Mermaids: Fact or Fiction?
From ancient myths is this Fun Facts about Mermaids for you to enjoy. Sightings of mermaids have been around since man first traveled the sea. Throughout time they have taken on deities of good and evil, depending on who is telling the story.
Today if a sailor claims to have seen a mermaid, he is made a joke of, but there was a timed it was taken very seriously. One incident involved Christopher Columbus. On his first trip to America he reported seeing ugly and fat mermaids. This occurred while he was in the Caribbean, it is suspected that he actual was looking at a manatee. Since it was a new creature to him, the term mermaid fit better.
The earliest reports of a mermaid came from Syria back in 1000 BC. Her name was Atagatis and was considered a Goddess. Supposedly when she dove into a lake her lower half turned into a fish while the top portion remained woman. She did this after the death of her human lover and she decided not to live on land anymore.
Legends and myths involving mermaid and their male counterpart’s, mermen, have been around since the dawn of time. In the Pacific Ocean there are islands where the inhabitants believe all humans are decedents of the mer-people. The term itself mer means of the sea so the term mer-people really means people of the sea. It is believed back in time the tails of these mer-people just fell off and people began to magically walk on land. Today there are still religions that worship mergods as deities. This includes Hindu and Candomblé. See the picture of one of our Mermaid Magnets above.
Over time most of the stories told involving mermaids are similar to the sirens of Greek Mythology. When spotted or heard, they lure sailors to their death. It is the Scandinavian mermaid myths that changed mermaids into golden hair beauties that love to sun themselves on rocks, which is how we think of mermaids today. These myths involved mermaids helping sailors and warning of approaching storms.
As with most things in our lives, the US Government has also become involved in the mermaid controversy. The US National Ocean Service declared back in 2012 that there is no evidence of the existence of mermaids. This statement was made knowing that only 5% of the world’s oceans have been explored.
No matter what a government says or tries to claim, mermaids and those that believe will continue to make them a part of their lives. They are in our folklore, stories, music and movies. They have been beautiful and cruel. Some are mere mermaids while others are considered Goddesses. Your personal beliefs are yours; let no one sway you.
For most of the world, and specifically for old time sailors that traveled the open seas, mermaids are the maidens that watch over those seas.
by Douglas Gray
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