It Has an Irish Name and Fishermen Insist That Sight of It Is Bad Luck.


This being the time for the annual crop of sea-serpents the public here is being regaled with a new one of Irish nationality.

Its Irish name is “Gorramooloch.” It cannot only swim and lash its tail in orthodox sea-serpent manner, but reports from the west coast of Ireland, where it is alleged to have been seen frequently, credit it with the power of flight.

According to inhabitants of the wilder parts of the coast of Connemara, Mayo and Donegal, the “Gorramooloch” frequently turns up for exhibition stunts, principally at night. It is described as being shaped like a porpoise, 100 feet long, and rushing through the water with the speed of an express train. Occasionally it would leap out of and forward over the water a distance to its own length. When it fell back into the sea again[,] the splash was said to sound like the crack of a three-inch gun.

The fact that these creatures are not seen more often is because, it is explained, they appear principally at night. It is then that they go a-hunting after the gannet, a sort of seagull. When they see one flying near the surface of the ocean, they leap out of the water 40 or 50 feet and gliding, by the aid of their large wing-like fins, guided by their vertically set tail, bring down the bird.

Fishermen, curiously enough, consider the appearance of the “Gorramooloch” to be a sign of bad luck, though it has not yet been reported to be cannibalistic [sic]. But there is another brand of sea serpent which they fear more as a sign of ill omen. This one is yclept the “Bo-dree-more.” It is said to be a large whale-like animal, so large and powerful that it chases whales for sport. According to local superstition, the sight of a “Bo-dree-more” means certain ill luck for the men and the craft who spot it.

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.