Throughout the history of folklore and mythology there have been stories and legends of giants. One may often wonder if the myths were based on facts or if the facts actually became distorted into mythological legends over time.
In the society in which it is told, a myth is usually regarded as a true account of the remote past. So, does that mean the legend of the giants Fafner and Fasolt who seized Freyja in the Norse saga Der Ring des Nibelungen (The Ring of the Nibelung) is a true account from ancient Norway? Did giants like Fafner and Fasolt actually exist at one time in the far distant past?
In the Old Testament, Genesis 6-4, it says that "There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bore children to them, the same became mighty men, which were of old, men of renown."
Deuteronomy 3-11 reads: "For only Og king of Ba'shan remained of the remnant of giants; behold, his bedstead was a bedstead of iron; is it not in Rab'bath of the children of Am'mon? nine cubits was the length thereof, and four cubits was the breadth of it, after the cubit of a man."
Between archaeologists, scholars, historians and mathematicians their is still no definitive proof as to how gigantic structures on Earth from ancient times were constructed and transported, such as the Moai on Easter Island -- why the Nazca Lines, ancient geoglyphs, in Peru are so gigantic.
In the unedited full-text of the 1906 Jewish Encyclopedia there is a large section devoted to giants and presented as biblical data. Giants are mentioned as inhabitants of the earth before the Great Flood. They are believed to have been belonging to prehistoric Palestinian tribes.
There is, however, one story which was regarded as ancient myth until archaeological evidence validated the legend. From an archaeological point of view, there is evidence of a race of red-haired giants that the Paiute Indian tribe in northern Nevada had passed down stories of from generation to generation.
According to the Paiute legend their ancestors battled this race of giants who were a hostile and warlike tribe. Si-Te-Cah was the name that the Paiutes called the red-haired giants. Si-Te-Cah in Paiute language means "tule eaters", for they ate the fibrous water plant, tule. Supposedly, the giants were also cannibals.
The Paiute ancestors finally were able to trap the giants in a cave in Lovelock, Nevada. Brush was piled against the opening to the cave and a fire was lit, forcing the giants out. As they ran out of the cave, the Paiutes killed them. However, there were a few giants who died in the cave.
In 1912, some miners came across the remains of the giants and notified the proper authorities. An excavation was done and archaeologists found about 10,000 artifacts and human bones that were much larger than an average person. There was a sandal over fifteen inches long among the artifacts. It is recorded that the giants ranged in height from 8 - 12 feet, and yes, they had red hair. A jaw bone discovered in the cave is definitely humanoid and makes a full sized adult jawbone look like a small baby size one.
Other tribes, like the Mayan and Aztecs, recorded encounters with giants on journeys further north. On many continents burial sites and remains of giants have been discovered, some as tall as 12 to 15 feet.
Yet we still have the tales and legends that are told to each new generation. One of these legends is of Finn MacCool of Ireland and Benandonner of Scotland, both giants. This is the legend of the Giants Causeway, an actual historical site between Ireland and Scotland and how it was built.
The legend says that Finn, while roaming around the north coast, would look across the narrow stretch of sea to Scotland to see if Benandonner was around. He wanted to ask Benandonner to come to Ireland to have a battle between them, for Benandonner was Finn's greatest rival.
Since there were no boats large enough to hold either giant, Finn built a causeway with stones so Benandonner could walk across. However, when Benandonner saw the causeway and started across, Finn realized that his rival was much larger and more fearsome than himself. Finn ran home and told his wife about his error in challenging Benandonner. Finn's wife, Oonagh was a wise and practical woman. She dressed Finn in baby clothes and had him crawl into a cradle and cover up to pretend he was asleep.
When Benandonner arrived at the cottage and demanded where Finn was, Oonagh said Finn was out for the day and invited Benandonner in for tea. She then pleaded for him to be quiet so as not to wake Finn's child. When Benandonner saw the size of the “baby” he took fright, saying if the baby was that large, he had no desire to confront the father. Benandonner fled back to Scotland in terror.