There’s an old-fashion school-of-thought that it’s necessary for humans to believe in fae & nature folk for them to exist. I think this comes from fairy-tales trying to instill imagination & wonder in children’s hearts and in some cases maybe scare & teach the child a moral or control them.
Fae, nature folks and elementals existence cannot be reliant on humans believing in them. They can’t be old as the Earth and need human belief to manifest or be born and stay alive. If that’s the case, going by the human fossil record, they could not have begun to begin with.
A lot of legends speak of caves, dimensions and caves housing other dimensions. Real Quantum stuff. There’s not many humans in those areas. If we change the word ‘belief’ to ‘respect’ and think how hard we humans are on the environment while spreading our communities everywhere and using up the natural resources, perhaps then humans may have an impact on the fae & nature folks existence. Not control or ruination, but an aggravating impact of sorts.
I figure if the fae & nature folks ‘want’ you to know they are there and exist, you pretty much make the choice to accept seeing or hearing them or maybe feeling them depending on the tact they take. Most encounters are a complete surprise to witnesses and some hadn’t given fae or nature folks much more than a passing thought before then. Which, in those type instances, it pretty much means that the fae & nature folk existed before they were believed in or even acknowledged by a human. Yes, this is anecdotal, but it makes my point.
I realize the reigning fairy-origin-belief is based on the legend of sidhe & Tuatha De Danann. I think it’s a bitter-sweet tale that covers a portion of the legends, but it doesn’t explain the origins of all the fae, nature folks & elementals legends of the world.
Until fae or nature folk steps forward and confirms or denies their existence for the world to see, we’ll just have to keep speculating and continue to try to articulate why we’re drawn to legends and lores that are a few millenniums old.