is a cryptid which belongs to the mythology of Cantabria, located in the north of Spain. The fish-man of Liérganes would be an amphibian human-looking being, that looked a lot like a metamorphosis of a real human being who was lost at sea.
Francisco de la Vega Casar, lived in Bilbao as a carpenter till 1674 when, on Saint John's day eve, he went with some friends to swim into Bilbao's estuary. Although he was allegedly a good swimmer, the currents of the river took him and could not get to the shore. He was last seen swimming away into the sea, and it was thought that he had drowned.
However, five years later, in 1679, while some fishers where seafaring in the bay of Cadiz in southern Spain, they found that a strange-looking creature had become entangled into their fishing nets, and was trying to fight his way out. Although they tried to capture it, the creature was able to set itself free. During the following weeks, several fishers reported having seen the creature till in the end they were able to capture it by tricking it with bread loafs. When they got the creature on board, they found that the creature had indeed a human shape: he looked like a young man, of white skin and thin red hair. However, he also showed some fish-like signs, such as a strip of scales that when down from his throat to his stomach, another one that covered his spine, and what seemingly were gills around his neck.
Thinking of it as some kind of monster, the fishermen took the creature to the convent of Saint Francis nearby, where the creature was allegedly exorcised and then interrogated in several languages without any success. After several days of questioning, the creature finally articulated a word, "Liérganes", whose meaning nobody knew. This extraordinary event soon spread all around the Cadiz bay area, and nobody was able to recognise the meaning of Liérganes till a sailor from northern Spain who happened to be in the port of Cadiz commented that close to his home town there was a small village called Liérganes.
The fish-man was then left to live with his family, though he kept a tranquil yet odd lifestyle: he would always walk barefoot, and unless he was given clothes, he would rather walk around in the nude. He never really talked; at most he would sometimes mutter words such as tobacco, bread or wine, but without any link to the desire of smoking, eating or drinking. When he ate, he did it with avidity, but then he was able not to eat for a week at a time. He was easygoing and even obliging, and whichever simple task he was asked to do, he would do it promptly but without enthusiasm. After nine years living in such a fashion, he went to the sea to swim and was never seen again.
Other works from Cantabria mythology:
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Serie de personajes mitológicos y del folklore cántabro para Fotografía ZONA 5.
Francisco se fue a nadar el día antes de San Juan, con unos amigos pero llevado por la corriente, este desapareció y no se volvió a saber más de él. Solo cinco años después, en Cadiz unos pescadores afirmaron ver un ser acuático pero con apariencia humana que desapareció rápidamente. Esta aparición se repitió constantemente hasta atrapar a la criatura con trozos de pan y unas redes. Una vez capturado pudieron constatar que se trataba de un hombre, con escamas y forma de pez.
Entonces fue llevado al convento de San Francisco donde fue interrogado para saber de quién se trataba y al cabo de un tiempo consiguió tartamudear una palabra: Liérganes. Nadie sabía que significaba, hasta que una persona deLa Montaña que estaba trabajando en Cádiz comentó que en La Montaña había un pueblo que se llamaba así.
Ya en casa de su madre, Francisco vivió tranquilo sin mostrar ningún interés por nada. Iba descalzo y a veces desnudo y no hablaba apenas. A veces estaba varios días sin comer pero no mostraba entusiasmo por nada. Después de nueve años en casa de su madre, desapareció en el mar sin volver a saberse nada sobre él.
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