The Oracle of Delphi tells King Acrisius that his daughter, Danae, will give birth to a son who'll kill him one day. Totally freaked out, Acrisius locks Danae in a bronze chamber that's open to the sky. Zeus sees Danae locked in the chamber and falls for her. The King of the Gods streams into the chamber as a shower of gold and impregnates Danae with little baby Perseus. Acrisius doesn't buy the whole Zeus-as-a-shower-of-gold story, so he locks his daughter and grandson in a chest and throws them into the sea. Luckily, it's a sea-worthy chest and the two float to the island of Serifos, where they're taken in by a friendly fisherman named Dictys.
The Less Short Story
Acrisius, King of Argos, has a problem. A big one.
No matter what he and his wife, Aganippe, try they can't have any sons.
His daughter, Danae, is really beautiful, but a daughter just isn't going to cut it for the King.
To try and get a little advice on the situation, Acrisius goes to the Oracle of Delphi.
What the Oracle tells him definitely doesn't make him feel better.
Not only is he not going a have a son, his daughter is going to have a son who will kill him.
To try and stave off his fate, the King locks Danae in a bronze chamber that's open to the sky.
Unluckily for Acrisius, Zeus peeks down from the sky and sees the lovely young princess in the chamber.
Never one to pass an innocent young maiden by, Zeus streams through the sky-hole as a shower of gold.
A few months after her golden moment with Zeus, Danae gives birth to a bouncing baby boy, named Perseus.
Acrisius is more than a little cheesed off.
Not buying her story that Perseus is immaculately conceived, Acrisius accuses his daughter of sneaking a lover into the chamber.
As punishment, he locks her and the baby in a chest (sometimes called an ark) and throws them in the sea.
Things really suck inside the chest.
There's not enough wiggle room for Danae alone, much less with a squealing baby squeezed in there with her.
We' re also guessing there are no clean diapers to be found.
Just when all seems lost, Danae feels the chest being dragged.
The lid flips open, and she sees Dictys, the fisherman, above her.
Dictys is definitely not that disappointed to have hauled a beautiful woman in with his nets.
He's down with little baby Perseus, too, and raises the boy like he was his own.
Everything is going great for Danae and Perseus on Serifos, until...
Okay, we' ll give you a little sneak preview: After all of Perseus' big-time adventures are complete, he does one day kill Acrisius. It happens when he throws a discus during some games and accidentally cracks his Granddad smack dab in the head.