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10 Mythical Heroes that Actually Existed

10 Mythical Heroes that Actually Existed

(laughing) – Hey. Before we begin the video, I just wanna remind you guys
that Fact Maniac is a thing. “But Matt, what’s that?” Well, let me tell ya. Fact Maniac is my separate brand that I just started about a few weeks ago where I post amazing daily facts on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. So many of you have already
started following it and I’m glad you’re enjoying it. But for those of you that haven’t, check out the links in the description. I really think you’re going to enjoy it and go follow Fact Maniac now. Okay, let’s begin. Mythical heroes make for
really good books and movies. There’s just something really cool about fictional characters that, of course, could never really exist. Or could they? Here are 10 mythical heroes
that actually existed. Number 10 is Theseus. The story of Theseus and the Minotaur is one of the most famous myths from Ancient Greek mythology. Recent archeological findings suggest that it might
actually be based in fact. In the myth, King Minos of Crete had a huge labyrinth
built beneath his palace to house a monstrous
half-man/half-bull called a Minotaur. To pay tribute to the
king, the city of Athens was forced to send young
men and women each year to be slain by the monster. Theseus was the hero in the story who finally defeated the Minotaur in the depths of the labyrinth. Now, while no one is suggesting that there was a real (growling)
half-monster/half-man, we know that there was
a real king named Minos and a labyrinth beneath his palace. Some have suggested that
perhaps Theseus himself is based in fact and
ventured beneath the palace to face off against either a
man or a bull in the darkness. Well, wait a minute, if it
was that dark down there, maybe it was just a man with
really thick, hairy legs, like an Italian! Number nine is Saint George. The story of Saint George
slaying a dragon may not be true, but Saint George himself may have actually been a real person. While his origins are uncertain, he appears to have died at
the age of 47 in the year 303. Accounts suggest that
he was a Roman soldier whose duty it was to
protect the Roman emperor. However, he was ordered to renounce his Christian beliefs and refused. As a result, he was
supposedly sentenced to death. But because of his bravery, he was later made a saint
by the Catholic Church. The most famous story
surrounding Saint George is that he defeated a venom-spewing dragon to save a kingdom under threat. Interestingly, this story
may actually describe another martyr named Theodore of Amasea. Either way, while the
dragon-slaying portion is suspect, it’s possible that both
men existed in real life. Nah, I don’t accept that, sorry. I live in a fantasy world where I like to believe that
dragons are real, like Smaug. What are you going to do now, bowmaster? Number eight is Till Eulenspiegel. Till Eulenspiegel is a 14th-century figure from German folklore. A trickster who punishes
hypocrisy and greed, his exploits spread across
Europe, becoming common myth. But nevertheless, he may have
actually been a real person. He traveled across the Holy Roman Empire, including North Germany,
Bohemia, and Italy. Living as a vagrant, his
exploits became legendary, with rumors of his presence everywhere. He would publicly humiliate
those who were mean and foolish, with even the Pope being
one of his rumored victims. Using his guile and wit
to show those in power how destructive their behaviors were, it’s unsurprising that what
little documented evidence survives of this trickster suggests that he spent
much of his time in prison. Too bad YouTube vlogging
didn’t exist back then, ’cause that vlog woulda been lit. Still in prison, subscribe! Number seven is John Henry. The story of John Henry has often been described as a modern myth. However, there’s evidence that he may have actually
been a real person. John Henry was supposedly
an African-American who had at one time been a slave. Following the American Civil War, when slavery was ended, he
worked on the railroads. It was his job to hammer
steel drills into the rock so that explosives could be laid inside. The rock would then be destroyed, cutting a path for the railway. The story goes that
John was asked to prove that he could outperform a steam-powered hammer in the same job. Taking pride in what he did, he accepted and he cut
through the rock and won. But having all of his
efforts into this contest, he died of a heart attack
with his hammer in his hand. John’s story of sheer will became legend, but surviving accounts
suggest that he was real. Number six is Jason. The legend of Jason and the Golden Fleece dates back thousands of years,
but recent evidence suggests that there might be truth to the tale. In the story, Jason went
on a perilous journey to the Svaneti region
of modern-day Georgia to find the pelt of Zeus’ winged ram. The wool from this beast was made of gold and Jason hoped that by
claiming the Golden Fleece, he would earn the right
to reinstate his father to the throne of Thessaly in Greece. As it turns out, around 3,500 years ago, people in that region
were using animal skins to sift gold from local rivers. This in turn covered the skins in gold and resulted in the famed Golden Fleece. Combining this fact
with historical sources depicting Jason’s voyage
to find the Golden Fleece, experts now suggest that
he very well may have been a real-life hero. Too bad things weren’t documented
a little more back then, ’cause we woulda had
documented evidence saying, “I found a man named Jason. “He is balleth with the bling-blingeth.” Number five is Merlin. Merlin is the inspiration
for the wise wizard trope found in modern-day fantasy-fiction, and it turns out that
he was probably real. The famous depiction of Merlin is as a powerful wizard or sage who advises King Arthur on
how to best rule Britain. However, when tracing the
story back to its origins, Merlin is most likely
based on Myrddin Wyllt, who was an advisor to the
Welsh lord Gwenddolau. After watching his lord die
in the battle of 573 AD, Myrddin temporarily lost his mind and became a hermit in the
Caledonian Forest of Scotland, grieving for the mistakes
he and his lord had made. There, he allegedly
uncovered great knowledge and gained the power to tell the future. Centuries later, Myrddin’s name was commonly translated into Latin, giving us the familiar-sounding Merlinus. Why do names always sound
cooler with -us at the end? I could’ve been Matthius. “Hello, Matthius. “Subscribe to Matthew Matthi–” Okay, yeah, it’s not as good; never mind. Number four is Odysseus. See, another name with
-us at the end of it that sounds cool. Why doesn’t mine sound cool? One of the most famous myths of all time describes Odysseus’ journey
home after the fall of Troy. Not only does the
fictionalized version claim that it took him 10 years, but Odysseus may have very
well been a real person. The Odyssey, written by an
ancient writer known as Homer, depicts Odysseus as
the King of Ithaca who, after devising the famous Trojan Horse, which was used to sneak into the city of Troy and destroy it, sets off on a legendary
journey to return home. Along the way, he fights a cyclops and is chased by cannibals and
even encounters dead spirits. Ah, sounds like a day in downtown LA. While the legend might not be accurate, archeologists have recently
discovered a palace which perfectly fits Homer’s descriptions of the Odyssey’s home. This raises the possibility that Odysseus very well may have been a real-life person and that maybe even some
of the stories are true. Number three is Imhotep. Imhotep was an Egyptian god
who, as it turns out, was real. Well, kind of. Imhotep was a god of medicine and healing, and so he had an important place in Egypt’s ancient religion. He was also later associated with the god of mathematics
and architecture. Several myths surround
Imhotep and his powers, including his efforts to single-handedly end
a seven-year drought. Imhotep was personally credited
with several inventions, including sophisticated
methods to build with stone, and these myths were
actually based on a real man. Imhotep was originally
an Egyptian chancellor who lived in 2700 BC. He was described as being
a physician, astrologer, engineer, and poet, among other things. Long after his death, the
stories of his accomplishments were turned into legend. Number two is King Arthur. King Arthur is one of the most famous mythological characters in the world, but some believe that he
was actually a real person. Much of the Arthurian
legend is common knowledge, that he became King of the Britons after pulling the magical
sword Excalibur from a stone. He was just and kind,
but was fatally wounded in his fight with Mordred. Carried away by the angels to
the mythical land of Avalon, it’s said that King Arthur will return to defend Britain in its darkest hour. Now, there are many
versions of this legend that go back centuries, and debate still rages over its origins. Some believe that Arthur
was indeed a real man who led his forces against
invading Anglo-Saxons in the fifth century. And a few historical documents
from the ninth century support this assertion. So, very well likely, the legendary knight was real after all. Well, if this is myth and they were trying to be
inspirational with the story, they shoulda made it that the first time he
tried to pull out the stone, he throw out his back, just like, “(groaning) Oh god, I’ll try again later,” and he did, he pulled it out. See, inspiration. And number one is Robin Hood. The story of Robin Hood
is very well known: a man who led a merry group of
bandits from Sherwood Forest to steal from the rich
and give to the poor. This heroic outlaw, however,
is more than just a myth. The earliest references to Robin Hood come from criminal records
in the 13th century. In 1261, there are numerous
mentions of Robin Hood and variations of the name. Some suggestions for the
true identity of Robin Hood include Robin Hood of
York, who became an outlaw after having his finances confiscated. Another possibility is Roger Godbird, whose career as an outlaw
mirrors many of the descriptions of Robin Hood from the 13th century. So, although no one’s sure
exactly which guy it is, it is certain that one
of them was Robin Hood. But whether he stole from the rich and gave to the poor is debatable. And that’s it. If you enjoyed this video and you’d like to see more
like it in the future, subscribe to my channel
and turn on notifications for my new uploads. Thank you for watching, and I’mma see you in the
next one; goodbye now.

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100 thoughts on “10 Mythical Heroes that Actually Existed

  1. My favourite mythical hero, Jacky Chan. He died shooting one of his earlier movies. No one got around to telling him to lie down, chill out, and relax.

  2. If one person won all the events in the Olympic games, they were considered to be a child of the gods, and legends were written about them. Hercules may have been one of these.

  3. Nooo how can I go back to the commercial? I didn’t get to see what the name of that show is or will be 😂 first time I skip a commercial I didn’t want to skip.

  4. John Henry actually DID exist. I hate when people consider him a myth. I grew up where this happened and where he is buried. Eyewitnesses of the hammering contest say he didn't die after beating the steam engine as the legends suggest but that he lived on after that and died from another cause. We hold "John Henry Days" near the tunnel every year and we have a large statue of him by the museum we have dedicated to him. Anyone traveling through WV should stop in and check it out.

  5. Excalibur wasn't the sword Arthur pulled from the stone. He received Excalibur from the Lady of the Lake after breaking the swrd he got from the stone.

  6. The thing most people get wrong about St George & the Dragon is that St. George didn't actually slay the Dragon, the tamed it

  7. That 'us' ending that you like so much was pronounced 'oh'. Merlino, These-o, Odesi-o. Possibly even Ze-o. Octip-o, Hippopotam-o.

  8. There was an ancient time when the aliens crossed their DNA with other beings creating creatures unknown to man. Probably some time when the Giants ruled the kingdoms of men, before and during Enoch's era.

  9. There was and is no real Aqua Man. These are wonderful and interesting facts.:-O:-O:-):-D Congrrats and RIP,Dear John Henry.:-(:-(:-O:-O Hmmmm! Whom exactly are sages.:-O:-O I do not sound Cool either.:-(:-O:-( How did the Sword get stuck into the Stone??

  10. Saint George did slay the last dragon and where he slayed it the blood from the dragon killed all the grass and to this day the grass still does not grow there.
    For Robin hood he stole from the rich but using the money to raise an army to overthrow King John because Arthur was the right heir to the throne when King Richard died that stopped when John had his nephew blinded by poking his eyes out when that didn't stop them so he had him killed.

  11. Sans means without and Toro is Spanish for Bull, so your name means without Bull lmfao

  12. I can tell you are a liberal because you dont know the story of Robin Hood… Robin Hood did not steal from the rich….he stole from the tax collectors because of crushing debilitating high taxes…

  13. 10 Mythical Heroes that Actually Existed….might…maybe…. Lose the clickbait titles and the videos might be worth watching.

  14. I watched a documentary on Robin Hood a few years ago and they reckoned he was based on three men (like you mentioned) and thier stories, which would have been told by ballad singers rather than written in those days, eventually all melded together to become the legend we know today
    Kindest Regards

  15. Well regarding King Arthur, I didn't know we had a king I thought we were an autonomous collective , I mean I didn't vote for him =).
    Listen , strange woman laying at the bottom of ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government.
    Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses not from some farcical aquatic ceremony.

    You can't expect to wield supreme executive power just because some watery tart threw a sword at you. I mean if I went around saying I was Emperor just because some moistened bit lobbed a scimitar at me they'd put me away!

  16. King Arthur was real. They found his grave. He was also a giant. Do your research and look deeper. All these characters are real. Why would they document these individuals if they were not real. Thanks for the video but I wont subscribe to your ch. Peace

  17. I’m reading a book with a one-eared fox as the main character named Arthur,after the famous King Arthur!

  18. my daughter has a pair of doc martins with a copy of "St. George Slaying the Dragon" as the design on them. They are really pretty.

  19. 10 Mythical Heroes that Actually Existed

    Whole video hearing only probably or may have been a real person….i feel betrayed

  20. So ancients legends may have some truth to it? You know that this a old way to pass on information, don't you? No, really. Storytelling has been a way to teach kids about life or pass on historical events in a fun and memorable way. So they mixed real events with fiction. So yeah, there were probably some truth to the stories.

  21. In our tribe khasi tribe believe that there was one king who was a pig and put his life in his intestine
    So i believe they exist in this video of your

  22. They did documented Everything. That's how you now are talking about it. However if part of that documented history wasn't destroyed by who conquest we would know way more… I bet we would have had a very different present and we will actually be f**** flying cars. Because apparently by found objects it looks like where are stuck discovering what other civilizations have already done centuries ago.

  23. In today's world we have done the same with many of our "heroes" as those ancient people did. They would take real events and sensationalize them and today we read those sensationalized stories and wonder if they could be real. A couple of modern day examples of how we have also done this –

    1) The Rock group KISS – While some of you reading this are wondering how I am going to tie KISS in with ancient mythological heroes, hear me out. The original 4 members of KISS reunited in 1996. From 1982 until 1996 KISS had several other members fulfill the roles of the drummer and the lead guitarist as well as they stopped wearing their well known make up and costumes. In 1996 the original 4 reunited and put the make up back on. Many people who were not around when KISS first wore the makeup were told elaborate stories of those early performances that simply were not true. This posed a problem for KISS in 1996 because they had to not only live up to the hype of the original 4 but also to those "stories" of what would go on during a KISS in makeup concert. One story was that the lead guitarist would blow up his guitar during his solo. This was based on what Ace Frehley would do during his solos. He had rigged a guitar up so that it had a smoke bomb inside of it. During his solo he would ignite the smoke bomb with a switch on the back of the guitar and controlled by the tone control. He would then play the guitar with smoke bellowing out of it until a certain point where he would set it on a separate stand and begin playing another guitar. At the end of the solo the guitar that had been smoking would give off a big flash and the lights then went out. The guitar never "blew up" as many were expecting and some people were disappointed. There were other stories as well but you get my point. Now 100 years from now how much "fiction" will be told when people talk of KISS?

    2) Elvis Presley's last days – Many people believe Elvis died in 1977 as his career was still going strong. The stories go that even though he was older and much heavier, Elvis was still playing to sell out crowds and making hit albums just as he had always done. But the truth is that Elvis's career was actually in trouble. His concerts were not selling out as they had done in the years prior. His last number one hit song was "Suspicious minds" and that was in 1967(68?) . In 1972 Elvis released his last top ten song, Burning Love, but it was kept from the number 1 spot by the song, "The Edmund Fitzgerald". That last top ten song was 5 years before Elvis's death! While it is true his song "Way Down" did make it to the top ten list, that was AFTER his death and probably only did so because of his death. The stories of Elvis and how he lived were all greatly exaggerated and yet many believe them to be true. Like KISS, I wonder in 100 years what "myths" people will be wondering about Elvis.

  24. Several saints are represented as dragon slayers. Another such a one is Beatus. The dragon in Christian religion is representative of Satan.

  25. On the Robin Hood one, there is one person that did a lot of the things that he did. Rob Roy Macgregor was pretty much a real life Robin Hood!!! @matthewsantoro

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