10 Scapegoats Still in the Crosshairs

The moment before Pandora's curiosity gets the best of her is captured by artist Harry Bates in marble, ivory and bronze. The Tate acquired the sculpture in 1891. © Steven Vidler/Eurasia Press/Corbis

According to Greek mythology, Pandora was the first woman -- and the first scapegoat. Before Pandora came along, Earth was a happy place, free from turmoil and strife. There were only men around, each created by Prometheus, a god with a trickster reputation.

One day, Prometheus irritated the heck out of Zeus, the overlord of the Greek gods, by stealing fire from heaven and giving it to mankind. Zeus wanted revenge. He told Hephaestus to create a woman. Hephaestus, the god of the forge, obliged and molded Pandora out of clay. Before she arrived on Earth, Zeus gave Pandora a jar (the box revision came later) and told her never to open it. Zeus was a wily codger and knew Pandora's curiosity would be too much for her to handle. As expected, Pandora opened the jar, unleashing all the troubles humans face today [source: National Gallery of Art].