Horizons: Mermaids

June 5th, 2011 by | 5 comments

After seeing Pirates of the Caribbean – On Stranger Tides I thought it would be interesting to take a closer look a mermaids. I don’t mean that in a pornographic way, but where the myth of them originated from, because it is a myth. They don’t exist, do they? Anyway, we’ll dig into that as well. Mermaids are those big fish with a woman’s upper body instead of that of a fish. They live in the sea (duh!) and the most popular myth is that they lure sailors close by singing a beautiful song. When the poor sailors, who are enchanted by the song,  gets close the mermaids drag them underwater to drown. What they get out of that is beyond me. Maybe they have a weird fetish and just do it for pleasure, but there are also other stories.

Some stories depict mermaids squeezing the life out of drowning men while attempting to rescue them. They are also said to carry humans down to their underwater kingdoms. Other times it is said that mermaids forget that humans cannot breathe underwater, while other stories say they drown men out of spite. In other words, mermaids are evil or not very bright.

In Pirates of the Caribbean – On Stranger Tides some of the traditional believes are used, but they also change the myth a bit. Here, the sailors have to sing to lure the mermaids out of hiding and a kiss from a mermaid will prevent you from drowning. I guess if makes you able to breathe underwater. Otherwise, their intentions are the same. They still want to kill men in evil ways. Those murderous bitches.

The myth of mermaids have existed for thousands of years as the first known mermaid story appeared in Assyria ca. 1000 BC and since then they have often appeared in stories, myths, and folklore all around the world. They have even been seen a few times and just like the Loch Ness Monster, Bigfoot, Yeti, and aliens everybody is sure of their existence although nobody has ever been able to provide proof.

Claimed sightings of dead or living mermaids have come from places as diverse as Java and British Columbia. There are two Canadian reports from the area of Vancouver and Victoria, one from sometime between 1870 and 1890, the other from 1967.

In August 2009 dozens of people reported seeing a mermaid leeping out of the water like a dolphin and doing aerial tricks before returning to the depths off the cost of the Isralien town of Kiryat Yam. The town then offered a prize of $1 million for anyone who could prove the existence of a mermaid of its coast. The prize is still unclaimed.

If you wish to know more about mermaids I suggest you visit the all-knowing wikipedia.

Moral of the story: Wear earplugs when you go near the ocean.

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5 Responses to “Horizons: Mermaids”

  1. Harris McMahon says:

    I am from Israel, but I NEVER heard a thing about a mermaid seen in Kiryat Yam. Good to know! Anyway, the closest thing we have to a mermaid in Israel is the city of Bat Yam. Would anyone try to guess what it means?
    On another note, there is also a ‘History With Haggis’ page, which has many details about instances where mermaids were said to be seen, and some legends about them as well.

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