Wednesday, April 4, 2018

D: Dendan

Image result for dandan sea creature

(also spelled Dandan)

In Arabic legend, the dendan is a monstrous fish--large enough to swallow an entire ship in a single gulp--who nonetheless dies if it hears a human voice. It makes an appearance in Book 9 of The Thousand and One Nights, in the tale of "Abdullah the Fisherman and Abdullah the Merman." The two Abdullahs meet when the fisherman catches the merman in his net. They somehow become business partners and eventually decide they should hang out for a while at the merman's home. Fat from the dendan is made into an ointment, which the fisherman uses to cover his body so he can breathe under water. As the two Abdullas are enjoying a feast together, a dendan comes swimming along. The fisherman shouts at it, and sure enough, it dies instantly. I'm sure that was a great relief to the merman, who had no such powers of...what exactly would that be called? Lethal monster voice?

The dendan/dandan also makes an appearance in the Magic: The Gathering card game, in the Arabian Nights expansion pack.


11 comments:

  1. I love your topic! Mythology fascinates me, love to read and watch it - I do feel there is some truth in mythology, the ideas have to come from somewhere :) Cool choice!

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    1. Thanks, Suzanne! The world is full of so many stories! I find it all to be fascinating, too.

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  2. Inspired by reality I'm sure. Interesting post!

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    1. I wouldn't mind having some of that breathe underwater ointment, that's for sure! :-)

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  3. I wonder if the story of Jonah being swallowed by a "giant fish" might have some basis in the stories of the dendan...

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    1. That's a good thought. Could be!

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  4. Terrific post, Jenny. I'm loving learning these myths from so many different cultures and time periods. I really appreciate that you make reference to where the myth can be found, and I love your wry sense of humour - lethal monster voice was my laugh for the day.

    https://profoundjourney.com D is for Deep Play

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    1. Thanks, Karen. I love that these stories come from far and wide!

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  5. Love this post! Thank you! I browsed your other ones as well. Very interesting creatures!

    http://authenticallylivinglife.blogspot.com/2018/04/a-to-z-challenge-d-is-for-diapers.html

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    1. Thank you, Tawnya. I'll hop on over to your blog to read about diapers!

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