Sphinx art

Artwork of a Sphynx.

The Sphynx (also spelt Sphinx) is a hybrid creature depicted with the body of a lion and the head of a human.There are two major depictions of the Sphynx. The Egyptian depiction has the head of the king whose tomb it guards, the most note worthy of these being the Pharaohs of ancient Egypt. The Greek version had the head of a woman and would ask people who walked by its territory, just outside the town of Thebes, a riddle. The riddle, 'What walks on two legs in the morning, four in the afternoon and three at night', rewarded those who got it correct with freedom to continue on to Thebes, but punished those who answered wrong with death, as the Sphynx would eat them. It's riddle was eventually answered by Oedipus, prompting the Sphinx to commit suicide at the thought that it had been bested by a human. Other known Sphynx also exist in other ancient civilizations such as Babylonia.

Popular Culture


  • A sphinx is featured in the 2000 novel Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, with a riddle relating to a spider. This is not in the film adaption.

Video Games

  • Sphinxes appear in the Scribblenauts games.
  • The sphinx appears in the 2010 game Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire as a living statue.
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