List of water deities

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Water god in an ancient Roman mosaic. Zeugma Mosaic Museum, Gaziantep, Turkey

A water deity is a deity in mythology associated with water or various bodies of water. Water deities are common in mythology and were usually more important among civilizations in which the sea or ocean, or a great river was more important. Another important focus of worship of water deities has been springs or holy wells.

As a form of animal worship, whales and snakes (hence dragons) have been regarded as godly deities throughout the world (other animals are such as turtles, fish, crabs, and sharks). In Asian lore, whales and dragons sometimes have connections.[1] Serpents are also common as a symbol or as serpentine deities, sharing many similarities with dragons.

Africa and the Middle East[edit]

Sub-Sahara Africa[edit]

Western Niger-Congo[edit]


  • Ezili, goddess of sweet water, beauty, and love.


  • Nommos, amphibious spirits that are worshiped as ancestors.


  • Mindiss (or Mindis) is not a deity in Serer religion, but a pangool with goddess–like attributes. She is a female protector of the Fatick Region. Offerings are made in her name at the River Sine. She appears to humans in the form of a manatee,[2] She is one of the best known fangool (singular of pangool). She possess the attributes of a typical water fangool, yet at the same time, she is a blood fangool.[3] The Senegalese Ministry of Culture added the Mbind Ngo Mindiss site to its list of monuments and historic sites in Fatick. It is the site were offerings are made, situated on the arms of the sea which bears her name, in the Sine.[4]


  • Oshun, a river orisha.
  • Olokun, an ocean orisha.
  • Yemoja, a river orisha and ocean orisha as well in new world Yoruba religions.




  • Nyami Nyami, a river spirit of the Batonga of Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Afroasiatic Middle East[edit]

Hamito-Semitic regions of North Africa, Arabia, and the Levant.



  • Anuket, goddess of the Nile and nourisher of the fields.
  • Hapi, god of the annual flooding of the Nile.
  • Khnum, god of the Nile.
  • Nephthys, goddess of rivers, death, mourning, the dead, and night.
  • Nu, uncreated god, personification of the primordial waters.
  • Osiris, god of the dead and afterlife; originally a god of water and vegetation.
  • Satet, goddess of the Nile River's floods.
  • Sobek, god of the Nile river, depicted as a crocodile or a man with the head of a crocodile.
  • Tefnut, goddess of water, moisture, and fertility.



  • Abzu, god of fresh water, father of all other gods.
  • Enbilulu, god of rivers and canals.
  • Enki, god of water and of the river Tigris.
  • Marduk, god associated with water, vegetation, judgment, and magic.
  • Nammu, goddess of the primeval sea.
  • Nanshe, goddess of the Persian Gulf, social justice, prophecy, fertility and fishing.
  • Tiamat, goddess of salt water and chaos, also mother of all gods.
  • Sirsir, god of mariners and boatmen.

Western Eurasia[edit]



  • Bangpūtys, god of sea and storm.
  • Laumė, goddess of wild spaces, including waters.


  • Kostroma, goddess of fertility. After discovering that her husband, Kupala, is her brother, she jumped into the forest lake (in other legends into the river Ra). After her death, she became a mavka (or rusalka).
  • Mati-syra-zemla, moist mother, also the earth goddess.
  • Mokosh, moistness, lady of waters, goddess of moisture.
  • Morskoi, the god and king of the sea.
  • Rusalki, female ghosts, water nymphs, succubi or mermaid-like demons that dwell in waterways.
  • Veles, god of earth, waters, and the underworld.
  • Vodyanoi, water demon who lived in lakes and rivers.


  • Belisama, goddess of lakes and rivers, fire, crafts, and light.
  • Grannus, a god associated with spas, the sun, fires and healing thermal and mineral springs.
  • Nantosuelta, river goddess of fire, the earth, healing, and fertility.[5]
  • Nodens, god associated with healing, the sea, hunting and dogs.
  • Selkie

English Folklore[edit]

  • Father Thames, human manifestation and/or guardian of the River Thames that flows through Southern England, while his ancient worship is obscure, he has become a popular symbol of the river in modern times, it being the subject of the song "Old Father Thames" and the model of several statues and reliefs scattered around London.[6]






  • Ægir, personification of the sea.
  • Freyr, god of rain, sunlight, fertility, life, and summer.
  • Nehalennia, goddess of the North Sea.
  • Nerthus, mostly an earth goddess, but is also associated with lakes, springs, and holy waters.
  • Nine Daughters of Ægir, who personify the characteristics of waves.
  • Nix, water spirits who usually appear in human form.
  • Njord, god of the sea, particularly of seafaring.
  • Rán, sea goddess of death who collects the drowned in a net, wife of Ægir.
  • Sága, wisdom goddess who lives near water and pours Odin a drink when he visits.
  • Tiddy Mun, a bog deity once worshiped in Lincolnshire, England who had the ability to control floods.


Greek / Hellenic[edit]

  • Achelous, Greek river god.
  • Aegaeon, god of violent sea storms and ally of the Titans.
  • Alpheus, river god in Arcadia.
  • Amphitrite, sea goddess and consort of Poseidon and thus queen of the sea.
  • Anapos, water god of eastern Sicily.
  • Brizo, goddess of sailors.
  • Carcinus, a giant crab who allied itself with the Hydra against Heracles. When it died, Hera placed it in the sky as the constellation Cancer.
  • Ceto, goddess of the dangers of the ocean and of sea monsters.
  • Charybdis, a sea monster and spirit of whirlpools and the tide.
  • Cymopoleia, a daughter of Poseidon and goddess of giant storm waves.
  • Doris, goddess of the sea's bounty and wife of Nereus.
  • Eidothea, prophetic sea nymph and daughter of Proteus.
  • Electra, an Oceanid, consort of Thaumas.
  • Eurybia, goddess of the mastery of the seas.
  • Galene (Γαλήνη), goddess of calm seas.
  • Glaucus, the fisherman's sea god.
  • Gorgons, three monstrous sea spirits.
  • The Graeae, three ancient sea spirits who personified the white foam of the sea; they shared one eye and one tooth between them.
  • Hippocampi, the horses of the sea.
  • The Ichthyocentaurs, a pair of centaurine sea-gods with the upper bodies of men, the lower fore-parts of horses, ending in the serpentine tails of fish.
  • Leucothea, a sea goddess who aided sailors in distress.
  • Nerites, watery consort of Ayodite and/or beloved of Poseidon.
  • Nereus, the old man of the sea, and the god of the sea's rich bounty of fish.
  • Nymphs
  • Oceanus, Titan god of the Earth-encircling river Okeanos, the font of all the Earth's fresh-water.
  • Palaemon, a young sea god who aided sailors in distress.
  • Phorcys, god of the hidden dangers of the deep.
  • Pontus, primeval god of the sea, father of the fish and other sea creatures.
  • Poseidon, Olympian god of the sea and king of the sea gods; also god of flood, drought, earthquakes, and horses. His Roman equivalent is Neptune.
  • Potamoi, deities of rivers, fathers of Naiads, brothers of the Oceanids, and as such, the sons of Oceanus and Tethys.
  • Proteus, a shape-shifting, prophetic old sea god, and the herdsman of Poseidon's seals.
  • Psamathe, goddess of sand beaches.
  • Scylla, a sea monster, later authors made up a backstory of her being a Nereid transformed into a monster due to Circe's jealousy.
  • The Telchines, sea spirits native to the island of Rhodes; the gods killed them when they turned to evil magic.
  • Tethys, Titan goddess of the sources fresh-water, and the mother of the rivers (Potamoi), springs, streams, fountains and clouds.
  • Thalassa, primordial goddess of the sea.
  • Thaumas, god of the wonders of the sea and father of the Harpies and the rainbow goddess Iris.
  • Thetis, leader of the Nereids who presided over the spawning of marine life in the sea, mother of Achilles.
  • Triteia, daughter of Triton and companion of Ares.
  • Triton, fish-tailed son and herald of Poseidon.
  • Tritones, fish-tailed spirits in Poseidon's retinue.


Greater European Folklore[edit]

Western Asia[edit]

Anatolian - Hittite[edit]



Varuna, the Lord of the All the Water Bodies

Persian Zorostarian[edit]

  • Ahurani, Ahurani is a water goddess from ancient Persian mythology who watches over rainfall as well as standing water.
  • Anahita, the divinity of "the Waters" (Aban) and associated with fertility, healing, and wisdom.
  • Apam Napat, the divinity of rain and the maintainer of order.
  • Haurvatat, the Amesha Spenta associated with water, prosperity, and health in post-Gathic Zoroastrianism.
  • Tishtrya, Zoroastrian benevolent divinity associated with life-bringing rainfall and fertility.




  • Ahti, god of the depths and fish.
  • Iku-Turso, a malevolent sea monster.
  • Vedenemo, a goddess of water.
  • Vellamo, the wife of Ahti, goddess of the sea, lakes, and storms.

Asia-Pacific / Oceania[edit]

Far East Asia[edit]


Chinese sea goddess Mazu
  • Ehuang & Nuying, goddesses of the Xiang River.
  • Gonggong, red-haired dragon with the head of a man and water god who, together with his associate Xiang Yao, is responsible for the great floods.
  • Hebo, god of the Yellow River.
  • Longmu, goddess of the Xijiang River in the Lingnan area.
  • Mazu, goddess of the sea and protector of seafarers.
  • Tam Kung, sea deity worshiped in Hong Kong and Macau with the ability to forecast weather.
  • Honorable Kings of the Water Immortals (Shuixian Zunwang).
  • Dragon Kings of the Four Seas.
    • Ao Kuang, Dragon King of the Eastern Sea.
    • Ao Qin, Dragon King of the Southern Sea.
    • Ao Run, Dragon King of the Western Sea.
    • Ao Shun, Dragon King of the Northern Sea.




  • Imoogi or Imugi, giant serpents of Korean folklore which later become true dragons.
  • King Munmu, a king who wished to become a dragon before his death to protect Korea from the Sea of Japan(East Sea).
  • Dragon King, an undersea deity believed to determine the fortunes of fishermen and sailors.


Southeast Asia[edit]


  • Lạc Long Quân, legendary ancestor of Vietnamese people.
  • Cá Ông (Vietnamese name for blue whales, also dolphins and whale sharks in some cases), king of the sea and patron of fishermen.










other island nations[edit]


Native Americas[edit]

North America[edit]


  • Aipaloovik, an evil sea god associated with death and destruction.
  • Alignak, a lunar deity and god of weather, water, tides, eclipses, and earthquakes.
  • Arnapkapfaaluk, a fearsome sea goddess.
  • Idliragijenget, god of the ocean.
  • Nootaikok, god who presided over icebergs and glaciers.
  • Sedna, goddess of the sea and its creatures.

Central America and the Caribbean[edit]


  • Atlaua, god of water, archers, and fishermen.
  • Chalchiuhtlicue, goddess of water, lakes, rivers, seas, streams, horizontal waters, storms, and baptism.
  • Opochtli, god of fishing and birdcatchers.
  • Tlāloc, god of water, fertility, and rain.
  • Tlaloque, a group of rain, water, and mountain gods.

Ewe / Fon[edit]



South America[edit]


  • Pariacaca, god of water and rainstorms.
  • Paricia, god who sent a flood to kill humans who did not respect him adequately.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ 謝婧, 下園知弥, 宮崎克則 (2015). "明清時代の中国における鯨資源の利用" (pdf). 西南学院大 学博物館研究紀要 第3号. Seinan Gakuin University: 9–14. Retrieved 2016-01-16.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  2. ^ Kalis, Simone, Médecine traditionnelle, religion et divination ches les Seereer Siin du Sénégal –La connaissance de la nuit, L’Harmattan (1997), p. 123, ISBN 2-7384-5196-9
  3. ^ Gravrand, Henry, La Civilisation Sereer – Pangool, vol.2, Les Nouvelles Editions Africaines du Senegal, (1990), p. 327, ISBN 2-7236-1055-1
  5. ^ "Goddess Nantosuelta". 11 February 2012.
  6. ^ "Who Is Old Father Thames?". Londonist. 31 July 2015.
  7. ^ 村上健司編著 (2005). 日本妖怪大事典. Kwai books. 角川書店. p. 182. ISBN 978-4-04-883926-6.
  8. ^ 大藤時彦他 (1955). 民俗学研究所編 (ed.). 綜合日本民俗語彙. 第2巻. 柳田國男 監修. 平凡社. p. 763.