12 Dec Blue Men of the Minch
The Minch, a strait between the Outer Hebrides and mainland Scotland, is home to the blue men, sometimes referred to as Storm Kelpies, although the kelpies take more of a horse form in the upper half body. The blue men of the Minch are believed to be mythical creatures that inhabit the vast stretch of water between mainland Scotland and the Outer Hebrides. Seeking boats to strike and sailors to drown. The blue men are specifically localised to the Minch, with no blue men legends being told in any other parts of the world
The official origins of the blue men are unclear and speculated by many – and there are variations of the tales. It is said by some, they originate from the days of Norsemen having North African slaves. However, others speculate that it is derived from the Tuareg people of Saharan Africa, who were known as the blue men of the desert. Alternatively, the blue men of the Minch have been linked to the Picts, in Latin meaning “painted people”. Many seafarers have testified, stating they have laid witness to these sea-dwelling, mythical beings on their voyages across The Minch.
As the blue men sleep, the weather is clear, seas calm. However, when they’re awake, they create storms at will. They are the size and shape of humans; they are strong and seen swimming through the rough currents of the Minch. The blue men, if respected and treated well by sailors, would be friendly towards humans.
Residents of the Outer Hebrides are aware and fond of their Celtic folklore and culture. Many locals say if the Blue Men are treated with care, they will repay the favour. In folklore and legend, it is said ale was poured into the sea as a gift for the Blue Men in hopes they would leave seaweed on the shore to use as fertiliser. On the night of Samhain, Celtic Halloween festival, a candle would be lit by the sea as a peace offering of kindness from the Blue Men. However, like the unpredictability of the sea, the Blue Men of the Minch are the same. Their mood can change as quickly as the current and cause shipwrecks and deaths amongst sailors.
Throughout legend, tales of the Blue Men told they would target vessels captains, shouting two lines of poetry to the skipper, to which they must return two lines of their own. If the Blue Men weren’t satisfied with the two-line response, they would seize his boat. If by chance, the captain surprised the Blue Men with his response, they would grant safe passage across The Minch.
While travelling in Scotland and the Minch sea, polish up on your rhyming and keep a look out for the Blue Men of the Minch.
Light one of our monthly limited edition candles to help keep the calm.