Date of Discovery
The legend of the Qalupalik comes from the Inuit people’s folklore, and are as old as the culture itself.
The Qalupalik is also spelled Qualupalik in some legends and stories are alike to arctic mer-peoples.
These mythic creature women are described as aquatic humanoids, with scaly or bumpy skin. Often, they have fins coming out of their heads, backs, and or torsos. Webbed hands are equipped with claws and made for predatory hunting. The Qualupalik is also rumored to wear eider duck clothing, amautiks, and reek of sulfur.
Northern Alaska and Canada’s first Inuit settlers began crafting tails of these mythical creatures to warn and scare children into taking their harsh environment seriously. This makes “dating” the origin to a single village or time difficult; however, these tails are still being taught today.
Mythology and Lore
Legends state the creatures will make humming noises at the shoreline and will even knock under the ice drawing the child to a weak part or hole to grab them. Using Amautiks they secure the children to their backs and carrying them away to their cave. Some legends state they eat the children straight away, while others place them into a sleep spell and feed of their innocent energy to stay immortal. These creatures, like many from Inuit folklore, serve a utilitarian purpose of keeping young children safe in the Icey world they live in. A lot of “sightings” happen without proper record, or the Qualupalik is mistaken for a mermaid-like creature folklore.
Modern Pop-Culture References
Books & Literature
- Qalupalik (2010)
Anchorage Daily News: Alaska folklore
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