Mermaid: Myth, Legend or

mermaidMermaid, just the word brings so many images to our minds. From the world of Disney to other attractions at amusement parks or Las Vegas shows. The word mermaid brings to mind lost sailors as they ventured out to sea and of lost treasures.

The first recorded mermaid story is actually from around 1000 BC in which a Goddess accidental killed her mortal lover and being ashamed she jumped in a lake to take the form of a fish, but the waters could not hide her beauty and thus she only grew a fish tale. A very popular legend tells of Alexander the Great’s sister Thessalonike, that after her death she became a mermaid living in the Aegean Sea. She would encounter sailors and ask of them one question, “is King Alexander alive?” Give the correct answer and the sailors would have calm seas for their adventure, but give the wrong answer and the sailors and their ships were doomed.

mermaidMermaid stories are wide spread across history. From Western and Eastern Europe to China to Africa and can even found in Hinduism. In some modern Caribbean cultures there is a mermaid recognized as representing wealth and beauty.

One of my favorite stories is of Columbus in 1493 as he sailed off of the coast of Hispaniola. Columbus reported seeing 3 female like forms which rose high above the sea; but they were not as beautiful as the stories represented them to be. Legend has it that he probably mistook Manatees for humans. Blackbeard the Pirate, in his log book, instructed his crews to stay away from “enchanted waters” for fear of mermaids.  Pirates fear mermaids would seduce them out into the waters and steal their treasures.

mermaidSo, do you believe in a Mermaid? The word comes to us from the old English words of Mer meaning “Sea” and maid meaning “girl”. So yes I do believe in a mermaid, after all they are girls of the sea and we might have just trained a few of them

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