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Gua Langsuir

by Micha F. Lindemans
"Cave of the Sirens." A famous cave on the island of Pulau Dayang Bunting (Malaysia). It overlooks a narrow sea channel between the island and the main island of Langkawi. The channel provides the easiest access to the open sea for fishermen.

A long time ago the cave was inhabited by three hideous female demons. They had the ability to assume the form of the most beautiful women, and would sing and behave in a provocative way whenever sailors of fishermen passed before them. The men would be so enchanted by them that they lost control and jumped into the roaring sea in order to swim to them. Most of men drowned and those who succeeded in going up to the cliff to be with the sirens would be tortured to a slow and painful death, later to be devoured. So the people wisely stayed away and the sirens were not getting any more victims and grew bored.

One day, a lone fisherman who was both deaf and short-sighted rowed out in his boat towards the sea. He passed the cave of the sirens without noticing them. He was fishing and managed to catch a lot of fish in this area, which was understandable since all other fishermen avoided the place. The sirens were overjoyed for at last they would have another victim. They went out of their cave, positioned themselves on the cliff in front, and started to sing. The fisherman, unable to see or hear them, went about his business. At first this surprised the sirens since they never experienced this before and no one could resist their charm. Then surprise became disappointment, thinking they had lost their charm, and surprise turned into fear. They were afraid men would climb the cliff to ravish them, or that the relatives of their victims would have their revenge on them. In their fear and confusion, the flew away from the cave never to return.

The men of Langkawi never knew who had saved them. And the deaf and short-sighted fisherman was unaware of his meritorious services to the people of Langkawi.


Article details:

  • Etymology:
    Cave of the Sirens

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