Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Marsh Legends

I went to the marsh! This marsh is connected to Lake Washington. It is a beautiful place to visit on a sunny day.















On the day I went to the marsh, I saw: A rabbit, a bald eagle, and osprey, a red wing black bird, a couple of turtles, and these strange underwater, swimming bugs. One thing I didn't see is will-o'-the'-wisp.....not an animal, but a different sort of fantastic being. The will o the wisp is a ghostly, glowing light seen by weary travelers at night, hovering above...marshes! well, marshes, swamps and other similar bodies of water.

Folklore throughout the world have stories of the will-o'-the'-wisp. In the United Kingdom, the strange marsh light is thought to be glowing orbs of light that goblin fairies hold in their hands with the soul purpose of luring travelers of the beaten path to the treacherous dangers of nighttime nature. Just when the traveler was far enough from the path to be fully in the clutches of luck and nature, the light would extinguish, and the traveler would be left in oblivion with only their own wits and intuition to guide them to safety.

In Mexico, the lights are thought to be souls of witches. The witches leading a dark life of wickedness and black magic, are somehow transformed into light itself. Their hearts may have been dark in life, but their souls glow in the dark after death.

In Columbia, the will-o'-the'-wisp is thought to be the ghost of a heartless grandmother. In her life, she had no compassion for the world, and reveled in the joy of consequence-free cruelty. She had grandchildren that she raised. She purposely chose to raise the children without morals, scruples, or hearts capable of understanding. Instead of raising upstanding citizens, she raised greedy and angry thieves, bandits and murderers.

In Louisiana, the glowing marsh light is thought to be the a vengeful spirit. The spirit creates mostly mischief, but sometimes the mischief becomes more sinister and the spirit will engage in cruel acts such as sucking the blood of children!

With so many legends of glowing lights hovering above marshes and swamps, all across the world, it makes you wonder if maybe they exist! Well....it seems like modern day science actually confirms a legend for once. Maybe not the the mystical being or lost soul part of the legend, but a least the part that says glowing light appears above marshes and swamps. Science says the light is most likely caused by burning gasses. Here is an article that does a good job explaining the scientific truth of will-o'-the'-wisp: will-o'-the'-wisp scientifically explained.

While during my visit to the marsh I only saw common marsh creatures, maybe if i had gone during the evening, I would have spotted something strange flickering in the distance.... a fairy perhaps...a ghost...a lost soul...or maybe just marsh gas.


Sources:

http://www.todayifoundout.com/index.php/2013/04/what-causes-will-o-the-wisps/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Will-o%27-the-wisp


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