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Cryptid Wiki
Hippo Campus
Hippocampus (mythology)
Type Mythological sea monster
First Sighting 1200 BCE
Last Sighting Uncertain
Country Greece
Habitat Lakes
Possible Population Uncertain

In Greek mythology, the hippocampus (plural: hippocampi) is a creature typically depicted as having the upper body of a horse and the lower body of a fish or dolphin. The name "hippocampus" is derived from the Greek words "hippos" meaning "horse" and "kampos" meaning "sea monster."

Origins and Symbolism[]

The hippocampus first appears in ancient Greek mythology as a creature associated with the sea. It is often depicted as a companion of sea gods and mythical heroes, such as Poseidon, god of the sea, and the hero Triton, son of Poseidon.

Appearance and Characteristics[]

Physical Description[]

  • The upper body of the hippocampus resembles that of a horse, with a horse's head, mane, and front legs.
  • The lower body resembles that of a fish or dolphin, with a long tail and fins.


  • Hippocampi are often described as swift and agile swimmers, capable of navigating the seas with ease.
  • In some accounts, hippocampi are said to possess the ability to speak and communicate with humans.

Role in Mythology[]

Associating with Poseidon[]

Hippocampi are closely associated with Poseidon, the Greek god of the sea, earthquakes, and horses. According to mythology, Poseidon is often depicted riding a chariot drawn by hippocampi as he traverses the oceans. The hippocampus is thus symbolic of the power and dominion of Poseidon over the seas.

Escorting Sea Nymphs and Triton[]

Hippocampi are also depicted as the steeds of sea nymphs and Triton, the son of Poseidon and messenger of the sea. They are often portrayed as pulling chariots or serving as mounts for these sea deities and their retinue.

Cultural Depictions[]

Art and Sculpture[]

  • Hippocampi are a common motif in ancient Greek art and sculpture, particularly in depictions of sea scenes and mythological tales involving Poseidon and other sea deities.
  • They are also frequently depicted in ancient Greek pottery, mosaics, and frescoes, showcasing their significance in Greek mythology and culture.

Modern Usage[]

  • The hippocampus remains a popular symbol in contemporary culture, often appearing in literature, art, and popular media as a representation of the mystical and fantastical aspects of the sea.
    Kelpie by shyrii-d6xh61w

    Kelpie, A similar creature