The Minotaur was born of a human, Pasiphae, and a white bull. Poseidon sent the white bull to King Minos for him to sacrifice in his honor, but King Minos did not sacrifice the bull because he saw that the bull had the most beautiful fur that he has ever seen and let the bull live. However, Poseidon was spying nearby and saw that Minos had left his white bull alive. Thereafter, mad with rage and anger that Minos had not sacrificed the bull, he cursed Minos by making Pasiphaë fall in love with the bull. Then, when Poseidon had left for Olympus, Pasiphae had Daedalus make a fake cow for her to hide inside and lure it. The result of their union was the Minotaur.
Pasiphaë nursed him in his infancy, but he grew rapidly and became incredibly ferocious. Minos, after getting advice from the Oracle at Delphi, had Daedalus and his son Icarus construct a gigantic maze, the Cretan Labyrinth, to hold the Minotaur. Its location was near Minos' palace in Knossos.
The Minotaur dwelt at the center of the Labyrinth and every seven years, seven youths and seven maidens in Athens were taken from their families as sacrifices to him. Theseus, the son of Aegeas, volunteered to slay the Minotaur and was taken to the Labyrinth as a feast for the monster. The Minotaur was eventually killed by Theseus with the help of Ariadne and her thread. Ariadne helped Theseus out of the maze with the help of a thread that showed him his way in, and helped him on his way out.