Mythological water gods
The mystery and power that flow through a body of water have been witnessed for centuries. These untamable characteristics have inspired people to celebrate water’s energy in various ways. Water deities are featured in mythology from around the world in cultures where rivers and oceans hold great significance. Today, many of these creatures only live in through legends, but some continue to attract dedicated followers.
Sirens are creatures of Greek mythology that were often described as a combination of women and birds. Legend states that these women lured sailors into rocky waters with their dangerous, enchanting voices. As the men drew nearer to the voices, the shallow water and rocks would cause deadly shipwrecks. Sirens are featured in many mythological stories, including the famous adventures of Odysseus.
Gong Gong is a prominent feature in Chinese mythology. He is described as a red-haired dragon with a man’s head and a serpent’s tail. Responsible for great floods, Gong Gong is blamed for catastrophes and destruction. Gong Gong works closely with Xiangliu, a snake with nine heads that is also responsible for flooding. Legends of Gong Gong all indicate that he was killed or exiled.
Egyptian water gods
Egyptian mythology is full of deities who rule the Nile River. Hapi is god of the yearly flooding of the Nile. Khnum is one of the earliest known Egyptian gods. He ruled the Nile and was the god of creation. Anuket was worshiped as the goddess of the Nile and nourisher of the fields. The goddess was worshiped as one who protects women in childbirth. Later in Egyptian history, Anuket also became associated with lust.
Polynesian water gods
In traditional Hawaiian culture, Kanaloa is one of the four major akua. Akua means god in the native Hawaiian language. Kanaloa is the god of the ocean, healing and long distance travels. He’s described as being tall with fair skin. Hawaiian religion doesn’t place as much importance on Kanaloa as other Polynesian cultures. Throughout Polynesia, Kanaloa plays an important role in mythology. In Sāmoa and Tonga, Kanaloa is called Tagaloa or Tangaloa, creator of the universe.
Germanic mythological creatures
The Nix, Neck, Nicor, or Nokken are water spirits that change forms in Germanic mythology. With roots in Norwegian, Dutch and Swedish culture, these creatures were typically male water monsters that could transform into horses. The Scandinavian version of these mythological men would lure women and children into streams with enchanting songs on the violin. Although the women and children would drown, the Nokk were not considered malevolent. The brook horse version of these mythological men was called a bäckahäst. These white horses would appear near rivers in foggy weather.
The Loch Ness Monster
The mysteries surrounding the Loch Ness Monster have drawn worldwide attention to the Scottish Highlands and Loch Ness lake. Legends of Nessie describe her large size, long neck and hunch back protruding from the water. Reports of a dragon-like creature in Loch Ness began in 1933 after a journalist published a story featuring various accounts of these monster sightings. There are earlier historical reports of a sea creature near Loch Ness that further support the legends of Nessie. Many people dismiss the Loch Ness Monster as a misidentification of animals or drift wood, but she continues to attract followers around the world.
For centuries water has inspired reverence and awe. People around the world personified its mysterious and untamable characteristics with various water deities. Although many of these creatures have faded into history books, their legends continue to flow into today’s stories.