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Information About Mermaids

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If a sailor saw a mermaid at sea, then he and his ship were bound to run into trouble. Mermaids also caused drownings by luring humans into the water.

Other stories, however, describe mermaids as kind creatures. She rescues a human prince after a shipwreck and soon falls in love with him. She later trades her voice for legs to go ashore and find the prince again.

The first tales of mermaids may have been inspired by dugongs and manatees. Sailors might have seen those animals from a distance and thought that they were mermaids.

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Animal Kingdom. Switch Level. Kids Students Scholars. Articles Featured Article. All Categories. Fine Arts. Language Arts. But she does not have the resolve and dies the mermaid way, dissolving into foam.

Andersen's works has been translated into over languages. Wells ' The Sea Lady. Sculptures and statues of mermaids can be found in many countries and cultures, with over public art mermaid statues across the world.

The Little Mermaid statue in Copenhagen is an icon of that city as well as of Denmark. The Havis Amanda statue symbolizes the rebirth of the city of Helsinki, capital of Finland.

The Syrenka mermaid is part of the Coat of Arms of Warsaw , and is considered a protector of Warsaw, capital of Poland, which publicly displays statues of their mermaid.

Lorelei , the name of a Rhine mermaid immortalized in the Heinrich Heine poem of that name, has become a synonym for a siren.

An example of late British Academy style artwork, the piece debuted to considerable acclaim and secured Waterhouse's place as a member of the Royal Academy , but disappeared into a private collection and did not resurface until the s.

It is currently once again in the Royal Academy's collection. He painted an image of the mermaid of Zennor as well as several other depictions of mermaids in watercolour.

Film depictions include Miranda , Night Tide , the romantic comedy Splash , and Aquamarine A episode of the television series Route 66 entitled "The Cruelest Sea" featured a mermaid performance artist working at Weeki Wachee aquatic park.

Mermaids also appeared in the popular supernatural drama television series Charmed , and were the basis of its spin-off series Mermaid.

In She Creature , two carnival workers abduct a mermaid in Ireland c. The film Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides mixes old and new myths about mermaids: singing to sailors to lure them to their death, growing legs when taken onto dry land, and bestowing kisses with magical healing properties.

Disney 's musical animated version of Andersen's tale, The Little Mermaid was released in The sea-witch herself replaces the princess to whom the prince becomes engaged, using the mermaid's voice to prevent her from obtaining the prince's love.

However, on their wedding day the plot is revealed, and the sea-witch is vanquished. The knife motif is not used in the film, which ends with the mermaid and the prince marrying.

Hayao Miyazaki 's Ponyo is an animated film about a ningyo who wants to become a human girl with the help of her human friend Sosuke.

The Starbucks coffee logo is a melusine. In heraldry , the charge of a mermaid is commonly represented with a comb and a mirror, [] [] and blazoned as a "mermaid in her vanity".

Mermaids appear with greater frequency as heraldic devices than mermen do. A mermaid appears on the arms of the University of Birmingham , in addition to those of several British families.

A mermaid with two tails is referred to as a melusine. Melusines appear in German heraldry, and less frequently in the British version.

A shield and sword-wielding mermaid Syrenka is on the official coat of arms of Warsaw. The Cusack family crest includes a mermaid wielding a sword, as depicted on a memorial stone for Sir Thomas Cusack — The city of Norfolk , Virginia, also uses a mermaid as a symbol.

Interest in mermaid costuming has grown alongside the popularity of fantasy cosplay as well as the availability of inexpensive monofins used in the construction of mermaid costumes.

These costumes are typically designed to be used while swimming, in an activity known as mermaiding. Mermaid fandom conventions have also been held.

The Ama are Japanese skin divers, predominantly women, who traditionally dive for shellfish and seaweed wearing only a loincloth and who have been in action for at least 2, years.

Starting in the twentieth century, they have increasingly been regarded as a tourist attraction. They have been romanticized as mermaids. Professional female divers have performed as mermaids at Florida's Weeki Wachee Springs since The state park calls itself "The Only City of Live Mermaids" [] and was extremely popular in the s, drawing almost one million tourists per year.

They wear fabric tails and perform aquatic ballet while holding their breath for an audience in an underwater stage with glass walls.

Children often ask if the "mermaids" are real. The park's PR director says "Just like with Santa Claus or any other mythical character, we always say yes.

We're not going to tell them they're not real". Mermaid carved on a capital of the Rio Mau Monastic church A stone coat of arms in Santo Domingo church Pontevedra , Galicia , 16th century.

Fountain depicting a mermaid playing a guitar, located in the Museum of the City of Mexico 17th century.

A stone coat of arms in Mugardos , Galicia , 18th century. Illustration from Vanity Fair , Becky Sharp as a mermaid. Mermaid and merman, Unknown Russian folk artist.

Havfrue , by Elisabeth Jerichau Baumann The Play of the Naiads , by Arnold Böcklin The Land Baby , by John Collier The Mermaid and the Satyr , by Ferdinand Leeke Mermaids , by Jean Francis Aubertin circa The Little Mermaid statue in Copenhagen From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

This article is about fish-bodied female merfolk. For the males, see merman. For the people, see merfolk. For other uses, see Mermaid disambiguation.

Legendary aquatic creature with an upper body in human female form. John William Waterhouse , A Mermaid For more on the Irish mermaid, see merrow.

See also: Mermaids in popular culture. The Mermaid , by Howard Pyle Illustration of The Little Mermaid by E. Hardy circa Mermaid statue in Nuuk , Greenland.

But a 9th century bestiary as an example depicts the siren as mermaid. Sometimes the illustration is that of a mermaid while the text still described a bird-woman.

The mermaid had used the ability to produce foam conceal herself. Retrieved 16 April Online Etymology Dictionary.

Many folklorists and mythographers deem that the origin of the mythic mermaid is the dugong , posing a theory that mythicised tales have been constructed around early sightings of dugongs by sailors.

The British Museum Press. January American Journal of Archaeology. Retrieved January 14, Classical Wisdom Weekly. Archived from the original on January 14, Literature and Culture in Late Byzantine Thessalonica.

Atridge and Robert A. Tauris Parke Paperbacks. Northern History. XLVII 1 : Archived from the original PDF on 11 February Retrieved 25 July Durham World heritage.

Archived from the original on 9 May Retrieved 11 May Senara's Church". Zennor Parish Council. Archived from the original on Retrieved An Encyclopedia of Fairies.

Pantheon Books. Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner. Retrieved November 20, Haase, Donald ed. The Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on July 28, The City of Calgary.

Philip Jepsen. Retrieved May 6, Robert Dyer on 13 June Harvard Studies in Classical Philology. Russian folk belief. Schiller, Sophie illustr.

Armonk, NY: M. The encyclopedia of spirits: the ultimate guide to the magic of fairies, genies, demons, ghosts, gods, and goddesses.

New York: HarperOne. Russian myths. Austin, TX: Univ. Modern drama by women s—s: an international anthology. London: Bracken Books. McDougall, Joyce.

New York: Norton. Ritvo, Harriet. Ross, Deborah. Sells, Laura. Spiegel, Gabrielle M. Donald Maddox and Sara Sturm-Maddox.

Athens: University of Georgia Press. Cite this article Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography. August 11, Retrieved August 11, from Encyclopedia.

Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list. Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.

Her characteristic appearance is as a nubile young girl, with long hair and a fish tail, carrying a comb and a mirror.

Unlike the other part-human, part-animal creatures of myth and folklore, mermaids have been the object of many sightings up to the present day; it is as if there is a desire to prove the reality of mermaids, which makes them closer to creatures such as the Loch Ness monster and the Yeti than to centaurs and sirens.

Another expression of this desire to believe can be found in the many fake mermaids, usually made of the upper torso of a monkey and the tail of a salmon, which have been exhibited in fairs and circuses.

In the age of trade and exploration, seeing a mermaid was an almost essential part of travelling to new worlds; Christopher Columbus saw three off Haiti , Sir Richard Whitburne sighted one when discovering Newfoundland in , and Henry Hudson's crew saw a mermaid off Nova Zembla in In each case, the surviving accounts consciously compare what has been seen with the dominant images in art — Columbus finding his mermaids less pretty and more masculine than he expected.

She refused to eat, and made plaintive sounds like those of a mouse. The account given of these events in suggested that dead mermaids were never found because their flesh rots particularly rapidly.

Where do the myths of mermaids come from? The shift to fish-women as the danger facing mariners may be related to an increasing ability to travel to the open sea, where mermaids live, out of sight of the coastal rocks where sirens had been thought to perch.

Both sirens and mermaids have musical talents; bird-sirens sing and play the pipes and the lyre, whereas mermaids rely on their voices to entice sailors to their death.

Mermaids can raise and calm storms at will and, like the Sphinx, they can trap men with questions and riddles. Mermaids combine the beauty of a young girl with a repulsive, fishy lower body.

Physically, the problem this poses is how the men whom they target are supposed to have sexual intercourse with them. Some medieval representations get around this problem by showing the mermaid with a forked tail, but perhaps the whole point about the mermaid is that she is sexually unattainable except through death.

An unusual solution to the problem of the sexual availability of mermaids is found in Magritte's Collective Invention , which shows a beached mermaid with the upper half of a fish and the lower half of a woman.

A related problem is how mermaids themselves reproduce; male mer-people, or tritons, are shown in art, particularly in the Renaissance , but again they may miss the point.

Matthew Arnold 's poem The Forsaken Merman is a rare example of the treatment of mermen in literature; it reverses the common pattern of a mortal man loving a mermaid but being deserted by her, to imagine a mortal woman being called back from the mer-world by the distant sound of church bells.

Modern literary representations of the mermaid are dominated by the influential Little Mermaid of Hans Christian Anderson.

Here the mer-world is a systematic inversion of our own, in which not birds, but fish, fly in through open windows.

Rather than causing shipwrecks, the little mermaid saves the life of a shipwrecked prince, then makes a bargain with the sea-witch, exchanging her tongue for a pair of human legs.

Every step she takes causes her terrible pain, and her feet bleed. Unable to win the love of the prince without her voice, she rejects the chance to kill him and thus return to her life as a mermaid, but instead dies when he marries someone else.

Feminist interpretations of this story suggest that the little mermaid's surrender of the power to speak in order to enter the prince's world is an image of women giving up their own voices if they are to be accepted within patriarchy.

Anderson's own message was that, by her love for the prince, the mermaid gained the chance of winning the immortal soul she most craved.

Helen King. Mermaids and mermen are imaginary beings with the upper bodies of humans and the lower bodies of fish. Often mentioned in European legends, they also occur in the folklore of seagoing peoples from other regions of the world.

The idea of a deity god or creature in which human features are combined with the body of a fish is very ancient. Babylonian pronounced bab-uh-LOH-nee-uhn texts mentioned a god named Oannes, who was part man and part fish and lived among humans.

Ancient Greek and Roman sea gods and their attendants often appeared as human torsos rising from the waves with curved fish tails below.

Japanese folklore features a mermaid called Ningyo pronounced NEEN-gyoh , and Polynesian mythology includes a half-human and half-porpoise creator god called Vatea.

In European folklore, mermaids were associated with sirens, beautiful creatures whose singing lures sailors to their doom. Mermaids were commonly pictured as floating on top of the waves, singing, or combing their long hair while gazing into mirrors.

Seeing a mermaid was considered bad luck, as mermaids often appeared before storms or other disasters and were believed to carry drowned men away to their kingdom at the bottom of the sea.

Although encounters with mermaids and mermen often ended badly for humans, in some legends these sea creatures married human partners and took completely human form to live on land.

Many sailors over the centuries believed mermaids to be real and have reported spotting mermaids while at sea.

Christopher Columbus even reported sighting three mermaids near the Dominican Republic in , though he was disappointed that they were not as pretty as popular depictions suggested.

In truth, what Columbus and other sailors most likely saw were sea mammals known as manatees and dugongs. That these creatures were generally viewed as female is likely due to their pale skin, soft curves, and the fact that most sailors were men who did not have contact with women for weeks or months at a time.

Although mermaids are usually portrayed as being lovely, they are also associated with danger. This reflects humankind's relationship with the sea, which can be either a beautiful and bountiful place or a realm of fear and disaster.

Living in the ocean—a vast expanse barely explored by humans—mermaids also represented to sailors a whole unknown world that existed under the water.

Mermaids may also represent the mysterious nature of women as viewed by men. Mermaids have appeared in many stories and other forms of art over the centuries.

The mermaid's comb and mirror, also gendered as feminine, were linked both to Christian moral and didactic messages vanity as a mortal sin , a dangerous temptation for the soul and to a broader mythical content the mirror as soul-gazing instrument, the connection to death through looking behind.

In Western European folklore the comb evoked the treatment of plant fibers to produce textiles and the Sebastean cult of Saint Blasius, one of the major thaumaturgical saints of the Middle Ages Gaignebet and Lajoux In medieval France the mermaid also merged with the symbolism of motherhood, foundation myths, aristocratic genealogies, sexual transgression, and sexual prohibition in the fictional story of the fairy Melusina, whose demonic tail appears when she takes her secret bath, presumably to cleanse herself during menstruation Gaignebet and Lajoux and is claimed as an ancestress by the powerful Lusignan family Spiegel In Victorian times the seductive mermaid evolved into a debased, grotesque form with the exhibition of monsters and morphological oddities in side shows, tavern backrooms, and curiosity museums that made the anthropomorphic mermaid into a hybrid with a zoomorphic misshapen and mismatched body exhibited in skeletal form, often wired together from parts of orangutans and salmons Bondeson , Ritvo In the modern United States the mermaid's origins are less classical, derived primarily from the highly personal world of Hans Christian Andersen 's "The Little Mermaid" and migrating into Disneyan normative codes with a full-length cartoon animation feature.

Feminist theory has addressed gender roles and models for girls implicit in Disney's work Ross For Laura Sells the Little Mermaid is a parable of bourgeois feminism destabilized by its own messages.

She sees an opposition between "reformist demands for access" that leave existing gender identities intact and radical revisions that refigure gender as the symbolic change that is necessary for and preliminary to social change.

Others have pointed to the highly sexualized and erotic charge of the mermaid's body since its earliest representations, posing an irresolvable task for the prudish gender conformist Disney and leading to cartoon interpretations of the figure, its garb, and lack thereof, all of which are, according to Elizabeth Bell , a form of burlesque.

Laurie Essig, in a study of the annual Coney Island , New York , Mermaid Parade, has suggested that the mermaid constitutes a riddle, centered around the existence and accessibility of the vagina "at the edge of the heterosexual imaginary as potential lover and potential monster" Essig , pp.

Analyst Joyce McDougall interpreted the original myths of the siren in Freudian and Lacanian modes, as a siren-mother figure that threatens to envelop or "devour" the child, who is protected through verbal communication.

The mother's voice "rekindles fantasies of fusion, with the consequent loss of both subjective—and sexual—identity" McDougall , p.

Thus, the original voice is at once attraction and danger, the siren's song that draws the child back into nonindividuation. The intervention of the father the law , as the Lacanian voix du pere , becomes necessary to prevent reabsorption into the "voice" of the mother Greenberg , p.

Bell, Elizabeth. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. Bondeson, Jan. Essig, Laurie. Chrys Ingraham. New York : Routledge.

Gaignebet, Claude, and Jean Dominique Lajoux. Art profane et religion populaire au Moyen Age. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France. Greenberg, Mitchell.

Lempriere, J. Lempriere's Classical Dictionary. Proper Names Cited by the Ancient Authors. London: Bracken Books. McDougall, Joyce.

New York: Norton. Ritvo, Harriet. Ross, Deborah. Sells, Laura. Spiegel, Gabrielle M. Donald Maddox and Sara Sturm-Maddox. Athens: University of Georgia Press.

Cite this article Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography. August 11, Retrieved August 11, from Encyclopedia.

Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list. Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.

Her characteristic appearance is as a nubile young girl, with long hair and a fish tail, carrying a comb and a mirror.

Unlike the other part-human, part-animal creatures of myth and folklore, mermaids have been the object of many sightings up to the present day; it is as if there is a desire to prove the reality of mermaids, which makes them closer to creatures such as the Loch Ness monster and the Yeti than to centaurs and sirens.

Another expression of this desire to believe can be found in the many fake mermaids, usually made of the upper torso of a monkey and the tail of a salmon, which have been exhibited in fairs and circuses.

In the age of trade and exploration, seeing a mermaid was an almost essential part of travelling to new worlds; Christopher Columbus saw three off Haiti , Sir Richard Whitburne sighted one when discovering Newfoundland in , and Henry Hudson's crew saw a mermaid off Nova Zembla in In each case, the surviving accounts consciously compare what has been seen with the dominant images in art — Columbus finding his mermaids less pretty and more masculine than he expected.

She refused to eat, and made plaintive sounds like those of a mouse. The account given of these events in suggested that dead mermaids were never found because their flesh rots particularly rapidly.

Where do the myths of mermaids come from? The shift to fish-women as the danger facing mariners may be related to an increasing ability to travel to the open sea, where mermaids live, out of sight of the coastal rocks where sirens had been thought to perch.

Both sirens and mermaids have musical talents; bird-sirens sing and play the pipes and the lyre, whereas mermaids rely on their voices to entice sailors to their death.

Mermaids can raise and calm storms at will and, like the Sphinx, they can trap men with questions and riddles.

Mermaids combine the beauty of a young girl with a repulsive, fishy lower body. Physically, the problem this poses is how the men whom they target are supposed to have sexual intercourse with them.

Some medieval representations get around this problem by showing the mermaid with a forked tail, but perhaps the whole point about the mermaid is that she is sexually unattainable except through death.

An unusual solution to the problem of the sexual availability of mermaids is found in Magritte's Collective Invention , which shows a beached mermaid with the upper half of a fish and the lower half of a woman.

A related problem is how mermaids themselves reproduce; male mer-people, or tritons, are shown in art, particularly in the Renaissance , but again they may miss the point.

Matthew Arnold 's poem The Forsaken Merman is a rare example of the treatment of mermen in literature; it reverses the common pattern of a mortal man loving a mermaid but being deserted by her, to imagine a mortal woman being called back from the mer-world by the distant sound of church bells.

The great showman P. Barnum displayed the " Feejee Mermaid " in the s and it became one of his most popular attractions. Those paying 50 cents hoping to see a long-limbed, fish-tailed beauty comb her hair were surely disappointed; instead they saw a grotesque fake corpse a few feet long.

It had the torso, head and limbs of a monkey and the bottom part of a fish. To modern eyes it was an obvious fake, but it fooled and intrigued many at the time.

Could there be a scientific basis for the mermaid stories? Some researchers believe that sightings of human-size ocean animals such as manatees and dugongs might have inspired merfolk legends.

These animals have a flat, mermaid-like tail and two flippers that resemble stubby arms. They don't look exactly like a typical mermaid or merman, of course, but many sightings were from quite a distance away, and being mostly submerged in water and waves only parts of their bodies were visible.

Identifying animals in water is inherently problematic, since eyewitnesses by definition are only seeing a small part of the creature.

When you add in the factor of low light at sunset and the distances involved, positively identifying even a known creature can be very difficult.

A glimpse of a head, arm, or tail just before it dives under the waves might have spawned some mermaid reports. Modern mermaid reports are very rare, but they do occur; for example, news reports in claimed that a mermaid had seen sighted off the coast of Israel in the town of town of Kiryat Yam.

It or she performed a few tricks for onlookers before just before sunset, then disappearing for the night. One of the first people to see the mermaid, Shlomo Cohen, said, "I was with friends when suddenly we saw a woman laying on the sand in a weird way.

At first I thought she was just another sunbather, but when we approached she jumped into the water and disappeared. We were all in shock because we saw she had a tail.

Unfortunately the reports vanished almost as quickly as they surfaced, and no one ever claimed the reward. At the Church of Saint Senara in Zennor, there is a famous chair decorated by a mermaid carving which is probably six hundred years old.

Some tales raised the question of whether mermaids had immortal souls, answering in the negative. After three centuries, when Christianity had come to Ireland, she was baptized.

In Scottish mythology , a ceasg is a fresh-water mermaid, though little beside the term has been preserved in folklore. Mermaids from the Isle of Man , known as ben-varrey , are considered more favorable toward humans than those of other regions, [28] with various accounts of assistance, gifts and rewards.

One story tells of a fisherman who carried a stranded mermaid back into the sea and was rewarded with the location of treasure. Another recounts the tale of a baby mermaid who stole a doll from a human little girl, but was rebuked by her mother and sent back to the girl with a gift of a pearl necklace to atone for the theft.

A third story tells of a fishing family that made regular gifts of apples to a mermaid and was rewarded with prosperity. A freshwater mermaid-like creature from European folklore is Melusine.

She is sometimes depicted with two fish tails, or with the lower body of a serpent. A world-famous statue of the Little Mermaid, based on Andersen's fairy tale, has been in Copenhagen , Denmark since August , with copies in 13 other locations around the world—almost half of them in North America.

During the Romanesque period, mermaids were often associated with lust. The conception of the siren as both a mermaid-like creature and part bird-like persisted in Byzantine Greece for some time.

She would ask the sailors on any ship she would encounter only one question: "Is King Alexander alive? Any other answer would enrage her, and she would stir up a terrible storm, dooming the ship and every sailor on board.

Rusalkas are the Slavic counterpart of the Greek sirens and naiads. Zelenin they all share a common element: they are the restless spirits of the unclean dead.

Rusalkas are said to inhabit lakes and rivers. They appear as beautiful young women with long pale green hair and pale skin, suggesting a connection with floating weeds and days spent underwater in faint sunlight.

They can be seen after dark, dancing together under the moon and calling out to young men by name, luring them to the water and drowning them. The characterization of rusalkas as both desirable and treacherous is prevalent in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus, and was emphasized by 19th-century Russian authors.

Merfolk are mentioned in the Shanhaijing Classic of Mountains and Seas compilation of Chinese geography and mythology, dating from the 4th century BC.

She looks human in every respect except that her body is covered with fine hair of many colors.

She cannot talk, but he takes her home and marries her. After his death, the mermaid returns to the sea where she was found. In the second story, a man sees a woman lying on the beach while his ship was anchored offshore.

On closer inspection, her feet and hands appear to be webbed. She is carried to the water, and expresses her gratitude toward the sailors before swimming away.

Korea is bounded on three sides by the sea. In some villages near the sea in Korea, there are mysterious stories about mermaids.

Mermaids have features just like humans. Kim Dam Ryeong, who was a mayor of the town, saved four captured mermaids from a fisherman, as recorded in the Eou yadam unofficial histories.

The island's residents believed her to be goddess of the sea and that she could predict the weather. In certain prominent depictions, the ningyo is not quite half-female, but has a human female head resting on a fish-like body.

It was said to have a pair of golden horns, a red belly, three eyes on each side of its torso, and a carp-like tail end.

It is not discernible whether the flesh was a female; a pair of translators call it a "flesh of a mermaid" in one book, [66] but merely a "strange fish with a human face" in another.

In Cambodia , she is referred as Sovanna Maccha, a favorite for Cambodian audiences. She has many forms, where in her mermaid form, she is called Nyai Blorong.

In the Philippines , mermaid concepts differ per ethnic group. Among the Pangasinense, the Binalatongan mermaid is a Queen of the sea who married the mortal Maginoo Palasipas and ruled humanity for a time.

The general term for mermaid among all ethnic groups is Sirena. Suvannamaccha lit. She is a mermaid princess who tries to spoil Hanuman's plans to build a bridge to Lanka but falls in love with him instead.

She is a popular figure of Thai folklore. Mami Water Lit. They are usually female, but are sometimes male. They are regarded as diabolical beings, and are often femme fatale, luring men to their deaths.

In Zimbabwe mermaids are known as "njuzu". They are believed to be solitary and occupy one body of water.

Individual njuzu may be benevolent or malicious. Angry njuzu may be blamed for unexpected misfortunes, such as bad weather, or the sudden disappearance of people.

Benevolent njuzu are thought to reside in peaceful lakes or rivers. If a person goes missing near such lakes or rivers, he or she may have been taken by the njuzu.

To obtain the person's release, local elders will brew beer as a propitiatory offering, and ask the njuzu to return the person alive. Those seeking the person's release are not supposed to cry or shed tears.

If the njuzu releases the person, he or she will become, or be regarded as a n'anga , or traditional healer, with knowledge of herbs, medicinal plants, and cures.

Examples from other cultures are the jengu of Cameroon , the iara of Brazil and the Greek oceanids , nereids and naiads.

The ningyo is a fishlike creature from Japanese folklore, and consuming its flesh bestows amazing longevity.

Mermaids and mermen are also characters of Philippine folklore , where they are locally known as sirena and siyokoy respectively. According to Dorothy Dinnerstein 's book The Mermaid and the Minotaur , human-animal hybrids such as mermaids and minotaurs convey the emergent understanding of the ancients that human beings were both one with and different from animals:.

In , sailing off the coast of Hispaniola , Christopher Columbus spotted three sirens or mermaids Spanish : serenas which he said were not as beautiful as they are represented, due to some masculine features in their faces, but these are considered to be sightings of manatees.

During Henry Hudson's second voyage, on June 15, , members of his crew reported sighting a mermaid in the Arctic Ocean, either in the Norwegian or Barents Seas.

Two sightings were reported in Canada near Vancouver and Victoria , one from sometime between and , the other from In February , work on two reservoirs near Gokwe and Mutare in Zimbabwe stopped when workers refused to continue, stating that mermaids had hounded them away from the sites.

It was reported by Samuel Sipepa Nkomo , the water resources minister. A celebrated example of mermaid hoax was the Feejee mermaid exhibited in London in and later in America by P.

Barnum in , [94] in this case an investigator claims to have traced the mermaid's manufacture to a Japanese fisherman.

A similar fake "mermaid" at the Horniman Museum [97] has also been reassessed by another curator as a "merman".

Fake mermaids made in China and the Malay archipelago out of monkey and fish parts were imported into Europe by Dutch traders since the midth century, and their manufactures are thought to go back earlier.

In the middle of the 17th century, John Tradescant the elder created a wunderkammer called Tradescant's Ark in which he displayed, among other things, a "mermaid's hand".

The topic of mermaids in earnest has arisen in several instances of scientific scrutiny, including a biological assessment of the unlikelihood of the supposed evolutionary biology of the mermaid on the popular marine science website, DeepSeaNews.

Five of the primary reasons listed as to why mermaids don't fit current evolutionary understanding are:. Mermaids were also discussed tongue-in-cheek in a scientific article by University of Washington emeritus oceanographer Karl Banse.

The best-known example of mermaids in literature is probably Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tale, " The Little Mermaid ", first published in The mermaid falls in love with a human prince, [d] and also longs for an eternal soul like humans, despite the shorter life-span.

The two cravings are intertwined: only by achieving true love will her soul bind with a human's and become everlasting. But the mermaid's fish-tail poses an insurmountable obstacle for enticing humans, and the sea-witch offers a potion to transform into human form, at a price the mermaid's tongue and beautiful voice.

The mermaid endures the excruciating pain of having human legs, and despite her inability to speak, almost succeeds in wedding the prince, but for a twist of fate.

But she does not have the resolve and dies the mermaid way, dissolving into foam. Andersen's works has been translated into over languages. Wells ' The Sea Lady.

Sculptures and statues of mermaids can be found in many countries and cultures, with over public art mermaid statues across the world. The Little Mermaid statue in Copenhagen is an icon of that city as well as of Denmark.

The Havis Amanda statue symbolizes the rebirth of the city of Helsinki, capital of Finland. The Syrenka mermaid is part of the Coat of Arms of Warsaw , and is considered a protector of Warsaw, capital of Poland, which publicly displays statues of their mermaid.

Lorelei , the name of a Rhine mermaid immortalized in the Heinrich Heine poem of that name, has become a synonym for a siren.

An example of late British Academy style artwork, the piece debuted to considerable acclaim and secured Waterhouse's place as a member of the Royal Academy , but disappeared into a private collection and did not resurface until the s.

It is currently once again in the Royal Academy's collection. He painted an image of the mermaid of Zennor as well as several other depictions of mermaids in watercolour.

Film depictions include Miranda , Night Tide , the romantic comedy Splash , and Aquamarine A episode of the television series Route 66 entitled "The Cruelest Sea" featured a mermaid performance artist working at Weeki Wachee aquatic park.

Mermaids also appeared in the popular supernatural drama television series Charmed , and were the basis of its spin-off series Mermaid.

In She Creature , two carnival workers abduct a mermaid in Ireland c. The film Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides mixes old and new myths about mermaids: singing to sailors to lure them to their death, growing legs when taken onto dry land, and bestowing kisses with magical healing properties.

Disney 's musical animated version of Andersen's tale, The Little Mermaid was released in The sea-witch herself replaces the princess to whom the prince becomes engaged, using the mermaid's voice to prevent her from obtaining the prince's love.

However, on their wedding day the plot is revealed, and the sea-witch is vanquished. The knife motif is not used in the film, which ends with the mermaid and the prince marrying.

Hayao Miyazaki 's Ponyo is an animated film about a ningyo who wants to become a human girl with the help of her human friend Sosuke.

The Starbucks coffee logo is a melusine. In heraldry , the charge of a mermaid is commonly represented with a comb and a mirror, [] [] and blazoned as a "mermaid in her vanity".

Mermaids appear with greater frequency as heraldic devices than mermen do. A mermaid appears on the arms of the University of Birmingham , in addition to those of several British families.

A mermaid with two tails is referred to as a melusine. Melusines appear in German heraldry, and less frequently in the British version.

A shield and sword-wielding mermaid Syrenka is on the official coat of arms of Warsaw. The Cusack family crest includes a mermaid wielding a sword, as depicted on a memorial stone for Sir Thomas Cusack — The city of Norfolk , Virginia, also uses a mermaid as a symbol.

Interest in mermaid costuming has grown alongside the popularity of fantasy cosplay as well as the availability of inexpensive monofins used in the construction of mermaid costumes.

These costumes are typically designed to be used while swimming, in an activity known as mermaiding. Mermaid fandom conventions have also been held.

The Ama are Japanese skin divers, predominantly women, who traditionally dive for shellfish and seaweed wearing only a loincloth and who have been in action for at least 2, years.

Starting in the twentieth century, they have increasingly been regarded as a tourist attraction.

They have been romanticized as mermaids.

Information About Mermaids Video

10 REAL LIFE MERMAIDS Caught On Camera

4 Comments

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