Sea and Mind
“I must be a mermaid, Rango.
I have no fear of depths and a great fear of shallow living.”
A mermaid is a legendary aquatic creature with the upper body of a female human and the tail of a fish. This mystical creature appears in the folklore of many cultures worldwide, including the Near East, Europe, Africa and Asia. And as you will read and view in this blog post, many people believe in them. Some have observed them. Some have become them.
Since learning how to swim, the notion that humans can exist underwater like fish has fascinated me. As a child, I somehow imagined if I practiced holding my breathe long enough I could someday spend more time under the water's surface and maybe even transform myself into an aquarian. I even practiced whenever jumping in a pool staying underwater as long as possible. Like many of us dreaming to fly someday (Not unlike so many of us, I remember in my childhood imagining I would like to soar like a bird someday), these fantastic notions create a foundation for fantasy and play. Once lodged in our imaginations, they remain way beyond our childhood. Maybe that explains to some degree the craze into today's culture for super Marvel Comic book male and female characters who can fly, swim and and stay submerged underwater indefinitely as portrayed in the movies.
Since learning how to swim the notion that humans can exist underwater like fish has fascinated me. As a child, I somehow imagined if I practiced holding my breathe long enough I could someday spend more time under the surface. I even practiced whenever jumping in a pool staying underwater as long as possible. Like many of us dreaming to fly someday, these fantastic notions create a foundation for fantasy and play. Once lodged in our imaginations, they remain way beyond our childhood.
A mermaid sleeping or trapped under a pillar?
The first mermaid stories appeared in ancient. Assyria, in which the goddess atargatis transformed herself into a mermaid out of shame for accidentally killing her human lover. Mermaids are sometimes associated with perilous events such as floods, storms, shipwrecks and drownings. In other folk traditions (or sometimes within the same tradition), they can be benevolent or beneficent, bestowing boons or falling in love with humans.
Mermaids are associated with the mythological Greek sirens
as well as with
, a biological
Some of the historical sig
htings by sailors may have been misunderstood encounters with these aquatic mammals.
reported seeing mermaids while exploring the Caribbean, and sightings have been reported in the 20th and 21st centuries in Canada, Israel and Zimbabwe.
The Sirens of Greek mythology are sometimes portrayed in later folklore as fully aquatic and mermaid-like; the facts that in Spanish, French, Italian, Polish, Romanian and Portuguese the word for mermaid is respectively Sirena, Sirene, Sirena, Syrena, Sirena and Sereia, and that in
the Sirenia comprise an order of fully aquatic mammals that includes the dugong and manatee, add to the visual confusion, so that Sirens are even represented as mermaids.
stated in 2012 that no evidence of mermaids has ever been found.
Mermaids have been a popular subject of art and literature in recent centuries, such as in
's well-known fairy tale "
" (1836). (above right). They have subsequently been depicted in operas, paintings, books, films, comics, p
aintings, sculptures, murals and monuments.
Text taken from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia