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
Region of origin: Mi’kmaq tribes, northeastern North America
“Water people,” otherwise known as the Halfway People, were mermaid-like water spirits who held some sway over the weather and could bring storms. Their songs could be used to predict the weather by people who had learned to understand them. The sabawaelnu were generally well-natured but could become vengeful when wronged.
Originally posted on Tumblr on May 22, 2016
Region of origin: Lake Alexandrina, South Australia
A river monster (or monsters) from Australian aboriginal stories, the muldjewanks were dangerous creatures once said to exist in what is now the Murray River around Lake Alexandrina. Stories of the muldjewangk had them vary in size; from smaller man-sized ones, who would come to the river’s edge to destroy fishermen’s gear and snare children who ventured too close, up to gargantuan monsters capable of attacking steamships.
Originally posted on Tumblr on April 7, 2016
Region of origin: Cameroon
The miengu are water spirits of the Sawa people of Cameroon, who bring luck and prosperity to those who worship them, as well as affecting the weather and offering protection from plagues. Prayers and sacrifices as an offering to the miengu are still a regular occurance among sects of the Sawa today.
Originally posted on Tumblr on February 3, 2016
Region of origin: The Baltic Sea
In the 16th century up through today there have been stories of fishermen in the Baltic region catching these strange fish. Not a merman in the traditional half-human/half-fish sense, but a fish with a vaguely man-shaped body, specifically with a conical skull and cape-like tail resembling the garments of a bishop, and possessing sufficient intelligence to communicate. The most detailed story is a live bishop fish being given to a king of Poland. The King kept it and presented it to a group of Catholic bishops, to whom it gestured a desire to be set free, which the group persuaded the King to do; supposedly giving the sign of the cross as it was released.
Originally posted on Tumblr on January 1, 2016
Region of origin: Solomon Islands
In the folklore of the Solomon Islands, when a person dies, their spirit is said to split into the Aunga (Good) and Adaro (Wicked), the latter of which manifests itself as a malevolent creature who lives in the waters of the Pacific, riding waterspouts and rainbows and attacking people with weaponized flying fish.
Originally posted on Tumblr on December 22, 2015
Region of origin: Northeastern North America
A creature of Abenaki folklore, the N-dam-keno-wet was said to molest women bathing in its river. Yeah, sure buddy, it was the fish.
Originally posted on Tumblr on November 15, 2015