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Multi armed mythical humanoids
June 13, 2013 1:52 PM   Subscribe

Are there mythological figures with three, four, five, six, seven or eight arms? If so, what are their names? Note, I'm specifically looking for humanoid type figures with more than two arms, not beasts such as Cerberus, the three headed dog or Hekatonkheires, the hundred eyed or headed giants. We're just talking arms here. I need to name a few things.
posted by Brandon Blatcher to Media & Arts (20 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
Shiva
posted by scody at 1:54 PM on June 13, 2013


Also Brahma and Vishnu.
posted by DingoMutt at 1:56 PM on June 13, 2013


Seconding all of the above. Actually, it seems like most Hindu deities are commonly depicted with multiple appendages.

Check this out.
posted by coolxcool=rad at 1:57 PM on June 13, 2013


You may also find this TV Tropes page useful: Multi-Armed and Dangerous.
posted by DingoMutt at 1:58 PM on June 13, 2013


Avalokiteshvara
Durga
Mahakala
posted by planetesimal at 2:00 PM on June 13, 2013


Goro
posted by mockjovial at 2:01 PM on June 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


Do the gods actually have multiple arms in Hinduism? Or are they depicted that way as an artistic conceit, to convey their multiple aspects?
posted by musofire at 2:05 PM on June 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


> Do the gods actually have multiple arms in Hinduism? Or are they depicted that way as an artistic conceit, to convey their multiple aspects?

The multiplicity of arms emphasizes the deity's immense power and ability to perform several acts at the same time.
posted by planetesimal at 2:08 PM on June 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Bless you all!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:16 PM on June 13, 2013


Does Dr. Octopus count? Because if he does I can't believe nobody's mentioned him yet. I'm the first!
posted by amtho at 2:34 PM on June 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Most of the ishta-devas of tibetan buddhism are multiarmed; in fact, I can only think of one offhand who is not.
posted by elizardbits at 2:38 PM on June 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


For some reason, I think the Titans in Greek myth were. Cant seem to confirm.

Nagas are often portrayed with multiple arms, but only half count as humanoid.
posted by Jacen at 3:06 PM on June 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Slender man?
posted by Sarcasm at 3:13 PM on June 13, 2013


The Hekatonkheires in Greek mythology had a hundred arms.
posted by Muttoneer at 3:14 PM on June 13, 2013


If you're counting Goro and Dr. Octopus, you also need to count Zaphod Beeblebrox, who had three arms.
posted by mhum at 3:17 PM on June 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


Baxter, the mutant man-fly from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
posted by mockjovial at 3:48 PM on June 13, 2013


The Tharks from Edgar Rice Burroughs Barsoom novels. You might recognize them from the John Carter movie from a few years ago.
posted by hydrophonic at 5:49 PM on June 13, 2013


This is already covered in the chart of Hindu deities linked above, but Kali leapt instantly to mind. I blame Indiana Jones & the Temple of Doom.

Also, Chenrezik, Marici, Yamantaka and Sitatapatra (though she's got 1000 arms sometimes so maybe that's too many for you).

The Hindu and Buddhist deities are interesting because so many of them seem to be aspects of the same god/goddess and often the same deity will have different names and aspects depending on whether it's Tibetan Buddhism, Japanese Buddhism or another form and many of them have names from Sanskrit, as do many of the Hindu deities. Yama, although he doesn't have multiple arms, is a good example of the converging/diverging mythologies. Fascinating.
posted by Athanassiel at 6:17 PM on June 13, 2013


The current Dark Avengers Spider-man (Ai Apec) is "a six-armed humanoid form resembling the black suit version of Spider-Man." (I mean, if you count Doc Oc. he seems appropriate, too.)

Also, Fore Arm

And best of all, imho, Spiral
posted by oddman at 7:07 PM on June 13, 2013


If you're willing to detour into nerdy pop culture, there's always Lieutenant Arex from the Star Trek animated series.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 8:22 AM on June 14, 2013


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