One of the most bizarre tales from Greek mythology is the tale of Leda and the Swan. The king of the Gods, Zeus, transforms into a swan. In this avine form he seduces and rapes Leda, the Queen of Sparta. According to Ovid, Leda was famed for her beautiful black hair and snowy white skin.
The result of Leda and Zeus’ romance was two children, Polydeuces and Helen (who later became Helen of Troy). Leda also bore two children from her husband, King Tyndareus: the twins Castor and Pollux.
Details of the story vary. Sometimes, Zeus is said to have seduced Leda on the very same night she slept with her husband King Tyndareus. As a result, the new babes were hatched from two eggs: from one came Helen and Clytemnestra, and the other came Castor and Pollux. Helen is also sometimes excluded from the story, and described as the daughter of Nemesis, the goddess who personified the disaster that awaited those suffering from the pride of Hubris.