There are mythical creatures in the waters, on land, and even in the air. Whether any of these beings ever really existed is left only to your imagination.
Mermaids, and other merfolk, are some of the most commonly heard of mythical sea creatures. This could have something to do with Walt Disney's The Little Mermaid, or other fun fishy movies like Splash and Aquamarine. These movies portray merfolk in a positive light, but they may not always be seen that way in stories.
History of mermaids tells of them leading sailors off course so that they crash into rocky shores. Then again, the sirens did this in The Odyssey. Are these mythological creatures related? That's a possibility. Or it could be that sailors want an excuse for getting off course or crashing their boats. Some people believe that the sea cow, or manatee, is what many have mistaken as a beautiful mermaid.
While mermaids are the most commonly mentioned of merfolk, there are also mermen. Just like their female counterparts, these mythical sea creatures have the upper body of a human and a fishtail instead of legs. Different cultures have such creatures, like the Kappa of Japanese legend. These are child size creatures that have tortoise shell-backs, and they are said to eat children who swim alone.
It was in 1981 that most people got their first look at the Kraken, as this enormous sea creature was a big part of the movie Clash of the Titans. Since then it's made an appearance in The Pirates of the Caribbean franchise as well.
This creature, which looks like a monstrous squid or octopus, depending on what you read, has been in literature since the 1500s, at least. It's likely that the creature is nothing more than a giant squid, blown way out of proportion. The Kraken is believed to sink ships and is considered the largest sea monster in the world.
Loch Ness Monster
Another mythical water creature that many don't think is a myth at all is the Loch Ness monster. Whether or not you believe in Nessie, many people claim to have seen this dinosaur like water monster living in Loch Ness in Scotland. While Loch Ness isn't a sea, this is still a mythical creature that lives in the water and has been spotted as far back as the 1930s.
Nessie isn't the only monster of this type out there. People have claimed to see similar water monsters in ponds and lakes all over the world. Is it a sea/water serpent? Is it a dinosaur breed still living that people haven't discovered yet? Is it just a stick afloat on the water, fooling the minds of wishful thinkers? People may never know.
The Bunyip originated in Australian Aboriginal mythology. It's another creature that lurks in smaller water beds, such as creeks, swamps, and rivers. Photos of the bunyip give varying views of what this creature might look like. Some photos portray it as a saber-toothed manatee looking animal, while others make it look like it's part horse or dog and part crocodile. Either way, it always looks menacing.
There have been reports in Australian newspapers about the bunyip, much like the Loch Ness monster in Scotland and Big Foot in North America. They make scary noises in the night.
A mythical sea creature that could only live in large waters, the Leviathan is as enormous as its name would make you imagine. This monstrous creature is in the Hebrew Bible. As interpreted from the bible, many people believe the description of this monster was that of any large sea creature, including the great whale.
In movies and many literary works, Leviathan is a giant creature with lots of tentacled arms, much like the Kraken.
The kelpie is a shape-shifting water spirit of Scottish lore. Many people have seen this creature as a water horse, but it can also appear as a human.
The history of this creature is that it was made up to keep children away from dangerous areas in the water. Instead of just saying, “Hey, you'll drown in a whirlpool if you go in there,” parents and ancestors made up elaborate stories of mythical sea creatures that would drown you or eat you if you didn't obey.
Which Mythical Sea Creatures Have You Heard Of?
These six mythical sea creatures aren't the only ones that have found a home in literature and the movies. There is an entire pantheon of Elder Gods, the old ones, that include the great Cthulhu, which could be considered part of this list.