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Daily News Analysis

Cerberus and Charon

19th July, 2023 Environment

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  • In Europe continent two consecutive heat storms for last two weeks are causing consistent heat wave situation
  • First heat wave arrived July 10, it was named ‘Cerberus’; while second heatwaves is named Charon.

Other Details

  • The temperature is rising with the arrival of these heat waves.
  • The names of these heat waves, inspired from Greek Mythology, are also being popular.

Cerberus and Charon


  • As per Greek mythology it is a three-headed watchdog who is considered to be fearsome and tireless.
  • Typhon (a deadly serpentine giant) and Echidna (a half-woman, half-snake) are believed to be its parents.
  • The book Mythos: The Greek Myths Retold, by Stephen Fry , mentioned it to be the foremost hound of hell and guardian of the underworld.
  • He and his sister hydra, a gigantic water-snake-like monster, were picked by the god of the dead (hades) to guard the entrances to hell.
  • As per the mythology it is almost impossible to fool or circumvent
  • One cannot visit to Hades’ underworld and return safely without the permission of Cerberus.


  • He is believed to be a ferryman of the Greek underworld whose main function is to deliver souls.
  • He is considered as the god of time in Greek mythology.
  • He is a son of Erebus and Nyx. Both parents are creations of Chaos.
    • Erebus – is darkness
    • Nyx - is night
  • After death of a person, his soul is led to the underground cavern by Hermes or Thanatos (personification of Death).
  • In this cavern River Styx (Hate) met the River Acheron (Woe). These two rivers are believed to separate the worlds of the living and the dead.
  • It receives its payment for transporting the souls across the Styx.
  • Without payment to Charon soul is stuck on the bank of river for hundreds of years.

Popularity of Mythological names of Heatwaves

  • Cerberus became popular after, iLMeteo, a weather website of Italy, named an anticyclone in the region as Cerberus.
  • This website is a popular weather website which names anticyclones after mythological figures.
  • The anti cyclone that entered in southern Europe from north Africa was also named Cerberus.
  • As per Yahoo news, the heat waves and instances of extreme heat were related to various climatic zones of Italy for instance –
    • North part (Dominated by the Alps) - Above average temperature.
    • Centre Region (also includes Rome) – higher than usual temperature.
    • Mediterranean Islands of Sicily and Sardina – Worst affected regions
  • It is still not clear why heat waves were named Charon and Cerberus. However name Charon seems appropriate as this heat wave is a silent killer.
  • Some experts believe that such names help in spreading more awareness about the weather conditions and their harmful effects.

Must Read Article:

Heat waves






The terms Cerberus and Charon were recently in news. These terms refer to :

1. Name of heat waves based on African mythology.

2. Name of cyclones based on Greek Mythology.

3. Name of newly discovered fish species of pacific ocean.

4. None of these

Answer: (4)