Carbuncle

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As a medical term

A carbuncle is an abscess larger than a boil, usually with one or more openings draining pus onto the skin. It is usually caused by bacterial infection. Charles, Prince of Wales, once described a proposed redevelopment of Paternoster Square as "like a monstrous carbuncle on the face of a much loved friend," St. Paul's Cathedral [1].

In the Bible

The word carbuncle occurs in three places in most translations of the Bible. Each use originates from the same Hebrew word בָּרְקַת בָּרְקַת or bâreqath bâreqath (baw-reh'-keth, baw-rek-ath'). In this sense, a carbuncle is usually taken to mean a gem, particularly a deep-red garnet, unfaceted and convex; however, the Hebrew definition is less definite and the precise color of the gems is not known.

In video games

Carbuncle is also the name of similar-looking monsters that appear in several different Japanese video games. In Puyo Puyo and its related games, Carbuncle is a "baby dragon" with a red gem on his forehead that shoots lasers. In the Final Fantasy series of games, Carbuncle is a fox-like "summoned" monster with a red gem in its forehead.

In mythology

Carbuncle is also the term given to a mythical beast reportedly sighted in the Americas by early Spanish conquistadors. Although no firm eyewitness accounts are available, they have been described as small creatures, either birds or mammals. It is certain that they wear gems on their foreheads; such gems come from the brains of dragons. According to myth, dragons have inside their brain a liquid that crystallizes into a solid gem when they die. According to superstition, it is good luck to catch a carbuncle.

External links

1. Speech by HRH The Prince of Wales at the 150th anniversary of the Royal Institute of British Architects (http://www.princeofwales.gov.uk/speeches/architecture_30051984.html)

de:Karbunkelfr:anthrax (maladie) ja:カーバンクル

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