A water sprite (also called a water fairy or water faery) is a general term for an elemental spirit associated with water, according to alchemist Paracelsus. Water sprites are said to be able to breathe water or air, and in some cases, can fly. They are mostly harmless unless threatened.
These creatures exist in mythology of various groups. Ancient Greeks knew water nymphs in several types such as naiads (or nyads), which guarded the fresh water bodies for the gods, These fairies are very joyful spirited and cannot be insulted or emotionally hurt, while Slavic mythology knows them as vilas.
In elemental classifications, water sprites should not be confused with other water creatures considered to be "corporeal beings" such as selkies and mermaids.