Top 5 Creepy Things You Didn’t Know About Mermaids
Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water… Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the top 5 creepy things you didn’t know about mermaids.
For this list, we’re looking at things you may not know about these mythical underwater creatures. However, we’re sticking to facts and information with a deep history and connection to this staple of folklore, rather than things made up to make Hollywood blockbusters more exciting.
#5: Mermaid Myths Are Found in Many Cultures
A creature with the top half of a human and the bottom half of a fish is pretty unusual, but what’s more unusual is just how wide this legend spreads. It’s impossible to trace the exact origin of the mermaid myth, but the earliest account of a mermaid-like creature likely comes from Ancient Syria, and the fertility goddess Atargatis who was half-woman and half-fish. In Greek mythology, mermaids end up conflated with sirens, while in the 11th Century a stone carving in Durham Castle, England has the earliest artistic depiction of a mermaid in Europe. They also appear in the works of the Roman writer Pliny the Elder, as well as the Arabian Nights.
#4: The Aquatic Ape Theory
In 1960, marine biologist Alister Hardy hypothesized that humans may actually be descended from some kind of water-dwelling creature, and that our watery ancestors led to us developing different physical traits from other primates, like walking on two legs and being almost hairless. The gist of the hypothesis is that humans needed to walk on two legs in order to breathe air and wade through deep water, are hairless because hair is inconvenient when you live in the ocean, and also that the human larynx is specially adapted so that we can hold our breaths for a long time. Incidentally, the world record for breath holding underwater is 24 minutes, which does give this theory some weight.
#3: Mermaids Have Superpowers
In many traditions, mermaids have a variety of supernatural abilities – aside from the whole being-half-fish thing.Some stories claim mermaids and mermen can shapeshift, or at least become human in order to walk on land. Meanwhile, in Scandinavian myths a version of mermaid called a Havfine who were able to see into the future, and this along with other European mermaid traditions also claim that seeing a mermaid was a bad omen to superstitious sailors, meaning a dangerous storm was brewing.
#2: Some Legends Claim They Drag Men Under the Sea
The concept of the mermaid we’re most familiar with today actually originates primarily from Irish folklore and a creature called a merrow, which was first written about in the early 19th Century. They have scaly, green fish tails, green hair, and pale green skin, but are also supposed to be incredibly beautiful. This, along with the enchanting music they play from the furthest depths of the ocean, is probably why young men become so enamored with them that they allow themselves to be dragged under the water to be with the mermaids, captured and docile.
#1: Sightings Are Still Happening
Though there is absolutely no concrete evidence of mermaids, sightings have been happening for hundreds of years and continue to happen today. In 2009 in Kiryat Yam, Israel, many people report that they saw a mermaid on the beach performing tricks. Three years later, installation of irrigation pumps in Zimbabwe had to be halted because the workers claimed they were being harassed by the mermaids living there. In fact, people are so willing to believe in mermaids that when sideshows began exhibiting so-called Fiji Mermaids, people seemed oblivious to the fact that it was the top half of a monkey sewn onto the bottom half of a fish and mummified.
THE UGLY TRUTH ABOUT MERMAIDS: HALF-FISH HALF-HUMANS AND WHY THEY’RE THERE.
Just imagine that you’re spending your vacation on a tropical island; the salty wind in your hair, the warm sand between your toes, and — oh look — a beautiful mermaid waving at you from the ocean.
Except... why does she look so angry and — oh no — why is she trying to pull you under the waves!? Get those slimy seaweed hands away from us! This is not what Disney promised.
To love mermaids... or not to love mermaids. That is the question. We may adore Ariel and Disney’s The Little Mermaid, but there is no denying that merpeople have a sordid reputation. Mermaids are idolized as beautiful mythical creatures, yet they can also be tricky little beasts who lure people to their watery graves. So, don’t trust them...
Although all of the mermaids in the new DBH Mermaid Collection are beautiful and ethereal (and oh so fashionable), beware of any of the real mermaids you might meet on your beach vacation this summer. Not only can you never be sure of the kind of mermaid you’ll meet, but we’re also pretty sure that any real half-fish half-human creatures you run into will be a lot more terrifying than you think.
1) Oh the Hu-manatee: Blubber
Different cultures around the world celebrate the legend of the mermaid. Whether they are the Sirens from Greek mythology or the Ningyo monsters in Japan, the myth of the mermaid is a diverse and enduring one. Historians propose that the legend of the mermaid may have originally stemmed from sailors catching a glimpse of adorable manatees swimming on the horizon. Although the manatee is cute in a “floating potato” kind of way, they are certainly not known for their beauty or their grace. In fact, they are nicknamed the sea cow for a reason.
So, we can only assume that a real mermaid would have the same kind of body as a manatee. Forget about that beautiful half-naked fish woman, because a real mermaid would definitely need some of that wrinkly manatee skin, coarse hair, and blubber on her bones to survive the cold. Just picture a manatee with long flowing mermaid hair.
2) Feeling Gillty? Breath Through It
If mermaids are half-fish and live under water, does that mean that they need to have gills hiding somewhere in order to breath? We can safely assume that the top half of the mermaid is human and should, therefore, have human lungs.
Except, fish need a way to extract oxygen from the water and itty-bitty human lungs are just not equipped for that kind of heavy underwater breathing.
That means that there have to be some freaky gills hiding behind every mermaid’s ears or between her toes, right? That definitely ruins some of the mysticism surrounding the mermaid myth.
3) Going “Out” For Dinner
There are a lot of questions about how or what a mermaid can eat. I mean, merpeople have access to the best sushi in the world, right? Except, that’s dark... As half-fish, do they eat other fish? Shudder.
Either way, we can assume that merpeople aren’t going to be heading through fast food drive-thrus any time soon and that they will need to be equipped to survive in the ocean.
That means either they’ll want to trade in those pearly whites for some stylish baleen like whales have, or maybe they could try the starfish method and extend their stomach outside of their body, turn their food into a soupy slush, and then pull it back in to re-ingest the food at a later time? That seems messy...
4) Let’s Cuddle...or Not
Merpeople might carry around tridents, but they will probably also need to have a few other forms of protection as well.
They could try the whole blowfish strategy and just cover themselves in spikes, or they could give poison a try, or maybe even employ the eel’s electric shock method too.
However — no matter what method the mermaid might use — none of them sound like they’ll make us want to give them a hug any time soon. Plus, how do we know that they aren’t just like one of those terrifying deep-sea creatures with giant bulging eyes and they’ll use that weird glowy bait thing to kill us instead? Somehow that spiky blowfish doesn’t seem so bad now…
5) We All Float Down Here: Swim Bladder
Most fish use some variation of a swim bladder to maneuver through the changes in density and depth of the ocean. A swim bladder allows fish to rise with the intake of air or sink with its release.
We can only assume that mermaids come and go to the surface of the ocean all the time to lure sailors, so they must have swim bladders too, right?
Plus, that whole not getting crushed to death in the deep sea implies they must have some way of navigating the oceans that we, mere humans, cannot.
Except... mermaids won’t be able to maintain their mystical or whimsical reputation if they start talking about swim bladders at parties ...
Content created and supplied by: Sir_Desiire (via Opera News )