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Myth about the Nymph Galatea - Windows to the Universe

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Renaissance painting (16th century) depicting Galatea. Villa Farnesina, Rome, Italy.
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Image courtesy of Photodisc, Inc. All rights reserved. Images provided by (c) 1995 Fototeca Storica Nazionale.


Many features of the Earth are named after mythological figures. An example is the story of Galatea's love for a young beautiful shepherd called Acis. He was the son of Pan.Galatea lived in the sea surrounding the island of Sicily where she met several times one of the Cyclopes, the monstrous one-eyed Polyphemus.

Polyphemus was in love with Galatea and was unable to control his jealousy of Acis. Once Polyphemus caught Galatea and Acis asleep on a grassy mound. He killed the small shepherd with a huge rock. Acis' blood formed a small stream on the ground.

Heartbroken, Galatea turned it into a stream of water that bears Acis' name. Because Galatea was a sea-nymph and attendant of the sea-god Poseidon, her name had been given to one of the moons of the planet Neptune.

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