Mermaid Monday: Scotland’s Version of the Blue Men

blackwhitesketchThis latest tour through Mermaid folklore and legend brings us once again to Scotland, where a cryptozoology tale of old stirs the waters of the imagination. The Blue Men of the Muir are legendary and dangerous creatures looking to wreak havoc on unsuspecting humans.

In the Gaelic language the word “muir” means “sea.” So the Blue Men of the Muir tells us that these creatures live in the sea and are in fact, mermen. They live off the northern coast of Scotland in a body of water between the western Hebrides islands called the Minch Channel.

BlueMen03Further along the Hebrides chain of islands, between the Shiant (meaning ‘Charmed’ in Gaelic) Islands and the Isle of Lewis, there is a waterway called the Struth nan Fear Gorma. That name translates to “the stream of the Blue Men.”

The Blue Men earned their name because of their blue-gray skin. Their routine was to ask passing seamen a question. If they wouldn’t or didn’t answer the question correctly, the mermen destroyed their ship and dragged the sailors down to their watery underworld.

BlueMen01Through the centuries many fishermen and sailors said they saw the Blue Men “riding the waves” around the Shiant Islands.  These mermen are considered magical spirits who control the violent tides throughout the area.

Another group of murderous merfolk live near the Orkney Islands, also off Scotland. These creatures are called the Finfolk and they reportedly live deep in the sea in an area called Finfolkaheem. They are malicious, dangerous, and mysterious.

The Finfolk like to sneak close to the shore, either by swimming or stealing boats to get there. Once there, they look for unsuspecting humans who get too near the water’s edge. They snatch them and take them to Finfolkaheem to enslave them forever.

BlueMen02There is one way to escape the Finfolk. They love silver, so if one approaches you, it is recommended you throw any silver you have as far away from yourself as you can. The greedy merman will lunge for the silver first, giving you a chance to run and escape their clutches.

There certainly seems to be a lot of action in those cold, frigid waters off of Scotland! Is there any truth to these legends and stories? Hard to say, and even more difficult to prove. But we can enjoy them nonetheless!

Til next Monday! Tail slap!

 

 

BlueMen04Ah, no. These are the wrong Blue Men.

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