Isle of Yell Mermaid
In July 1833 a team of six fishermen entangled a mermaid in their fishing lines off the Isle of Yell. 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.
The boats skipper told the story to a Mr Edmondson whom passed the tale onto a Professor of Natural History at the University of Edinburgh who stated “Not one of the six men dreamed of a doubt of its being a mermaid, and it could not be suggested that they were influenced by their fears, for the mermaid is not an object of terror to fishermen, it is rather a welcome guest, and danger is apprehended from its experiencing bad treatment… The usual resources of skepticism that the seals and other sea-animals appearing under certain circumstances operating upon an excited imagination and so producing ocular illusion, cannot avail here. It is quite impossible that six Shetland fishermen could commit such a mistake.”