Of Mermaids and Men

A small scattering of merfolk stories exist around the UK and Ireland. Some of the creatures are said to protect hoards of treasure, while others have uttered curses which have wiped out entire communities. While many believe that most mermaid sightings can be attributed to Manatees and other aquatic mammals, not all cases can be readily dismissed as mistaken identity. What follows is a list of the places where merfolk have been encountered or were believed to exist.


Image (right) courtesy of: www.royalmail.com/creatures

mermaid stamp, royal mail issued

Stolen Skin

Location: Unst (Shetlands) - Unknown beach
Type: Cryptozoology
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A farmer who stole the seal skin of a selkie as she danced naked on the beach forced her to marry him. Many years passed and the selkie bore the farmer several children, although she would spend many hours down on the beach staring at the sea. Finally, one of the children found her seal skin and took it to the selkie, wondering what it was. The selkie took the skin and was never seen again.


Saxi and Herman

Location: Unst Island (Shetlands) - General area
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Saxi and Herman, two giants who were brothers, once lived on the island. They both fell in love with a mermaid who said she would marry whoever would swim to the North Pole with her. Both brothers began the trip, but neither returned.



Location: Whalsay (Shetlands) - Exact location not known
Type: Cryptozoology
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A water horse known as a Nygole was found by a traveller returning from the kriegs at Skura. Mistaking the creature for a normal horse, the traveller mounted it, only realising his mistake after the Nygole set off at a fantastic speed. The traveller escaped the creature after driving his knife into its back.


Mathew Trewhella

Location: Zennor (Cornwall) - Church and Sea
Type: Legend
Date / Time: 1400s?
Further Comments: A son of a church warden, Mathew Trewhella one day disappeared without trace. A sea captain later told the village folk that Mathew was with a mermaid, living under the sea.

Records 51 - 54, of 54

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