Homer represents the Harpies as the rapacious goddesses of the storms, residing near the Erinnyes, or the Ocean, before the jaws of hell. If any person was so long absent from home that it was not known what had become of him, and he was supposed to be dead, it was commonly said, "The Harpies have carried him off." Hesiod represents them as young virgins of great beauty. The later poets and artists vied with each other in depicting them under the most hideous forms; they commonly represented them as winged monsters, having the face of a woman and the body of a vulture, with their feet and fingers armed with sharp claws. Spanheim, in his work, gives three representations of the harpies, taken from ancient coins and works of art; they have female heads, with the bodies and claws of birds of prey; the first has a coarse female face, the second a beautiful feminine head, and two breasts, and the third a visage ornamented with wreaths and a head-dress. There are various other representations of them, one of the most remarkable of which is a monster with a human head and the body of a vampire bat.