It is in the nature of the haggis that it should be a creature shrouded in mystery. Over the years many misconceptions have developed about these reclusive creatures. Here we are happy to debunk the most common myths and set the record straight.
A haggis is just a sheep’s stomach stuffed with meat and oatmeal.
The most common mistaken belief about the haggis is that it is some kind of pudding made from sheep innards. This somewhat macabre idea dates back many centuries. Its origins lie in a Pictish fertility ceremony which featured a parade of creatures known to produce large numbers of offspring. The haggis was one such animal. However, as hunting techniques were not as sophisticated as they were then and - for reasons explained in The Haggis in Scotland’s History - haggis numbers were low, the Pictish priests often had to make do with a model for these ceremonies. Said model haggis was made from an inflated sheep bladder, hence the myth.
They have one leg shorter than another.
This misconception originated with a respected English commentator. However, the haggis’s legs are all the same size. Any apparent difference in length could be due to the haggis’s habit of standing in a bog to confuse predators. Quite why this would confuse a predator is unclear as the haggis would be unable to run away, being as it is stuck in a bog.
Its hurdies are like a distant hill.
A haggis is rarely larger than a foot long. It has a gentle rounded shape and a soft consistency. How it is like a geological feature quite escapes us. Suilven is a distant hill. It is 2,399 feet high and made from unforgiving glacier-scarred rock. Pretty unhaggislike, you would agree. We suspect that this one is down to poetic licence.
Haggii live with the monster in Loch Ness.
A recent sighting of a Haggis piggy-backing on the Loch Ness monster has fuelled rumours that this folk tale is in fact true. The Haggi were previously thought to be extremely wary of any creature larger than them and would not consort with a large carnivore, even one supposed to be mythical. It is also believed that swimming with haggises strapped to your feet will prevent monster attacks. There have been no recorded attacks, however, on anyone by the Loch Ness monster, haggis attachments notwithstanding.