Science

The Myths of Leprechauns & Interesting Observations

One part of Irish culture that will be known around the world is the luck that they are said to have, whilst another part will be to do with the mythical leprechauns.

Indeed, many will know leprechauns to be a fairy-like creature that is typically dressed in green with a top hat, suit and shoes whilst acting mischievously and, actually, making life a nuisance for some as they steal the treasures people have and storing all of the gold they have at the end of the rainbow.

In addition, there are legends about these mythical humans that suggest that if a person is able to capture one, then they will be rewarded with three wishes by the leprechaun in exchange for their release.

These characters have become incredibly prominent within popular culture over the years, with a number of different entertainment forms utilizing them as prominent figures. For instance, there have been a number of films and TV shows to have featured the mythical creature, whilst there have also been plenty of different slot games in the iGaming industry to include a leprechaun. Titles including Irish Eyes Slot have had huge success using the small Irish guy within their game as a focal point.

Origins

Indeed, whilst the leprechaun might be a mythical fairy-like creature, there are some origins for their existence. The earliest known reference to them was found in a medieval tale which is known as the Echtra Fergus mac Leti (Adventure of Fergus son of Leti). This is also where the idea that when it is captured by a human, three wishes will be granted for its release.

The King of Ulster, Fergus mac Leti, falls asleep on a beach and wakes to himself being dragged into the ocean by three “luchorpain”. He, however, captures them which is when they grant him the three wishes.

How are they depicted?

Legend has made it out as though leprechauns are solitary creatures who were shoe cobblers that enjoyed their profession, whilst also playing practical jokes on everyone that they met when on their adventures.

It was also understood by some that the wealth that these fairy-like creatures were able to boast came from the treasures that were found buried from previous wars and had subsequently stolen and claimed for themselves.

Traditionally, a leprechaun has been depicted as a white man that has a ginger beard and hair and is dressed from head to toe in green. Typically no taller than a small child and sitting on a toadstool, research would suggest that this has only happened since the turn of the 20th century. Before then, it was believed that they wore red and may have had a white beard instead of an orange one.

Interesting observations about leprechauns

Whilst many would be happy to argue that leprechauns are mythical and simply never existed, there will be some who would like to make interesting observations about the creatures.

One observation that has been noted in the past regarding the child-sized figure is the fact that they are always considered to be male and that a female leprechaun simply does not exist. With the way that life is produced, it would explain why there are not thought to be any of these fairy-like creatures in the real world today.

Leprechauns are protected

According to some figures that have been produced, it is thought that there is evidence of leprechauns being alive, as there is a European Law that protects them and the sanctuary in which they live.

It is claimed that 236 leprechauns still live in the caverns of Slieve Foye, which is an area where a local businessman claimed he had found the remains of one in 1989. He had said that he found the bones of the creature, the tiny suit they are known for wearing and gold coins near scored earth that he had found when he heard a scream near the wishing well. These items are now displayed behind a glass case that can be visited by tourists and looked at.

Leprechauns can be generous too

According to one tale, there is a suggestion that whilst leprechauns are traditionally depicted as being untrustworthy individuals who are out to do no good and steal any treasures that they can, they can also be considered rather generous at times.

The tale tells of a story in which a nobleman is having no luck and offers to give a leprechaun a ride on his horse. As a way of repaying the favor, the leprechaun appears to have provided the nobleman’s castle with a facelift and has filled it to the ceiling with gold!

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