Riding the Seas: Kelpies, Hippocampus, and More Monstrous Horses

October 4, 2019 - General
A representation of a kelpie, a sea horse more vicious than the hippocampus.

There are many interesting legends from around the world and through the ages that refer to mythical beings that are similar to horses. The Scottish Kelpies are some of the more intriguing of these creatures and tales about these water horses have been told far and wide around that country. But before those creatures existed there was a sea horse in Greek myth that was known as a hippocampus.

Shape-shifting and Sacrifices to Water Spirits

In Scotland, the kelpie is a shape-shifting water spirit which resides in lakes and pools. The historian Douglas Harper defined kelpies as demons appearing specifically in the shape of horses. However, some legends say that it can also assume human form.

‘The Kelpie’ (1913) by Herbert James Draper.

‘The Kelpie’ (1913) by Herbert James Draper. (Public Domain)

While appearing as a human, the kelpie will still have its hooves. For this reason, the kelpie is seen as a malefic entity. In Scotland, almost every lake has a story about a kelpie. Probably the most well-known of these stories is the one about the kelpie of Loch Ness.


Source: origins

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