Friday, 8 February 2013

The Water-horse Skeleton, Ord


Well, here's something you don't see every day... the skeleton of a water-horse! Whilst visiting Skye I bought Geoff Holder's very interesting book 'The guide to Mysterious Skye and Lochalsh', and a photo on page 60 caught my eye, a mossy overgrown skeleton, accompanied by a nearby photo of a plaque reading: 
'Each Uidge Earballach, Hydro Equus Extendus, Long-tailed Water Horse. This is the only known example of this rare beast - a distant relative of the better known Monstra Nessium Hydro E.E.is usually sighted only twice a year when it swims inshore to browse on whelks. This specimen was stranded at an exceptionally low tide in 1967.' 

The author kindly tells the reader where they can find this delightful beast, in the garden of 'An Acarsaid' on the shore at Ord. He gives details of access to the garden with opening times and how visitors can give donations to charity, but when I visited I couldn't spot the charity box unfortunately, or the sign. I think perhaps no one is currently maintaining the garden? Though it does appear to still be open to the public via the little gate opposite the beach.


 Sources & Further Information
The guide to Mysterious Skye and Lochalsh, Geoff Holder

12 comments:

CathyM said...

Something I never thought I'd see, even online, is a water horse skeleton. Fascinating.

The Faery Folklorist said...

It certainly isn't something you see every day, when I read about it I just had to go and pay it a visit, couldn't resist! :) Your storytelling sounds fascinating, if you're ever doing any performances of stories in the UK be sure to let me know!! :)

gigglesnort said...

I recently found your blog while I was looking for info on Rhymers Stone. I delved deeper and found this post so fascinating that last weekend I took a day trip to Skye just to see this skeleton (and the Fairy pools). The garden is far more overgrown now unfortunately and less of the skeleton is visible but we still managed to see it up close.

The Faery Folklorist said...

Hi Gigglesnort, great name! :D Glad you managed to find the skeleton, it's beautifully curious isn't it!!

Saperlipopette said...

We saw it today, by chance on a tour round Sleat. Fascinating! Wonder what the skeleton really is? Maybe I'd prefer not to know and keep up the speculation. I was amazed to find it on Wikipedia--makes it famous.

The Faery Folklorist said...

Glad to hear the skeleton is still on display for all to see! Would be curious to know what it actually is, guessing a cetacean of some sort :D

gigglesnort said...

(I'm only a year late replying lol)

It's amazing! It feels like there's a magic to it. We also visited the fairy pools while there and again, you can feel something amazing there. I've been telling all of my friends that when they're up that way they should go see it for themselves too ☺

Anonymous said...

It's a dead whale? Sorry where is the mystery?

The Faery Folklorist said...

Hi Anon! It does indeed appear to be a cetacean skeleton, with a wonderful legend attached to it by the locals! :)

Richard Freeman said...

Its a pilot whale skeleton.

The Faery Folklorist said...

Thank you Richard :)

Markus said...

Actually it's not a pilot whale but a Ziphius cavirostris skull, a Cuvier's beaked whale.