Sailors around the world claim to have seen mermaids. During the centuries, the sightings were often briefly sketched out on ship logs, but they were backed by mariners and sailors, who weighed down their ships with fables of myths and traditions. The most common belief is that the sirens were peaceful creatures, who occasionally sought out sailors lost at sea. They distracted the sailors by baring their bodies, men and women alike, by showing them their lovely faces and by singing to them in melodious voices. They bared their breasts and showed their pretty faces to sailors. They sang in sultry voices and led the wayward sailors to their deaths on an island of jagged rocks. The sirens lured sailors from the seas with their melodious songs and beautiful bodies. Their naked flesh and sultry voices lured men to destruction. The sailors who had seen them believed they resembled humans. The mermaids would then lead the wayward seamen to shore, to their deaths on the rocks.
Some wrote of seeing mermaids as fish people without fins or arms, but common sense suggests that true mermaids would not have been able to stand upright on the decks of boats like sailing dinghies or galleons. Most often though, these creatures were described as beautiful women who stood upright as if for all intents and purposes they had been born human. The catch was that upon touching a siren’s tail, the sailor would become transfixed by its cold smoothness and not one person could remember what happened next. Skeletons on shorelines sometimes had remnants of clothing on their bodies. Sailors believe that once they touched a mermaid’s tail they lost themselves in her eyes until they collapsed or drowned.
Famous mermaid sightings
What sailors claimed were often backed by legends referred by historical notes like the one of Cristopher Columbus. One of his admirals said he had seen three mermaids which rose well out of the sea in Haiti. However, they were not as beautiful as they were said to be, for their faces had some masculine traits.
In fact, these animals often go up to the surface showing their tails. Their forelimbs and vertebrae which make it possible to turn their heads could have been mistaken for the movement of mermaids.
The Natural History Magazine in England also mentioned the skeleton of a mermaid, which was taken to Portsmouth. It had been shot in the vicinity of the island of Mombass. According to the article, it was, if I about six feet long: the lower dorsal vertebrae, with the broad caudal extremity, suggested the idea of a powerful fish-like entity; whilst the fore legs, from the scapula to the extremities of the phalanges, presented to the unskillful eye an exact resemblance to the bones of a small female arm.
There were other notes of mermaids in the world: a cave drawing discovered in Malaysia in 1959, and a text was written onto the wall of the cave: the lady of the sea. It was a 3000-year-old drawing.In Palau which can be found in the Pacific Ocean people believe that women transform into these animals and they help fishermen at sea. They also arrange ceremonies as showing respect to these creatures.
People in Palau respect other elements of nature through plants, birds and other animals. It is probable that the extinction of these animals would endanger the tradition in Palau. As long as there is no further investigation into the connection between mermaids and manatees, the legend remains a mystery.
The Japanese soldiers were stationed on the Kai Islands in 1943 when they learned of the orang Ikan, the man-fish. The creature was said to be half-man, half-fish, and the villagers were familiar with it. The Japanese soldiers were not, and they were fascinated by it.
They would often go out into the jungle to look for it, but they never found it. Some of the soldiers claimed to have seen it, but most of them did not.
Explanations for mermaid sightings
Mermaids could be a product of imagination or wishful thinking. They can also be a product of a place where water permeated the earth and the air, and where water magic was in the very air. They could be a product of the magic-saturated environment, or they could turn out to be nothing but sea foam, or a trick of the light.
Mermaids are just traditional seafaring folktales that have been around for centuries. They are old-world myths and legends that inspire sailors, who leave their lives on the sea to explore the unknown, including the depths of the sea. Mermaids are to sailors what fireflies are to children.
Mermaid sightings could be a result of a combination of natural phenomena and human error. They were most likely misidentifications of the animals that lived in the area and were creatures that existed in legends. The animal people tried to describe as mermaids often had characteristics that were part fish, part snake, part bird, and so on. This was because the descriptions of these legendary creatures had been passed down over time, and as they changed with each generation, they grew more and more complicated. This was a fairly common occurrence with legendary animals. Once differences between sightings had been clarified and errors noticed, it was often possible to determine that there was no need for scientific inquiry into the matter. This knowledge did not stop the sightings from occurring and often only led to an increase in sightings. Witnesses believed that the animals that caused the sightings were getting braver or the mermaids more aggressive in the time before an actual sighting. But still, there was no need for science to be involved because many of these events were not supernatural. Human error played a significant role in some sightings. For instance, people had mistaken manatees for mermaids in Florida and dugongs in Australia, both encounters sparking widespread panic. There were even reports of dolphins being mistaken over time for different kinds of mythical creatures depending on what part of the world they lived in.
Mermaids could be a new species of sea life that has yet to be discovered. They could have biology that is similar to many fish species but have the ability to walk on their tail and hands-on land, with a large set of flippers instead of a tail. They could have the texture of mammal skin, scaled like a fish and covered in large, dark spots that resemble eyes but aren’t eyes. Their hair could be long and flowing, coloured an almost luminous white, with a pattern of spots that give it the appearance of a flowing tail. They could have large lips and an almost human mouth, with tiny fangs instead of large teeth. Their tail fins could be big and strong enough to hold them out of the water, but be relatively thin and flexible so they could still move around easily underwater and other fish wouldn’t mistake them for food. They could have unique psychic abilities, such as psychokinesis and telepathy that would allow them to communicate with other mermaids without speaking.
So, the belief in mermaids was perpetuated through generations of sailors, who passed down their legends, fables, and myths. Despite some historical notes and accounts of sightings, there is no concrete evidence that these mythical creatures actually existed. The sightings could be a result of imagination, wishful thinking, natural phenomena, human error, and misidentifications of sea creatures. Despite the lack of scientific evidence, the legend of mermaids continues to captivate people and inspire sailors to explore the unknown depths of the sea. Whether mermaids are real or not, their stories will continue to be part of seafaring folklore.