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