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Bird Rukh - the winged monster of antiquity

What is the bird Rukh, the Europeans learned after acquaintance with the fairytales "A Thousand and One Nights". When this happened, it is difficult to say. Perhaps, after the long-term eastern voyage of Marco Polo in the thirteenth century, and maybe a little earlier or later. The magical world of fairy tales, which absorbed a thousand-year folklore of the Eastern peoples, captivated Europeans. According to some researchers, to create this fabulous cycle, not only unknown tellers, but also quite specific ancient writers of Persia, India and the Arab countries did their best . Whatever it was, the Europeans appreciated the fabulous exotic world of the East, in which the magic bird Rukh occupied a worthy place.

In Europe, there were no fairy tales in which a giant bird would have figured, so the Arab legends in which people fight this winged monster passed, they say, "with a bang." Already later, historians, biologists and writers of the Old World began to wonder: why it happened that there is no information about huge birds in Europe, but there are more than a lot of them in the Arab traditions. They began to look for where the fairy-tale bird Rukh or at least her prototype could be found.

With the ostriches Europeans have met for a long time, but they were liquid in order to excite the writers of fairy tales with a fit of magical inspiration. When the researchers tried to analyze the tales for meetings of travelers with a bird, it turned out that almost all surprisingly unanimously point to the island of Madagascar. But by the time the Europeans appeared on the island in the seventeenth century, they had found nothing of the sort. For a while, the view that information about a giant bird is nothing more than a poetic exaggeration, and perhaps a fiction from beginning to end, was established in science and society.

But very soon researchers of the fauna of Madagascar discovered that on the island there were giant giant flightless birds, and they were destroyed after the Europeans were acquainted with the island. Perhaps, the extermination was also extended by numerous European pirates who even founded their own state in Madagascar, which existed long enough, and only after the pirates became insolent beyond measure destroyed by the French troops. Chronicles did not lead the chronicles, newspapers did not publish, and their stories about hunting for a giant bird could well be regarded by contemporaries as traditional sea bikes.

According to modern estimates, the bird of Rukh of Arabian fairy tales (or epionnis according to the name adopted today) reached a height of five meters. The growth is more than solid, but not sufficient to call it the "bird-elephant", under which Rukh figures in some Arab sources. According to the Arabs, Rukh was fed by elephants and could lift from one to three of these huge animals into the air, according to various sources. And the flight of the bird Rukh created a lot of inconvenience for the sailors: it covered the sun with wings and created such a strong wind that it allegedly even sank ships.

Of course, no five-meter epi-pine could do such disgrace, if he really wanted to. Apparently, the Arabs, having become acquainted with the epierness, took him for a chick, and his mother, according to their ideas, was supposed to possess much larger dimensions and certainly should be able to fly. And such a giant should also feed on giants, hence the tales of elephants raised into the air.

Ancient Arabs had no idea about ecological balance, nor about aerodynamics. Otherwise, they would know that a bird of the sizes indicated by them in conditions of the planet Earth can not fly in principle. And to maintain the number of birds Rukh, sufficient for the normal reproduction of the population, there will not be enough elephants.

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