Region of origin: Ireland

Water faeries of the Irish seas, the merrow had a conflicted relationship with humanity. Believed by many to be dangerous, stories warned the females, who appeared as beautiful women with the lower body of a fish, sang beautiful, hypnotic songs that lured people into the water where they drowned or were viciously torn apart by the merrow while the males, more monstrous and porcine in appearance, captured souls of drowned sailors and kept them in cages under the sea. Contrary to these negative depictions there were tales of merrow coexisting with people, shedding their skin like a selkie to take on a more human form when they came on land. Some even formed relationships and intermarried with the humans, although it was said any merrow living away from the sea would eventually languish and desire to return. The merrow wore a hat, known as a cohuleen druith, that if stolen would prevent them from being able to return to the sea.

Originally posted on Tumblr on May 23, 2016

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