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One Possible Origin of Mermaid Legends

One Possible Origin of Mermaid Legends as shared by AquaTails, of quality mermaid tails for swimming.  From the educated Christopher Columbus Log on his first return voyage from the New World:

January 9, 1493: The day before, when the Admiral was going to the Rio del Oro, he said he saw three mermaids who came quite high out of the water but were not as pretty as they are depicted, for somehow in the face they look like men. He said that he saw some in Guinea on the coast of Manegueta.

Today it is explained that Columbus saw dugongs, or its relative the manatee, which have large breasts and yet whiskered faces. It is then explained that all mermaid sightings are actually the same.

I’ve always had the question, though, what about Northern mermaid sightings? The manatee does not live in northern waters, so how do you explain them?

selkie at AquaTails home of quality mermaid tails for swimmingHere is one possible explanation, offered by Jules Verne in his marvelous book 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (which I highly recommend):

(In describing seals on the ice in the Antarctic):

When resting on land, they lie in most graceful positions. The ancients, when they saw the gentle features of these animals, their soft, velvetlike eyes, their expressive look, unsurpassed by that of the most beautiful woman, and their most charming postures, celebrated them in poetry, transforming the males into tritons and the females into mermaids.

The Irish mermaid legends are of the selkie, a seal who can shed its skin and become a beautiful woman when on land. To capture one, you have to steal its skin. If you watch the great movie The Secret of Roan Inish, you will see how beautiful and expressive the seal’s eyes truly are – and how easily they could have sparked such legends by seafaring peoples.

So, manatees in the south and seals in the north? It’s possible. Please comment below on your opinion of this idea! Everyone who comments will get a special coupon code for AquaTails, anywhere from 25-50% off!

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