The Lure of the Mythical Mermaid

en:Mermaid
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Second only to being able to fly, for some to swim underwater and be able to breathe like a fish would be a most wonderful dream come true.  To swim among the coral with the beautiful creatures that live there, or explore a sunken ship and find treasures to stash away in your own secret cave, are dreams many find exciting.

The fantasy creatures; Mermaids and Mermen, seem to live the life we envy and like so many other mythical creatures (Bigfoot, Nessie, and unicorns come to mind), people like to believe they exist.  I’m not saying they don’t, I like to keep an open mind, and some people swear they have seen them so who am I to say?

So if there really are Mermaids, what do they do all day?  How do they eat and why don’t they get wizzley skin?  Don’t they get cold?  And do they have to watch out for sharks?  How fast do they swim, and can they change their fin into legs like Daryl Hannah in the movie “Splash”?  Are there real mermaids among us?  Just some of my questions.

As land-dwellers we are enthralled by the aspect of people who can live underwater.  Clothing is designed with a “mermaid” look with dresses that are skin tight to the knee and then flaring like a fin.  Bette Midler and Lady Gaga like to do shows in Mermaid costumes – and in wheelchairs no less… huh?  (I don’t follow the celebs, but realized this while writing this post.)  And Cher starred in the movie “Mermaids” back in 1990.

Supposedly when sailors saw manatees they thought they were mermaids.  I just don’t get how tall, thin and beautiful ladies that swim with a big fin came from seeing a manatee.  Manatees are cute in their own way, and they have a big fin, but none of them are thin and shapely!  So was it just wishful thinking on the part of men that there would be gorgeous women living in the sea (and looking for sailors of course)?  I’m guessing, yes.

We even name seashells with mermaids in mind:  The “mermaids toenail” is another name for the jingle shell.

If I were a mermaid, I would scour the ocean floor for nice seashells – the heck with the sailors, but wouldn’t that get boring after a while?  I guess I am happy on land, but it sure would be fun to have a friend with fins!

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