Phaeton was, in Greek mythology, the son of the sun god Helios. When his mother told him who his father was, he set out to meet him and discover whether he indeed was the sun god's son. He met Helios who confirmed what his mother said, and, to prove it, swore by the river Styx that he would grant any request of Phaeton's. Unfortunately, what Phaeton wanted most was to drive the god's chariot for a day. Although Helios knew that this would be deadly folly, he had sworn by the Styx and so had no choice but to leave his son to his fate. Phaeton began driving the chariot, but quickly lost control, threatening the Earth so that Zeus was forced to kill him. This myth was used to teach what happened when mortals forgot their place and thought that they were the gods' equals.