Most well known myths tend to be so nonsensical that they’re often regarded as fiction. And while this may apply to many of these myths, plenty of others have a true origin that the myth was originally based upon.

1. The Trojan Horse

The Greeks spent 10 fruitless years trying to conquer Troy before coming up with the idea of building a giant wooden horse, loading it with troops, and leaving it outside the city gates. Once the Trojans made it inside the city walls, the Greek soldiers waited until nightfall until they sneak out of the horse. They opened the gates of the capital, allowing their fellow soldiers to charge inside and eventually to conquer Troy.

This story that Homer’s Odyssey first brought to us is too strange to be true. The Greeks, however, used large, wooden siege engines to assault cities, often covered with damp horsehides to prevent them from catching on fire.

2. The Phoenix

The phoenix was a mythical firebird of lovely red plumage in ancient Egypt. Every time this mythical bird grew old and died, it was consumed in fire and resurrected as a new phoenix out of its own ashes. Travellers in East Africa who came across the habitat of the lesser flamingo could have brought this odd story back. Such stunning red-and-pink birds live in ponds that can evaporate entirely in the summer, experiencing nothing but a warm, dusty environment.

As thousands upon thousands of flamingo chicks marched out of their dry nesting grounds in the middle of the lake to seek food and water, a huge cloud of dust was thrown up and the legend of the chicks that emerged from the fire began.

3. Atlantis

Over 2,000 years after first appearing in Plato’s writings, the tale of Atlantis continues to fascinate us, telling of a glorious world lost when it sank beneath the ocean. Atlantis was a kingdom made up of lush islands on the central one with a huge capital city.

Plato was not a historian and was never meant to write an account of reality. He was more interested in the morale of the story. There are numerous examples of sunken towns around the Mediterranean, however, and the myth may be based on fact. Of example, on the Mediterranean island of Santorini, around 3,600 years ago, there was a major volcanic eruption.

4. Vampires

Fangs, avoiding sunshine, garlic aversion — it can be just one thing, a vampire. Unless it’s a person suffering from porphyria, an extremely rare blood condition. Individuals with this condition often have disfigured skin when they go out during the day – preferring to stay indoors and watch TV or play mobile pokies NZ, and they also have an adverse reaction to garlic that can cause extreme pain. Another gruesome symptom of the disease is that the gums of the patient shrink and their lips peel back, causing their teeth to protrude in a terrifying fang-like manner.