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Anatomy Of A Mermaid


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Ian Topham
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I am sure that most mermaid sightings could be explained away as being seals.  However, there are two cases from the north of Scotland where (if you believe it) they got to examine the mermaids closely.

One was around the Isle of Yell where fishermen (who should know what a seal looks like) brought a mermaid on board.  She measured three feet in length and "She offered no resistance nor attempted to bite, but she moaned piteously." They kept her on their boat for three hours before allowing her to dive back into the sea and described her as having bristles extending from her head to her shoulders that could be raised or lowered.
http://www.mysteriousbritain.co.uk/scotland/shetland/folklore/isle-of-yell-mermaid.html

On the Isle of Benbeculla a mermaid was killed and buried.  It was described such: "The upper part of the creature was about the size of a well-fed child of three or four years of age, with abnormally developed breasts." .  Her hair was dark, glossy and long.  Her skin was soft and white.  (Somehow this description of it being like a 3 - 4 year old child with full breasts just makes a lot of mermaid drawings I have seen seem very very wrong).
http://www.mysteriousbritain.co.uk/scotland/western-isles/folklore/mermaids-grave.html

Russian mermaids seem a bit differant if this expereince is anything to go by. ‘He saw giant beings rising up from below. They were milky-white, but with humanoid faces, and something like fish tails.
http://www.mysteriousbritain.co.uk/cryptozoology/black-sea-mermen.html

It raises a few questions.  Are the witnesses reliable and could they have been something else?

Mauro
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Re: Anatomy Of A Mermaid

The mane of the first case makes think about a Fur Seal bull of some kind, though Scotland would be a fair bit off for most of these creatures.
The second case... well it vaguely reminds me of the various fake mermaids or Jenny Haniver that found their way to Britain in centuries past, the most famous being the so called "Feejee Mermaid", the object of a lenghty judicial struggle. These fakes were manufactured in the Far East (mainly Japan) using dried monkeys and fish parts by very skilled artisans and it wasn't uncommon for entertainers to concoct fanciful stories about them which were often printed as broadsheet to earn some extra cash.
The Russian case finally reminds me of the Beluga Whale (Delphinapterus leucas), though these creatures libve well above the Artic Circle.

In Distortion We Trust

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"Louhi spoke in riddled tones of three things to achieve: find and catch the Devil's Moose and bring it here to me. Seize the Stallion born of Fire, harness the Golden Horse. He captured and bound the Moose, he tamed the Golden Horse. Still there remained one final task: hunt for the Bird from the Stream of Death"

-Kalevala, Rune XIII-


moth
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Re: Anatomy Of A Mermaid

A bizarre case I'll always remember had a seriously description. A child with developed breasts? Very odd indeed. I know there are rare conditions which can cause a child to develop much earlier in life but the fact they said she had a tail. Who knows! May have been the imagination of the folks up there after finding perhaps a decayed animal on the shore. I don't see why anyone would bother to make a hoax though.
I supose the true question is whether or not it would be possible for such creatures to have existed? Creatures which must be able to come to the surface to breath and still be able to withstand the pressure of the depths of the sea? If they exist, are they suffering due to climate change or become extinct due to the lack of sightings? I mean, surely it wouldn't be impossible for something to adapt in such a way. Or maybe they are simply water mamals that have been mistaken for merfolk, who knows!

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BaronIveagh
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Re: Anatomy Of A Mermaid

Achem... (spontaniously bursts into song...)

My father was the keeper of the Eddystone Light,
who slept with a mermaid one fine night...

Sorry, just couldn't help myself.  You see some strange things if you've been at sea long enough...

Summum Nec Metuam Diem Nec Optima

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Urisk
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Re: Anatomy Of A Mermaid

I would also argue the case of fishermen creating stories to tell their children, and it becoming more public. I'm sure we've all been known to telling stories to younger relatives.

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Mauro
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Re: Anatomy Of A Mermaid

Mermaids may be nothing more than a figment of the human imagination but even in 2009 they are still good for business: news.sky.com/skynews/Home/World-News/Israel-Mermaid-Fever-Makes-A-Splash-Mythical-Creature-Spotted-Near-Haifa/Article/200908215358515

In Distortion We Trust

__________________

"Louhi spoke in riddled tones of three things to achieve: find and catch the Devil's Moose and bring it here to me. Seize the Stallion born of Fire, harness the Golden Horse. He captured and bound the Moose, he tamed the Golden Horse. Still there remained one final task: hunt for the Bird from the Stream of Death"

-Kalevala, Rune XIII-




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