1. News & Issues

Discuss in my forum

David Emery

Are Mermaids Real?

By May 30, 2013

Follow me on:


Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1797:

MERMAID, or MERMAN, a sea-creature frequently talked of, supposed half human and half a fish.

However naturalists may doubt of the reality of mermen or mermaids, we have testimony enough to establish it; though, how far these testimonies may be authentic, we cannot take upon us to say.

Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1797

Popular Errors Explained and Illustrated, by John Timbs, 1841:

The progress of zoological science has long since destroyed the belief in the existence of the Mermaid. If its upper structure be human, with lungs resembling our own, how could such a creature live and breathe at the bottom of the sea, where it is stated to be?

John Timbs, Popular Errors Explained and Illustrated, 1841

The Ocean and Its Mysteries, by Alpheus Hyatt Verrill, 1917:

In olden days sailors peopled the sea with mermaids, mermen and strange and impossible sea-monsters and related stories of weird and remarkable adventures. Even to-day, when great steamships plow the oceans in every direction and every nook and corner of the sea is known, deep-sea sailors spin wonderful yarns and almost yearly some one tells in all seriousness of having seen a sea-serpent.

We know that many of the stories of the sea are purely imaginary and that mermaids and many other sea-monsters are mere myths, but the fact remains that we really know very little of the sea or its inhabitants and that many of the ocean's greatest mysteries still remain unsolved.

Alpheus Hyatt Verrill, The Ocean and Its Mysteries, 1917

National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, 2012:

Mermaids — those half-human, half-fish sirens of the sea — are legendary sea creatures chronicled in maritime cultures since time immemorial. The ancient Greek epic poet Homer wrote of them in The Odyssey. In the ancient Far East, mermaids were the wives of powerful sea-dragons, and served as trusted messengers between their spouses and the emperors on land. The aboriginal people of Australia call mermaids yawkyawks — a name that may refer to their mesmerizing songs.

But are mermaids real? No evidence of aquatic humanoids has ever been found.

National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, 2012

Mermaid Lore:

The Mermaid Myth
Pictures of a Merman Carcass
Igpupiara: Mermaids in Brazilian Folklore
Water Spirits: Becoming Mermaids
On the Trail of Mermaids: Facts & Myths
'The Little Mermaid' - Hans Christian Andersen
P.T. Barnum's Feejee Mermaid
Video: Mermaid Sighting
Mermaid Found on Beach After Tsunami?


September 16, 2013 at 4:20 pm
(1) Peep-squeak says:

Evolution Sounds just as bizzare

Leave a Comment

Line and paragraph breaks are automatic. Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title="">, <b>, <i>, <strike>
  1. About.com
  2. News & Issues
  3. Urban Legends

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.