Superstitions Of Ancient Marines And Maritime Myths

Superstitions Of Ancient Marines And Maritime Myths

Throughout history, sailors have sailed the seas to explore the different seas of the world, to trade, and to have adventures. The lives of sailors were challenging and dangerous, and so many superstitions and maritime myths (folktales that have been passed down from generation to generation) have developed among sailors. We looked into the superstitions of ancient sailors and the folk tales that have become legendary and spread from generation to generation.

Maritime Myths

  • Mermaids (Sirens): One of the most well-known myths of ancient sailors was that of mermaids. Mermaids were depicted as sea creatures who tried to lure sailors with their beauty and enchanting songs. According to the myths, sailors who were lured by the songs of mermaids would lose their ships.
  • Davy Jones' Ark: A common belief among sailors was that the souls of dead sailors were trapped in Davy Jones' Chest. This chest was the final resting place of ships and crews lost at sea.
  • Dead Man's Ant: Ancient sailors considered the sight of an ant on a ship to be an ominous sign. The ant was seen as signaling the sinking of the ship or a disaster.


  • Black Cats: Ancient sailors believed that bad luck was imminent when a black cat entered their ship. Therefore, they avoided black cats.
  • Singing While Sailing: Sailors believed that it was auspicious to sing and not be silent while sailing. This was a belief that the winds would be in their favor.
  • Traveling on Friday: Ancient sailors avoided going to sea on Friday. The day was believed to be inauspicious, so sailors avoided traveling on Fridays.

Ancient sailors' superstitions and maritime myths developed as a result of the long hours they spent at sea and the harsh conditions they experienced. These beliefs and myths may have helped sailors cope with the uncertainties at sea. Even today, some sailors still adhere to these traditions, but science and technology play a bigger role in modern seafaring.

Remember that these myths and superstitions are just traditional beliefs and not scientifically proven facts. However these colorful beliefs in the history of sailors are an important part of maritime culture and represent a fascinating aspect of sea adventures.