Just off the M9 motorway in Scotland are two 30 metre high statues of horse heads. The sculptures were designed by sculptor Andy Scott and form a gateway at the eastern entrance to the Forth and Clyde canal.

Two statues of horse heads probably seem a strange choice for the location. However, Kelpies are part of folklore; they are shape-shifting water spirit inhabiting the lochs and pools of Scotland, with most bodies of water in having an associated kelpie story, most notably of these is Loch Ness. Kelpies have usually been described as appearing as a horse, but is able to adopt human form. Some accounts state that the kelpie retains its hooves when appearing as a human.

Historian and symbologist Charles Milton Smith has hypothesised that the kelpie myth might originate with the water spouts that can form over the surface of Scottish lochs, giving the impression of a living form as they move across the water.