The Scapa Flow Landscape Partnership Scheme

Sea monsters

Made up of more than 70 islands, and miles and miles of coastline, it is hardly surprising that Orkney has so many tales about sea monsters and strange creatures. With selkies, water horses, mermaids and fin men in the waters it perhaps is a surprise that anyone would venture out in a boat.

Sea monster tales have likely been around since people first walked the earth and sailed the seas. Monsters, it seems, have been spotted in all areas of the world and what is interesting is that the descriptions of these sea monsters are often similar. Could this be a family of ancient dinosaur-type creatures who have evolved and do a bit of globe-trotting?

Many of the tales of sea monsters around Orkney closely resemble the description of the Loch Ness Monster. Perhaps they are simply whales or an unidentified large fish? Perhaps the world's oceans and deep lochs have a few surprises for us yet?

Sea monster depicted on the Carta Marina, the last unscientific map of Scandinavia