Did you know the Egyptian dung beetle (Scarabaeus sacer) was symbolically sacred to the ancient Egyptians? In fact, it is thought the symbol of this beetle was as important to the ancient Egyptians as the cross is to Christians. But why? After all, it's a dung beetle, right?
Well, the dung beetle was considered a symbol of Khepri, the early morning version of the sun god Ra. So, how exactly was that connection made? Dung beetles have a habit of rolling a ball of dung to a suitable location (where they lay their eggs in the dung). Egyptians compared this seemingly endless task of dung beetles to Khepri's task of rolling the sun across the sky.
Not only that, but Egyptians noticed that baby dung beetles eventually emerged from the balls of dung, and they (incorrectly) assumed that the male beetle could make babies without the help of a female, simply by depositing his sperm into the ball of dung. So, they compared this "phenomenon" to the god Atum, who also made babies without any help.
Personally, I consider dung beetles to be fascinating even without their historical "sacredness."
- Egyptian dung beetle - DepositPhotos
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