• Brandie June

Under The Sea – Water Mythological Creatures

Updated: May 25, 2019


Pen and wash drawing of a colossal octopus by malacologist Pierre Dénys de Montfort, 1801

It’s Mythology Monday! (And if that’s not officially a thing, I think it should be.) And today we’re going under the sea (cue crustacean band). Most people are familiar with mermaids, but here are few lesser known mythological creatures that are also associated with water.


Kraken

This gigantic Norse sea monster was said to be big enough to devour whole ships and whales! The earliest descriptions of this monster don’t give much detail (other than its massive size) but later on its appearance has been more defined to that of a giant cephalopod.


Bunyip

This creature from Australian Aboriginal mythology inhabits swaps, rivers, and lakes. In some tales this is a dangerous and deadly creature while other stories portray the bunyip as a benevolent being. Descriptions of this creature vary wildly amongst different legends.



The statue of the selkie in Mikladalur.

Selkie

One of the first short stories I wrote was about a selkie. These are creatures, mainly from Scottish legends, are magical beings that can change from seal to human by removing their seal skin. In some myths, a man finds a female selkie’s skin, and she becomes his wife. But if she finds her hidden skin, she will return to the ocean.


Kelpie

This is another Scottish mythological creature that has shape-shifting abilities. Instead of seals, kelpies appear as horses or human. And they are a dangerous sort, often luring people to a watery death, either as a horse that once mounted, a person cannot dismount, or as a beautiful human.


My takeaway? Most of these creatures could kill you! Under the sea is not nearly as friendly as Sebastian led me to believe with his serenade to Ariel. Of course, many of these myths were originally told to warn people, especially children, of the dangers of the water, some of which were true threats.

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