Today I want to talk to you about the Nykur.
Today I am writing to you about the Nykur.
A Nykur is an Icelandic myth, it usually appers as a horse (kinda, a weird horse). It has a lot of similarities with the Scottish Kelpie.
The Nykur, much like the Kelpie, finds sport in drowning travellers that it lures into mounting it and then runs into water. Its skin is sticky so once the beast is mounted struggling will not free you.
In order to protect yourself you have to engage in Christian practices aka make the sign of the cross against the creature, or in the alternative you can call out the name of the Nykur. Calling its name will send the Nykur away into the water (without the victim), making the sign of the cross will calm the creature so that you can ride it like you would a normal horse.
Legend says that you can tell when a Nykur is around by the sound of cracking ice, which is supposed to be the sound of the creature neighing.
The Nykur, like many water demons, could have been created as a way for parents to warn children away from dangerous bodies of water. They could also have been created as a way for people to make sense of the unexpected behaviour of water.
2 thoughts on “Folklore: Nykur”
It’s remarkable how different lands and cultures can have similar mythical creatures.
It’s one of my favourite things when I look at myths. How no matter how far apart cultures are geographically our stories have so much in common.