By Anisa Claire.
People have been fascinated with mermaids since the ancient times. They have been depicted throughout history as everything from beautiful to bloodthirsty. Mermaids appear in folklore in many parts of the world and stemming originally from ancient Assyria, and the goddess, Atargatis.
Mermaids are also referred to as ‘Sirens’ in Greek mythology and this is where there sometimes viscous reputation comes from. Sirens are described as dazzling, luring sailors in with songs to shipwreck them against the rocky shores. Interestingly, Greeks didn’t show them in water, but rather in fields with flowers. So it’s possible that they were luring mariners in from land, and not from the water,. Meaning they may not even been aquatic creatures, but land dwellers, instead.
It is said that even Christopher Columbus spotted mermaids in his travels to the Caribbeans. And for me, the creepiest mermaids, which I believe are actually referred to as Sirens and mermaids in the movie, are the ones from Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. Of course, a mainstay in our creepy mermaid meter is Ursula, the Sea-witch, which brings me to my next point…
Even Disney’s famous cartoon, The Little Mermaid, is adapted from the book, The Little Mermaid, by Hans Christian Anderson. The book doesn’t have a very happy ending, and some of the details are changed, but it was released back in 1836.
Though they live on through legend and obsession, there are still claims that mermaids actually exist. Most recently, Animal Planet aired an episode titled, Mermaids: The New Evidence. In this episode, they show previously unreleased clips from an Icelandic GeoSurvey where a scientist filmed what looked like a human-shaped fish swimming by and touching his submarine.
Of course, in the hysteria, there have been countless hoaxes, too. Whether they are real or legend, the fact remains… they sure are fascinating!