amphisbaena

In Greek mythology, an amphisbaena was an ant-eating, two-headed serpent. The strangest thing about an amphisbaena is that one of its two heads is at the end of its tail.

You'll come across an amphisbaena in any good collection of Greek myths — sometimes it's called the "Mother of Ants." The stories about the amphisbaena are all fairly bloody, as it was born from a drop of blood that fell from Medusa's severed head and proceeded to feed not just on ants, but also on various dead bodies. The word amphisbaena combines two Greek roots, amphis, "both ways," and bainein, "to go."

Definitions of amphisbaena
1

n (classical mythology) a serpent with a head at each end of its body

Type of:
mythical creature, mythical monster
a monster renowned in folklore and myth

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, Vocabulary.com can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.