Meanings, curiosities and myths about owls

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Owls are majestic creatures. They silently watch us from afar with their all-knowing eyes and nudge us to the right direction with their signs and symbols. See in this post curiosities, meanings and myths about owls.
  • Except Antarctica, owls can be found throughout the world. They are found in a variety of habitats, from grasslands to deserts to snow covered landscape to dense forests.
  • In owls, the females are generally larger than the males.
  • There are over 150 species of owls in the world.
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  • Since, owls cannot move their eyes, so they have to move their entire head to look around. Owls can turn their head to 270 degrees. This is possible because owls have an extra vertebra in their spine.
  • The color of the pupils of the eyes of the owls indicates the time they hunt. The owls having yellow eyes hunt during the day, those with dark eyes hunt during the day, and those with orange eyes hunt during the dawn and dusk.
  • Owls do not have the sense of smell as well as the sense of taste.
  • The ears of owls are not aligned evenly and so their sense of hearing is enhanced. They can even hear their prey moving beneath the snow and also hunt in complete darkness.
  • The smallest owl is the Elf Owl which can grow up to 5 inches. The largest are the two Eagle Owls that can grow up to 29 inches with a wing span of 6 feet.
  • The Greeks considered the owls as a symbol of good fortune. The owl is also associated with the Greek goddess of wisdom, Athene, and so owl also came to represent wisdom.
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  • Some American Indian tribes believed that the owls are the bearers of sickness and death, while some other tribes revered them as the souls of the dead and so consider the owls as protective spirits. It was also believed that the owls were the earthly incarnations of god.
  • In India, the owl is revered as the ‘carrier’ of Laxmi, the goddess of wealth and wisdom. It is also believed that the owls have magical properties which can ward off bad luck.
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  • The French held the owl in high esteem.
  • The Polish believed that the only reason why owls do not come out during the day time is because they are so beautiful that other birds will attack them because of jealousy.
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  • The eyes of an owl can switch, process, and adjust from telescopic to microscopic in a matter of seconds.
  • The Chinese culture and folklore much respect the wild side of the spirit animal owl. You can find breathtaking pieces of ancient Chinese art that depicts the phoenix’s immortality intertwined with the legendary fierceness of the owl. Chinese culture also speaks about the owl in bird protection, acting as a shield against all negative energies.
  • In Greek, Athena symbols are arguably the most widely known symbol in owl mythology. Since owl was her sacred animal, if any of the soldiers spotted an owl on the battlefield or flying over it, then it would mean the goddess of war smiling upon them. Sighting Athena symbols would instantly turn the tiding of the battle in favor of the one seeing it first.
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