Zeus trying to hide his sexual activities from his wife.

Any mind, on hearing this sort of thing, begins to question just how exactly this all would work. I mean, you don’t have to be aroused by it to wonder just how a human being would even make love to a swan, much less give birth to a clutch of eggs. Luckily for us, the 16th Century was full of European painters so enamored with this idea that nearly every conceivable way of depicting this coupling has been imaginatively laid out for us. Why, exactly, were 16th century painters so excited by Leda and the Swan? Thanks to the Church, which frowned on people depicting human relations, people had to look elsewhere for romantic inspiration.

Enter the swan.

Nowadays this whole story is probably considered inappropriate, most cultures today frown on the idea of having sex with the local wildlife. I’m fairly sure this has been the case for most cultures around the world throughout most of history. Perhaps that’s why people like Leda had to have a cover story for their strange predilections.

“Honey why are you doing it with a large water-fowl?”
‘Oh, don’t worry dear, it’s just Zeus.’
“Seems legit. Carry on.”