What Is A Chimera? 'Teen Wolf's Terrifying New Monsters Share A Name With A Real Condition

The adolescents on MTV’s Teen Wolf have dealt their fair share of outlandish creatures, what with Scott McCall being a werewolf who befriends banshees, werecoyotes, fox spirits, and the like. Although they should be jaded by the presence of another supernatural being by now, nothing could have prepared them to face off against what the Dread Doctors are creating in Teen Wolf Season 5. The terrifying beasts are called chimeras, and they are not here to befriend Scott or any of his friends. The name sounds spooky, but what exactly is a chimera?

First, here's what we know so far about their effect on Beacon Hills. The Dread Doctors are a group of human-like creeps who have a thing for wearing disturbing masks, and an even more perturbing penchant for creating monsters to terrorize Beacon Hills. In the Season 5 premiere, the Dread Doctors created a werewolf with electric blue claws, who attacked Scott and tried to draw power from him. Later, they manipulated Tracey into killing her parents before dying at the hands of the Doctors themselves. At the end of Season 5A, Hayden was discovered to be a chimera and subsequently absconded with Theo, who is also a chimera and the victim of the Dread Doctors’ experiments.

This dramatic climax had Teen Wolf fans reeling, but in order to understand what befell Hayden, Theo, and the rest of the Dread Doctors’ pack of chimeras, it’s worth exploring the creature's origin story. According to an entry in Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities, a Chimera is a mythical creature made up of a lion’s head, a serpent’s tail, and the body of a goat. If that doesn’t sound scary enough, this creature also had fire-breathing capabilities. Raised by a king as a plague to humankind, the Chimera is an evil beast that eventually meets its demise by the hand of the hero Bellerophon .

Since there doesn’t appear to be any sort of lion-snake-goaty thing on Teen Wolf, there is an alternative explanation and definition of a chimera. Business Insider provided insight into a medical phenomenon also known as being a “chimera,” a condition in which a person can technically be their own twin. The website cites the documentary “The Twin Inside Me,” which explains that shortly after a woman conceives, if two eggs fuse together it can create an egg that contains two separate DNA blueprints, which combine into one person. While anyone with this condition is still just a regular human, only with two forms of DNA, this could also be where Teen Wolf found some of its inspiration for the chimera title.

Chimeras do seem to contain elements of different creatures on the show, which relates to both the mythical and medical definitions of the word. The medical version is also very fitting since the Dread Doctors brainwashed Theo into killing his own sister in order to use her heart inside of him. One thing we know for sure about Teen Wolf's, um, unique chimeras is that they are furthest thing from good news for everyone in Beacon Hills. All us mere mortals can do is wish them the best in this fight against whatever the Dread Doctors create next.

Image: MTV