Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Water Demons

Got myself really thinking about lake monsters yesterday. Possible plesiosaurs like Nessie and Champ aren’t the only kind of lake monster.

There’s also demons like Japan’s kappa, a humanoid turtle-like creatures that can only survive on land by storing water in a hollow on top their heads. Kappa behavior towards humans generally includes pranks, drowning, and molestation, but a few tales of friendly kappa exist.

Similar European monsters to kappa, include the grindylow, small green humanoids that will drown children, and water hags like Jenny Greenteeth and Peg Powler who also drown children, as well as the elderly.

Salvic mythology tells of the vodyanoy, a race of frog-men that breaks dams, and (you guessed it) drowns swimmers.

Do you feel like there’s a theme here yet?

Mexican tales describe a ghostly woman called La Llorona who drowns (or spirits away) children that go out at night, especially if they’re near the river. And Aboriginal tales describe a chimerical monster that eats people who venture to close to the water in which it lives, the bunyip. 

Such tales are probably warnings to be careful near the water, though some experts suggest that some of these tales may also be throwbacks to a time when there was human sacrifice in those areas.

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