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A Mermaid is a mythical sea creature with the upper body of a woman and the lower torso of a fish .
Much like sirens , mermaids would sometimes sing to sailors and enchant them , distracting them from their work and causing them to walk off the deck or cause ship wrecks. Other stories would have them squeeze the life out of spite , drowning men while trying to rescue them.
Some Mermaids were described as monstorous size , up to 160 ft. Mermaids can also swim up
rivers - freshwater lakes . On Occasion , mermaids could be more beneficieint , giving humans means
Mermen were also noted as wilder and uglier , but they were described as having little interest in
humans . The Traditional image of a mermaid has existed since antiquity and likely has its origins in a
part - fish sea gods such as Artargis and Dagon. Mermaids are shown as having long hair and holding
a comb and a mirror. Mermen are few and far between. While the single - tailed mermaids is popular
nowadays , in earlier times mermaids were frequently drawn with twin tails.
The male version of a mermaid is known as a merman, and the gender-neutral plural is merfolk or merpeople. Merfolk appear in a plethora of cultures worldwide—legends often tell of mermaids singing to sailors, enchanting them, and luring them to their death. The origin of the mermaid legend is often traced to the manatee or dugong, large aquatic mammals that can sometimes have human-like characteristics. While there have been many who claim merfolk are real, all "evidence" of their existence has thus far proven to be a hoax. Yet the image of a beautiful human-like creature that is at home in the water continues to attract us, reflecting our desire to have dominion over all aspects of the natural world.
Tales of these half-human, half-fish legendary creatures have circulated for millennia, and many of the oldest can be found in ancient mythology. Although long-lived and possessing supernatural powers, merfolk are generally depicted as mortal and without an eternal soul.
Both mermaids and mermen have long been associated with music, and much like that of Orpheus, the power of a mermaid's singing has the ability to enthrall. Stories abound of mermaids who lure sailors to their death with their beautiful, enchanting songs. Along with their legendary vanity, the hair-combing and mirrors, the association of mermaids with music is coupled with another association of a vocal nature: they are said to be able to confer verbal eloquence, much like the Muses of the ancient Greek myths. Though many claim that mermen also communicate through song, tales of mermen's songs are much rarer, as are tales of mermen in general. Mermen are more often pictured making music with a conch shell than singing. Triton, a Greek sea-god, is often pictured with a conch shell trumpet.
Merpeople were often present in Greek mythology. The sea god Triton, son of the King and Queen of the Sea, Poseidon and Amphitrite, is usually depicted with the upper torso of a man and a fish's tail. The sirens that attempt to lure Odysseus to his death in The Odyssey were originally portrayed as half-female, half-bird, but later depictions portrayed them as mermaids. Another notable merman from Greek mythology is Glaucus. According to legend, Glaucus was born human and lived as a fisherman. One day, while fishing, he noticed that the fish he had caught were reviving and finding their way off the land and back into the sea. He ate some of the grass the fish had been lying on, believing it to have magical properties, and felt an overwhelming desire to be in the sea. He jumped in the ocean, where the sea gods transformed him into a merman. Ovid related the transformation of Glaucus in his Metamorpheses, describing him as a blue-green man with a fishy member where his legs had been.
Merfolk are found in the folklore of most parts of the world. In Japan, it is said that eating the flesh of a mermaid can grant immortality. Icelandic folklore tells of mermen known as Marbendlar, and tales of mermaids and mermen were often found in the folklore and legends of the British Isles.
Mermaids were noted in British folklore as ominous: foretelling disaster as well as provoking it. Some were described as monstrous in size, up to 160 feet. Mermaids could also swim up rivers to freshwater lakes. As one legend goes, the Laird of Lorntie thought he saw a woman drowning in a lake. As he went to aid her, a servant pulled him back, warning that the woman was actually a mermaid. The mermaid then screamed that she would have killed him if it were not for his servant.
In Irish folklore, tales of mermaids tend to be more romantic. It was believed that mermaids could transform into human form through the removal of a cap or sea-skin. Instead of mermaids who lure men to their death, Irish mermaid legends often tell of men who hide the cap or sea-skin of a mermaid in order to marry them and bring them home. There are several Irish families who claim mermaids as ancestors, and include mermaid images on their family crests and arms.
Mermaids were often featured in the decoration of Medieval churches, particularly in the British Isles. Often shown holding a comb and mirror, mermaids not only embodied the sins of pride and vanity, but were also often used to represent the sin of lust. Images of mermaids holding a fish or starfish were used to represent a Christian soul that had been lost to the deadly sin of lust, and were placed in churches to warn churchgoers not to be seduced by such evils.
While mermaids are often represented as curious or envious of human life, mermen are most often portrayed as more private and secretive; often they are less attractive than their female counterparts. In Irish legends, for example, mermen are definitively ugly. Stories abound of beautiful mermaids using their enchanting voices to sing to sailors and finding their way close to the world of men, but such stories about mermen are less common.
Some say that sailors made up the stories of mermaids to hide the truth, that truth being that they occasionally, and after being without the company of a real women for many months whilst at sea, would have intercourse with a manatee or dudoug. I'm not sure I believe this theory either, afterall, there are thousands of stories of shepherds having intercourse with sheep, but they don't go around making up stories of mythical creatures to save their blushes, they just keep quiet about it and hope no one finds out.
Whatever the truth is about mermaids, no one can fail to be fascinated by the stories about these wonderful creatures. No one that is except the Church, who in Medieval times decided mermaids were the devil's work, in much the same way as witches, and we all know what they did to women they decided were witches.
This mermaid website is not here to either prove or disprove the existance of mermaids. It is simply here to share with you mermaid stories from mythology and folklore. Whether you choose to believe the stories or not is up to you.
Mermaids, sometimes also called sirens, are mythical creatures who supposedly live in the seas around the world. Their top half looks like a beautiful woman with long hair and from the waist down they have the body of a fish.
Sailors and fishermen have told stories of seeing mermaids for centuries; the first sightings were made in Assyria around 1000BC. The popular image of a mermaid is sitting on a rock, admiring her beauty in a mirror.
Some mermaids were benevolent creatures, granting wishes to sailors who helped them. But to many seafarers seeing a mermaid meant bad luck, an omen of a storm or shipwreck. There are also tales of the mermaids' enchanting song enticing sailors onto rocks where their ships were smashed to pieces.
Mermaid myths date back to ancient times. The oldest mermaid myth is related to the Syrian goddess Atargatis. Nearly every culture, from Europe, to Asia, to the Americas contains myths about mermaids.
What is a mermaid?
A mermaid is half-woman and half-fish creature who can breathe above and below water. She is beautiful and often ( not always ) depicted with long golden hair and blue eyes.
In northern mythology (especially Celtic), mermaids often wear magical red caps. Mermaids are thought to be very musical. They are often depicted with a musical instrument (lyre) and their beautiful singing voices have led many men to their watery graves. Mermaids can be found sitting on rocks, or swimming about ships at sea.