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Mermaids, myth or real?

The planet is covered by 75% water, so it's not so surprising that myths and legends of mystical and magic creatures are common.

Sea serpents and mermaids are just two of the many myths linked to our great mysterious deep dark oceans, indeed many refer to them as merfolk since it is considered that mermaids are not only female, but also male too.

C.J.S. Thompson, a former curator at the Royal College of Surgeons of England, noted in his book "The Mystery and Lore of Monsters" (Kessinger, 2010), "Traditions concerning creatures half-human and half-fish in form have existed for thousands of years, and the Babylonian deity Era the Fish-god, is represented on seals and in sculpture, as being in this shape over 2,000 years B.C.

Captain John Smith apparently saw a mermaid swimming about "with all possible grace" in the 1800's. His description of her was having large eyes, a finely shaped nose that was 'somewhat short,' and well-formed ears that were rather too long. Smith goes on to say that 'her long green hair imparted to her an original character that was by no means unattractive.'" In fact, Smith was amazed with this lovely woman as he gazed at her before his sudden realisation that she was in fact a fish from the waist down. This dilemma is reflected in a popular song titled "The Mermaid,"

"I love the girl with all me heart But I only like the upper part I do not like the tail!"

In the 1800s, hoaxers produced many versions of fake mermaids to satisfy the public's interest in these mystical creatures. The great showman P.T. Barnum became aware of the public's interest in mermaids and, in the mid 1800's, displayed the "Feejee Mermaid," which became one of his most popular attractions.

The public flocked to the attraction each paying 50 cents to gaze at the beauty of the captured mermaid, however, what they did see is a rather grotesque creature with long limbs a fish tail and what can only be described as a quite horrifying stare!

Modern mermaids?

As with most things of the modern age, sciences' input is required to either prove or refute a claim, however many people today still believe in the merfolk, and a quick troll through the internet will provide many accounts of sightings and even meetings over the last 40 years or so.

So are they real? Well science says many sightings can be accounted to actually being manatees and dugongs which from a distance could be mistaken for a human like creature.

They do have two flippers and a fish tail, however one look at the face and a realisation that the long flowing locks of blonde hair are missing would perhaps sway most people to the fact that these are not in fact human like at all.

In 2012 a television program titled 'Mermaids body found!' was in fact a fictional piece of work presented in a documentary style, this only increased the speculation of whether they were real, and the NOAA, National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration released a press statement which read, "The belief in mermaids may have arisen at the very dawn of our species. ... But are mermaids real? No evidence of aquatic humanoids has ever been found. Why, then, do they occupy the collective unconscious of nearly all seafaring peoples? ".

So the question remains, are they real?, who knows, as stated at the beginning of the blog the Earth is covered by 75% water and in many areas depths are measured in miles not metres, so it is quite conceivable that they do exist and are in fact just as real as you or I or even the Loch Ness Monster!

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