Legend Of The Blue Men Of Minch: Were They Mythological Creatures Or Real Men?
Ellen Lloyd - AncientPages.com - Ancient Scottish legends tell of mysterious supernatural sea creatures called the Blue Men of the Minch. These odd beings were half humanoid and half mermen and used to frighten many sailors who attempted to cross one of Scotland's roughest stretches of water, the Minch, between Lewis, the Shiant Islands, and Long Island.
Minch, Scotland. Credit: Carol Walke - CC BY-SA 2.0
Some historians have proposed that the Blue Men of Minch were not mythological creatures but actual humans who were mistaken for someone else.
Interestingly, the Blue Men of Minch, also known as Storm Kelpies, are unheard of in other parts of Scotland, and there are without counterparts in the rest of the world. They should not be confused with the Fin Folk, mythical amphibious sea people on Orkney and Shetland.
As the name suggests, the mysterious sea creatures have blue skin.
"They are of human size, and they have great strength. Day and night, they swim around and between the Shant Isles and the sea, never resting. The Blue Men wear blue caps and grey faces that appear above the waves they raise with long, restless arms.
Scottish stamp depicting the Blue Men Of Minch. Credit: Royal Mail
In summer weather, they skim lightly below the surface, but when the wind is high, they revel in the storm and swim with heads erect, splashing the waters with mad delight. Sometimes they are seen floating from the waist out to sea, and occasionally turning around like porpoises when they dive," Donald Alexander Mackenzie wrote in his book Wonder Tales from Scottish Myth and Legend.
The Blue Men Of Mich are said to live in deep underwater caves in a clan system ruled over by a chief. They also possess the power to create storms, but when the weather is fine, they float, sleeping on or just below the water's surface.
Stories of the Blue Men of Minch have been passed down the generations. Local people say the Blue Men can only be beaten by ensuring the last word is achieved in a rhyming duel.
Credit: Adobe Stock - Andrey Kiselev
In the book Superstitions of the Highlands and Islands of Scotland, John Gregorson Campbell writes about a person who was convinced that he had seen one. The eye-witness described the sea creature as blue-colored with a long grey face and said it followed his boat for a long time, floating out of the water as far as its waist. It was sometimes so close that he could have touched it, although he did not try.
It remains unknown how and when the legend of the Blue Men of Minch started. Over the years, many theories have attempted to unravel the Blue Men Of Minch mystery.
Author and researcher Lewis Spence maintains that they are personifications of the sea itself, being the color of the waves.
However, historian Malcolm Archibald hypothesizes the legend may have been born when the Vikings arrived with enslaved people captured from North African ships. These Berbers would have worn blue, veiled clothes, like the Tuareg, sometimes known as the 'blue men of the desert.'
Updated on August 16, 2022
Written by Ellen Lloyd – AncientPages.com
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