Before all things came into existence there was only the abyss (known as Ginnungagap). Ginnungagap lay between the worlds of fire (Muspelheim) and ice (Niflheim). As fire and ice met in Ginnungagap, ice melted and water was formed. The droplets of water formed themselves into Ymir, the first Godlike giant (Jötnar). Whilst Ymir slept more giants leapt forth from his legs and the sweat of his armpits.
Frost continued to melt and a cow was formed from the drops named Audhumla. Audhumla nourished Ymir with milk and Audhumla in turn was nourished from licking salt from the ice. Her licks uncovered Buri, the first of the Æsir. Buri had a son named Bor, who married Bestla, who was the daughter of the giant Bolthorn.
Bor and Bestla had three half-God, half-giant children, Odin, Vili and Ve. Odin and his brothers slew Ymir and created the world of Midgard (Earth) from his corpse. The oceans from his blood, the soil from his skin and muscles, vegetation from his hair, clouds from his brains and the sky from his skull (held up by four dwarves allocated to North, South, East and West).
Odin found two beautiful young Jötnar named Sol and Mani. They were brother and sister and Odin decreed that they should drive the chariots of the sun and moon across the sky. As they set out on their journey, time was brought into being. The Gods eventually formed the first man Ask and woman Embla from two tree trunks and built a fence around Midgard to protect them from the giants.
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