Tales of creatures of the ocean deep have always intrigued humans for hundreds of years. Regardless of whether or not the tales are fact or fiction, people worldwide have always held a high regard for the ocean’s wonders and the marine life within. In addition to respect, there is also an uneasiness and dread about the ocean and its inhabitants. Continue reading below to learn more about the tales of six of the most popular ocean creatures whose tales have captured our interest and invoked fear in the hearts of adults and children alike.
Water dwelling spirit: Vodyanoy
A water dwelling spirit that allegedly lived in streams, ponds and rivers, the Vodyanoy was a giant male creature that originated from East-Slavic tales. Tradition says it had a wide face hidden by greenish hair and a long, green beard stretched all the way down to the ground. Legend says the Vodyanoy would camouflage himself as a lovely flower on the river’s shore in hopes of tricking innocent young girls to approach him. He was also blamed for causing floods and drowning villagers. The story goes that the Vodyanoy was born from the spirit of an unbaptised man who committed suicide, and consequently is terrified of holy waters. As a result, people believed they could protect themselves from his evil ways by blessing any watering holes.
In 1531 in Poland a sea bishop, which is better known as bishop-fish, was caught by fisherman at sea. Apparently, the creature would not eat and died just a few short days after being caught. Back in the 13th century, there was a similar story about a Polish bishop fish that was found still alive in a fishing net who was taken to the kind of Poland where he begged for its life and was set free. Many people believe that the sea bishop was inspired from a giant squid that was documented for the first time close to the Canary Islands back in the year of 1861. The giant squid had a large, elliptical shaped head which was very similar to a bishop’s hat hence the comparisons.
Edo Era’s Amabie
In Japan, the Edo Era was the timeframe between the years of 1603 and 1868 when Japan was a country focused on agricultural. The sea creature Amabie appeared during this time frame with a warning potential plagues that could ruin a good harvest. Supposedly, a city worker who was investigating a shiny object on the surface of the sea discovered Amabie and her body was covered in fish scales instead of skin. The good news is that she offered a prophecy that a good harvest would continue for the next six years to the man who discovered her.
Scottish history speaks of a horrifying spirit that lurked in lakes and seas which was known as Each-uisge. Each-uisge was a shapeshifter who often transformed himself into a horse or even an attractive man. It is said when he was in horse form, he would encourage a human to ride him…and once they neared the water’s edge, the Each-uisge would swim into the deepest part of the water and drown the unsuspecting human. It was trickier to identify the Each-uisge in human form because the seaweed hidden in its hair was the only distinguishing feature to set him apart from a normal man.
The Inuit share a tale of a wicked mermaid named Qalupalik that had green skin and long, pointy fingernails. The tales say she lured children to the water’s edge by singing beautiful songs in hopes of kidnapping innocent youngsters. She would either devour the faultless child whole or feed off them in hopes of preserve her beauty. Definitely sounds like a mermaid you would want to avoid, child and adults alike!
Amazon legend claims that water dwelling creatures who resemble human beings, but with hairy bodies and deformed feet and their head on backwards. Known as the Yacuruna, they would often appear with another sea creature as their sidekick including a serpent or crocodile. Legends have said that reflections of human cities on the water’s surface are actually Yacuruna cities showing up from below the depths of the sea. Well known for kidnapping innocent women to make them their brides, the Yacuruna would them slowly reveal their true nature to their abductee.
While there have been many myths and legends of sea creatures told over the years, do you believe there is any truth to these tales? Or is it all a fictional story about a mythical creature that did not truly exist. I guess one will never truly know unless they happen to meet one of these creatures of the ocean for themselves. Keep your eyes peeled next time you are at sea!