In Homer’s epic poem The Odyssey, Scylla and Charybdis confront the hero, Odysseus, sailing home after the Trojan war. Scylla and Charybdis were among the most feared women of Greek mythology. They lived in caves a bowshot apart on each side of a narrow strait.

Though female, they were monsters. Scylla had six heads. Each mouth had rows of razor-sharp teeth that made the shark in Jaws seem tame. Her waist was shrouded with heads of baying dogs. She swam and walked on 12 snaky legs and devoured all within reach...

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