Water Elementals

Water dominates our planet, in the forms of wells, springs, ponds, lakes, streams, rivers and mighty oceans. It is therefore easy to understand why there are many folktales and myths about beings that inhabit these water realms.

Otherwordly Beings of the water element are often depicted as being partially or completely human. They have often been blamed for drownings, however they have also taught humans to be careful around water and respect the dark depths.

According to Native American legend, the Aulanerk has a human form and dwells in the ocean. The gentle action of his swimming through his aquatic home is said to create the ocean waves. It is said to be peaceful and joyous, promoting calm waters for sailors.

Blue Men of the Minch
Unique to the Minch Passage in the Outer Hebrides islands, Scotland, the Blue Men of the Minch are depicted as human in form, but blue in colour with grey beards. They deliberately create storms to wreck ships sailing through their passage.

Davy Jones
The famous Davy Jones is the hideous skeletal ghost, dressed in rags and seaweed, who lurks on the seabed. He traps the souls and bodies of drowned sailors. If the sailor has been a good person, his body is seized, and his soul is said to go to Fiddler’s Green.

The Havmand is a benevolent Merman found in Scandinavia, also known as Havstrambe in Greenland. They are of very handsome human form, with green or black hair and beards. They are gentle water spirits and live under the sea or in lakes.

The Kelpie is a malevolent water spirit found in the coastal regions of Scotland. Its favourite form is that of a horse, but it can also appear human as a ragged old man or a handsome young man. It is said to seduce and abduct young women into the water, to eat them.

The Liwa are evil water spirits who dwell in Honduras and Nicaragua. They appear as white shapes under the water, in their own water canoes. They delight in dragging unwary human swimmers to their doom, and capsizing canoes to drown the occupants.

Mermaids are beautiful women from the torso upwards, with the tail of a fish instead of legs. In medieval times they were seen sitting on rocks singing, holding a mirror while combing their hair. They have married men and brought them much prosperity, but they usually return to the water.

Found in the Orkney and Shetland Islands, Selkies appear as humans, yet have a magical skin that changes them into seals. If a Selkie seal is killed by sailors, its kin vents their anger with storms and shipwrecks. They are also known as Seal People or Fin Folk.

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