In my Astronomy outreach class last quarter, one of our quizzes for the class contained a question where we had to make up a constellation, explain what it looked like, and created a back story behind it.
They range from the slightly tasty:
Zeus’ daughter made him his favorite cupcake one day. She wanted to surprise her dad,so she left it on the counter for him to find. When she brought him into the kitchen to show him, they caught Pisces trying to sneak a bite of the dessert. Zeus’ daughter began to cry hysterically and Zeus lost his temper. He grabbed the cupcake and threw out the window into the heavens above. And as punishment to Pisces, he threw the fish into the night sky, where he will always be out of reach of the cupcake as it sits deliciously uneaten for eternity in front of his face.
…to completely destroying a childhood movie…The evil giant octopus Ecthelion tormented the people of Ferngully for many years. It would always steal people’s left shoes, blow out candles of birthday cakes, replace doormats with jellyfish, and other such atrocities. One day the people of Ferngully set up a catapult trap and sent Ecthelion far into the sky, where he still is today, still holding a left shoe.
…to the just plain weird…
–snip– At night of the third day he snuck his way up the tree and got into position. He put his lips to his horn in preparation, when all of the sudden he realized that STINKY POOPED ON HIS MOUTH PIECE! –snip–
…some people actually tried to make it serious…My constellation is a small dog named Charlotte located towards the bottom left of the image. It is made up of 6 stars. Charlotte became stuck in the sky when she was running for a stick that her master threw up in the night sky for her to catch. When she jumped for it, she became forever stuck. If you look close enough above her, you can see a stick in the sky.
…to the insane…My constellation is a gluttonous cheetah. A long time ago there was a teenage boy who thought that he was hot stuff because he was a rich Prince. To entertain himself he took up hunting and one day, despite being told not to, he went hunting alone. Late in the afternoon, he became very tired and laid down for a nap. Unbeknownst to him, a hungry cheetah had been watching him hoping he’d do just that. As soon as the boy fell asleep the cheetah ate him up. Having never tasted a human before, the cheetah found them to be quite delicious and began craving humans daily. To satisfy his cravings, he began stealing other teenagers from the Prince’s village during the night time. These very rich snacks began to (literally) weigh on his appearance and soon the cheetah became very fat. One night, the cheetah made too much noise entering the village and the Queen, the Prince’s mother, caught sight of him sneaking into the home of their neighbor. Outraged and bitter from her son’s death, the Queen ran after the cheetah with a cast iron skillet and the cheetah, too fat to run away, was batted with the skillet into the sky, far away from the village or humans of any sort. The Queen, realizing she had an amazing swing, invented the game of softball and became a world-famous batter. The end.
…the oddly judgmental…The Harvester (sickle shape on the left being held by rough face on the left). Over many years, the Harvester has swung his sickle towards the earth, when it finally reaches the Earth, then will all people be judged.
…the hilariously told…Leonard the winking giraffe. (Not to be confused with Leo the lion) Leonard was a giraffe. However did a giraffe ever stumble his way into Greek mythology? Easy, when Darius I of Persian Empire fame rolled into Greece and got beat at Marathon by the Athenians, he brought Leonard, a docile giraffe, along for the journey. You see, Darius I was a tad eccentric, and loved things which were ridiculous. This brings me to the giraffe. Leonard could wink. In fact, Leonard the giraffe winked like Sarah Palin in a Vice- Presidential debate. Darius, for some reason, thought this was wicked awesome. Adding to the giraffe’s allure was the fact that Darius could ride him around on his flagship and see things that were far away. However, I digress. After the naval battle, the Greeks were surprised to find this giraffe washed ashore. Lo and behold if this giraffe survived, so the Greeks brought him back to Athens. There, Leonard lived out the rest of his life surrounded by Athenian scholars, who also loved the spectacle of a winking giraffe. Priceless. Zeus, who at the time seemed to look for any excuse to fling something into the night sky, thought that people throughout eternity would love to look up and see a winking giraffe. Thus he tossed Leonard the giraffe up into the heavens at the end of his natural life, making him the patron constellation of the downright-silly and randomly-awesome.
…and finally, the one written while someone was on drugs…Story: Once upon a time there were two of the swingest Czech brothers in all of New York City. Every night they would go out and hit on foxes because they were two wild and crazy guys!!! One night they went to a club to swing with foxes in the their tight polyester pants. At this club there two swining foxes who the brother fell in love with. To win there affection they enter a disco dancing competition in the club, there were many good dance contestants and the brother got scared and went home to figure how they were going to win and attract the foxes. They went into their closet and pulled out a Czech dancing robot reserved for only the highest ranking official in the communist party. They turned ont eh robot and began to practice with it, hours and hours they swang. Finally they returned to the club for the contest, they were the last to go. They stepped out on to the multi-color floor light up with all the light changing color. Under the disco ball the bang to groove and boogie, the two swinging foxes saw them and were very impressed, the brother danced harder and harder emboldened by their success. They danced so hard that the floor could not take it any more and exploded under their sheer swinging groovey booginess. The two swing Czech brothers were thrown into the sky by the dance related explosion. To this day we can still see the two swingiest Czech brother dancing for all foxes to see because they are two wild and crazy guys!!!!
I only included about 1/3 of them on this post, you can see all of the submissions here: mythos_spr2009