external image Charybdis_1997.jpg
Charybdis was a sea monster who guarded the entrance to the Strait of Messina, opposite Scylla, another sea monster. She sucks in vast amounts of sea water and expels it back out again three times a day, creating tides. She is depicted as having a huge maw for a face with an awkward set of flippers for limbs.


Charybdis was a naiad, a sea nymph, who was a daughter of Poseidon with Gaia. She was said to have been turned into a monster by Zeus after she had helped her father by sinking whole villages, plains and forests, expanding his kingdom.


  • In the Odyssey, Charybdis sucked in Odysseus' ship, but he managed to survive by hanging on a nearby tree branch. When she spat the ship out, he dropped himself back on deck.
  • In Jason and the Argonauts, they were able to pass through Charybdis and Scylla unscathed with the blessing of Hera.
  • In the Aeneid, Aeneas and his fleet are able to avoid Charybdis and Scylla with the help of the advice of the prophet, Helenus.