open (a) Pandora's box

open (a) Pandora's box

To begin or introduce something that leads to the discovery or discussion of many other problems. It seems like we've opened Pandora's box with this topic today. We've been getting hundreds of messages from listeners from around the country who have been affected by it. Trying to fix the bug opened a Pandora's box of other issues with the computer.
See also: box, open

open Pandora's box

Fig. to uncover a lot of unsuspected problems. When I asked Jane about her problems, I didn't know I had opened Pandora's box. You should be cautious with people who are upset. You don't want to open Pandora's box.
See also: box, open

open a Pandora's box

COMMON If someone or something opens a Pandora's box, they do something that unintentionally causes a lot of problems, which were not known about before. The virus can throw the entire body out of balance and open a Pandora's box of health problems. An invasion of the country would open a Pandora's box which may be impossible to close. Note: You can also describe something as a Pandora's box to say that it may cause a lot of problems. The rapidly developing technology is seen by some as a Pandora's box, with almost as many problems as benefits. Note: According to Roman mythology, Prometheus offended the gods and in revenge Jupiter ordered the creation of Pandora, the first woman. Jupiter gave Pandora a box which she was to offer to the man she married. Pandora married Prometheus's brother Epimethius. He opened the box and all the problems and wickedness that now trouble the world flew out and could never be put back.
See also: box, open