According to ancient Greek folklore, the Phoenix was believed to be a wonderful giant bird allied to the sun’s adoration.
Only one Phoenix could exist at any given time, but it would live many years such that the Phoenix with minimum years is said to be over 500 years.
When a phoenix realized its end time was around the corner, it would create a beautiful nest made of aromatic spices and bough.
Once the nest was complete, the bird would sleep on it voluntarily before setting itself on fire. The mysterious fire would consume it in flames, thus leaving ash behind.
Mysteriously, a new phoenix would arise from the pyre, and after preserving its parent’s ash in an egg made from myrrh, the bird would fly why carrying the ashes to the Heliopolis in Egypt.
Heliopolis was known to be the Sun’s Metropolis. The Phoenix would deposit the ash remains inside a temple where the Egyptian god of the Sun was believed to be dwelling.
Have They Ever Existed?
Although some other stories are holding that a phoenix would undergo the standard decomposition, and a new phoenix would be born from those remains.
Still, most credible sources say that a phoenix only exploded into flames, thus burning to leave ashes.
Besides, there is some variation in how the various sources have described the phoenix’s appearance.
While others describe it as having an eagle’s appearance, others described it as a rooster.
Moreover, other sources indicate that it had yellow and red feathers or was brightly decorated like a peacock.
A Phoenix was thought to be of almost the same size as an eagle from trusted Greek mythology but with golden feathers and a dazzling scarlet.
Besides, a Phoenix is said to produce a very harmonious cry.
Despite the minor variation in its description, classical scholars agree that a Phoenix existed at one given time.
Can we confidently say that Phoenix Have Ever Existed?
According to Egyptians, the Phoenix is more associated with immortality.
The use of Phoenix as symbolism became so widespread in late antiquity.
For instance, a phoenix was equated to the unending Rome Empire hence the name Eternal City.
In Christianity, Phoenix was seen as the symbolism of resurrection and the soul immortality after the physical death. According to Islamic mythologies, the Phoenix is associated with anq.
This gigantic mysterious bird was believed to have been created by God with supernatural perfections, but afterward, it became a plague, so it was destroyed.
Myths About Their Existence
Just like the many creatures that could have existed long ago, real phoenixes could have existed, resulting in the emergence of myths.
For instance, the mention of a phoenix in the bible could be that the Phoenicians were named after the real Phoenix.
However, there could be a possibility of misinterpretation of some natural events with a phoenix.
For instance, in ancient, funeral pyres and altars were found in many parts, mainly in the sacred areas.
Some birds are greatly charmed by the fire, with some picking burning sprints on their beaks and depositing it somewhere far away.
Besides, some birds are said to layover burning straw and embers until they extinguish the fire, or else they end up singeing down their feathers before flying off.
This could have confused a bird that set itself in the fire and arose from its predecessor ash remains.
Typically, most myths and legends have something true about them, although sometimes exaggerated.
For that very reason, those who received the story at first remained believing it was true.
The story about the Ancient Egyptian Phoenix dates back to a period known as pre-scientific literate times.
People could then be convinced that simple natural activities like the thunder were a god pounding clouds above them with a mighty magical hammer.
Although such myths, among many others, were held to be accurate by then, honestly speaking, we know those were just myths.
A typical phoenix is described to live for many years and end it voluntarily by creating a beautiful nest where it would lie before setting itself on fire to be consumed by flames and later rise again from the predecessor’s ashes.
The Phoenix became a symbol of reincarnation in many cultures beginning from recorded history to the present.
For instance, some governments use a phoenix bird symbol in their national flags or central emblem to represent lasting power.
It is amazing how the stories about phoenixes had an Egyptian origin.
The presence of flamingos across southern and central Africa could also have contributed to the myths about phoenixes.
The African Flamingo species are believed to create nests near an acidic lake like the Ol Doinyo Lengai, located near active volcanos.
In most cases, the water in those lakes is hot and sometimes with hot springs with acidic water that facilitate the growth of water plants that provides food for the birds.
The occasional eruptions emitting extremely acidic lava of carbonate ashes make such lakes very acidic.
It is in these lakes where two flamingo species, namely the Phoenicopterus and Phoeniconaias, are found. Indeed, as their name suggests, they could have a similar appearance to the Phoenix bird.
Amazingly, one of these Flamingo breeds in the highly acidic lake Natron and Lake Bogoria, where geysers and hot springs are present, could have led to the Phoenix myths’ emergence.
It’s fascinating to watch these birds swim in such forbidding places and fly away unarmed, and this could have been the origin of the Phoenix bird legend.
Over time, the story about phoenixes went beyond their origin.
Humans started using it as a symbol of renewal and the time, sun, the ancient and current Empires, life after death, resurrection, among many aspects of life.
For instance, Japan was once a war-infested nation some years ago; over time and civilization, the nation is now thriving, and who knows about the history repeating itself?
Besides, the ancient universe imploded to form the new world, and who knows how the world will be many years to come?
So, in as much as we would like to see a real phoenix bird, it could be just a creative way of a human trying to interpret an idea about vitality, rebirth, and preservation of facts for future generations.
History | Possible Sightings
Various historians have used the term Phoenix to represent various occurrences in nature.
For instance, the famous Greek historian Claudius Aelianus had documented the Phoenix’s life and nature as early as 200AD.
He states that a Phoenix would keep its life arithmetic, 500 years without the need for finger counting or professional arithmetic.
Besides, according to an ancient English text, the historian described the Phoenix as having gender by talking about the father’s ash remains’, but afterward, many authors ignored Phoenix’s gender to describe it neutrally.
This was mainly motivated by the fact that Phoenix’s offspring were not a result of parents mating. The question about the Phoenix’s sex hence didn’t capture many writers.
According to a Roman historian, Publius Ovidius Naso, the first Roman to document the Phoenix in a foreign language, Latin.
He argues that many creatures existed on Earth, but they have a different appearance from their original appearance and so Phoenixes.
According to him, the Phoenix would live for many years unchanged, and when the time to an end came, it would burn itself but afterward arise from its ash remains.
Besides, the bird is described to have different characteristics from ordinary birds. The bird only feeds on rare fruits extracts from several rare fruit tree gums and spices since it couldn’t eat the common grass and grains.
When a phoenix reached 500 years, it could build a beautiful nest and probably on the top of a palm tree.
The nest was believed to be made from Barks of Cinnamon trees and other aromatic tree gums and spices. Using his folks, the bird created a nest where he would ultimately die and its soul rise in the air like a sweet fragrant steam a smoke.
Afterward, a new phoenix would be born from the dead body’s chest so that it lives for 500 years, and the story repeats.
The newly risen Phoenix would raise its nests and throne near where his father’s body was buried.
Mysteriously, the bird would set a giant palm tree in motion to mark the beginning of his journey to the great City of the Sun.
Here, the phoenix Temple would shine brightly while nearing the Temple of the Sun.
According to Chinese mythology, a phoenix popularly known as the red bird was used as a southern symbol, and due to its supernatural powers, people worshipped it.
Over time, the bird represents the Asian peasants. The bird had sharp claws and also a curved beak making its appearance to be that of a prey bird.
It was said to help the peasant farmers in their southern arid farms. Different mythology of phoenix in the Chinese empire is the Mountain phoenix popularly known as the Qi Sang.
It is believed that this bird helped people trace the water sources like rivers, especially during the Athenian Dynasty’s reign.