Young Philatelist: Mythical Creatures on Stamps

Can you imagine a world without stories? We were all born to tell and listen to them; that’s how our brains are wired, we remember instances not pieces of data, we arrive at conclusions and don't make predefined assumptions. Our life itself is a tale that someone might want to narrate at some point in time. Some are old, some new, but some are eternal and have stayed for generations together.

Let’s take a tour through some of the most famous characters that many of us might have grown up listening to or reading about. To top it, all of these characters have been featured on a set of six stamps issued by the Royal Mail in 2009.


Dragons have always captured our imaginations. Though most of them were fire breathing ones, some were extremely venomous as well. Dragons are hard to be tamed or controlled but wandering knights, others feeble yet intelligent farmers, the village blacksmith or the powerful mob have taken it down in various folklores.


There have been many instances that these unique creatures have been sighted living in UK or England but there is no sound evidence to back this fact. This majestic animal looked exactly like a horse with a horn on its head called as the alicorn. Its horn is considered as a symbol of strength and purity and was sought after by the rich. Queen Elizabeth was presented a horn by Martin Frobisher which he found on a dead fish.


The legend says that Pixies, the stout little beings, wearing his red and blue cloths was actually spotted in 1897 in UK. Pixies are known for their sharp sense of humour, though they were so sharp-tongued at times that, they can be very rude and in-your-face for anybody’s liking. These good-hearted characters are known for their kindness, helping cleaning homes and tending a roadside grave. It is said that they vanished from the scene when they were spotted.


Strange Rock formations are considered to be creations of Giants while playing a game of quoits. As per a popular folklore, Giant Albion once ruled over Britain and was defeated by Hercules at Hartland Point, Devon. They seem to have existed even after the defeat and many are said to be seeking repose under hills and mountains until they are disturbed.


Mermaids are known to lure mortal human beings using their beauty and then drown them once they come closer. It is said that these half lady-half fish creatures swam through the rivers of U.K once upon a time. Even in modern times, children were asked to stay away from the rivers, fearing that the mermaids would pull them in and drown them.

Another legend says that around AD 1169, a hairy man was caught in the sea who was unable to speak even when tortured, and ate raw fish. He remained there for six months before swimming back to the sea.


Fairy tales are the most loved and most-read stories even today. Unlike the general misconception though, fairies could also have a dark or wicked side to them. Goblins lived in shelly, sandstone-rich quarters or dark forests, while other fairies stayed at ancient burial mounds. Some lived with humans and helped them cook and clean but they never liked it when offered a gift or payment. In 1979, as many as 60 fairies were spotted by a group of school children at Wollaton Park, Nottingham.

Some of us have grown up to such an extent that these stories are hard to believe, but we wished we could all be a part of some exciting encounters with dragons, unicorns, pixies, giants, mermaids, fairies and much more!

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