Mythology About Dolphins

By Rania Watts

I was doing a little bit of research and found some famous stories about how dolphins would rescue people at sea to bring them up to the surface of Ancient Greece. There are some known myths about dolphins as messengers of Poseidon. 

I was reading this fascinating story where apparently pirates had imprisoned the God Bacchus or Dionysus, as they thought he was a Prince. It seems like a hostage type of situation, where it turns out that Dionysus decided to turn the ship’s ores into snakes – which basically frightened the pirates when they jumped into the water. Dionysus thought the best punishment for them would be to go through their life as dolphins and be of assistance to men, instead of entrapping them for the purpose of money.

I like this story of reformation, although a forced reformation. Can you imagine what it would be like to have the power of a God to be able to transform someone who was kidnapping you, and to do something that is seen as helpful. In the grand scheme of things, it seems a pretty useful penance!

“Dolphins inhabit all oceans of the world; therefore it is reasonable that they appear in many stories of civilizations that populated the continents a long time ago. The most famous stories about dolphins mention how they rescued people from the dangers of the sea or how they helped fishermen with their activities in return for some of the loot.

These stories are not so far from reality. But some others are fantastic tales related to alternate worlds, ancient legends, temperamental deities and curious anecdotes. All this created a mythology with several legends about these magnificent cetaceans.” (Dolphin World) 

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