The Mythology Behind The Ursa Minor Constellation Explained

When it comes to infidelity, especially when depicted on television or in movies, the first inclination for those guilty of it tend to hide. It might be in a closet, or they might be stashed somewhere where the spouse might not know of — like another house. This deception can only be maintained for so long, and the results can be disastrous, whether it's in a comedy or a drama. This is not an uncommon phenomenon; it's happened often over thousands of years, and it was often mentioned in Greek mythology

The comedic renditions of these also tend to throw in wacky events and miscommunications that make things even more ridiculous. People misinterpret conversations (pretty much every "Three's Company" episode ever), but if this happens in a drama, then the misinterpretations typically wind up on the tragic side. Then there are just the downright scary ones, like "Fatal Attraction," per IMDb.

The myth of Ursa Minor combines many of these things, and it also adds a level of pettiness.  

Ursa Minor never goes below the horizon

Per Greek Mythology, it started when Zeus, the king of the Greek gods and also someone with a perpetually wandering eye, spotted Callisto, one of the nymphs of Artemis. He wooed her and got her to break her vow of chastity, which as required of her as a nymph. To further complicate matters, Callisto got pregnant and bore a son named Arcas. This made two people mad: Artemis, since Callisto had broken her vow, and Hera, who was naturally upset that her husband had cheated on her — again. 

So Callisto got turned into a bear and was hiding in nature. Her son grew up not knowing his real mother. One day, Arcas was out hunting, and he spotted a huge bear. He lined up a shot with his bow and was preparing to shoot. However, the bear was his mother. Zeus spotted what was happening and changed Arcas into a bear, too. Problem solved, right? No. He wound up putting them in the sky as constellations as an attempt to hide them from Hera.

How petty was Hera? She demanded that the two bears could never bathe in the waters of the Earth again. The constellations Ursa Major (Callisto) and Ursa Minor (Arcas) never go below the horizon, which runs true to the myth.