Mermaids

do you believe in mermaids?

  • yes

    Votes: 3 15.8%
  • no

    Votes: 11 57.9%
  • undecided

    Votes: 3 15.8%
  • i am decended from one!

    Votes: 2 10.5%

  • Total voters
    19

MrRING

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In other mermaid statue news...
Denmark May Move Famed Mermaid Statue

COPENHAGEN, Denmark - This city's famous Little Mermaid statue may be moved out of the reach of vandals and tourists, a city official said Wednesday.

The bronze sculpture based on Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tale of the same name may be relocated a few yards offshore, said Jon Pape, a spokesman for the city's roads and parks department. A decision will be made later this year, he said.

The 5-foot-high statue by Danish sculptor Edvard Eriksen has been sitting on a rock at the edge of the harbor since 1913. The mermaid statue can easily be reached by stepping on a concrete platform and other rocks that surround her. It draws about 1 million visitors a year, and is occasionally targeted by vandals.

"We regularly get complaints from tourist guides saying it often is hard for their group to see the mermaid because other tourists constantly are climbing on her to be photographed," Pape said.

The statue has been beheaded twice. Its arm has been amputated. Hooligans have doused it in paint several times. Three years ago, vandals used explosives to blow its off its perch. It has been repaired and replaced every time. In Andersen's tale, the Little Mermaid is a sea king's daughter who falls in love with a prince and must wait 300 years to become human.
 

Kondoru

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It was a stupid story to begin with.

HCA wrote much better stuff.
 

Sthenno

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Why would someone pay $30,000 to have their car recovered? Would you not just buy a new car?

I personally quite liked The Little Mermaid, doesn't it go all weird and metaphysical at the end?
 

Kondoru

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Dunno, some people are funny.

And why would a mermaid recover the car? They dont drive, are not even interested in cars.
 

rynner2

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The Zennor Mermaid has been mentioned here before, but only in passing.

"The people of Zennor had long wondered at the beauty of a richly-dressed lady who attended divine service at the church. None knew whence she came, but when she fell in love with Matthew Trewella and lured him away, tongues began to wag. Neither was seen again for many years, until one Sunday morning the sailors on a ship anchored near Pendower Cove were surprised to see a mermaid rising from the water, and recognised her as none other than the mysterious visitor to Zennor Church. She asked the captain to raise his anchor, as it was barring the entrance to her house. Her likeness can be seen to this day carved on a pew-end in Zennor Church."
http://www.britannia.com/history/legend ... col03.html

Other versions mention than Matthew T. was a singer in the Choir, and it was his beautiful voice that had entranced her.


Today I visited Zennor (West Cornwall) and took these pics:
The Pew

mermaid.jpg


According to the Church guidebook, she holds a mirror in her right hand, and a comb in her left. But these symbols could (no doubt :roll: ) be interpreted otherwise!

She is clearly an alien of some sort, since the thumb on her left hand is on the wrong side! ;)

Pendower Cove (spelled Pendour on modern maps)

Pendour.jpg


And now you know almost as much about it as I do!
 

Kondoru

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Thats a great pic, Rynner, much better than the books
 

rynner2

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Kondoru said:
Thats a great pic, Rynner, much better than the books
Thanks for that.

I too thought the image was in a much worse state than it is, from what I'd read previously.

But nowadays we have digital photography, and the internet, to show the world the truth! :D
 

rynner2

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Million-dollar reward helps mermaid lure tourists to Kiryat Yam
According to the mayor of Kiryat Yam the coastal town has a mermaid
James Hider in Kiryat Yam

It is one of the uglier towns on Israel’s coast: boxes of Soviet-style housing projects jostle close to the shore and tankers plough the shipping lanes, heading for more important destinations to the south.

However, Kiryat Yam, a development town full of Russian and Ethiopian immigrants, has been galvanised by a claim that neither the busy port of Haifa to the south nor the walled crusader city of Acre to the north can match: according to the mayor, it has its own mermaid.

Tourists are stopping here to try to summon the elusive creature by blowing on a ram’s horn, a Jewish relic, and investors have expressed an interest in developing the almost deserted beachfront. Shmuel Sisso, the town’s mayor, has whipped up excitement by offering a $1 million (£615,000) reward for anyone who provides proof of the siren’s existence.

Oleg Borisov, 56, a market-stall holder, believes that he was the first to have contact with the creature a couple of years ago while he and his dog were having a night swim. “I was in up to my head when I felt something moving in the water,” said Mr Borisov, who moved here from Ukraine 20 years ago. “All of a sudden I felt as if somebody was spreading my legs and going right between them. My dog started barking and there was a loud splash on the water. I screamed and fled — I was stuttering I was so scared.”

He has never returned to the water at night. When Mr Sisso built a promenade along the shore this year, and people started reporting strange sightings in the surf, Mr Borisov made the connection. “For sure it was a mermaid,” he said, adding that he believes she must have a message to deliver. “There will come a time when she will appear,” he said. “The Messiah is coming soon, too, in 2012.” :roll:

On the jetty, alongside a small fibreglass statuette of a mermaid sprayed with gold paint, Mordechai, 57, a native of Kiryat Yam, prepared for his daily swim. He dismissed the story as nonsense. “I’ve been swimming here every day for 50 years and I didn’t see her,” he said. He conceded, however, that there was mention of sirens in the G’mara, a Jewish holy text. “If you believe in God, you believe anything can be created. And I believe in God.”

In his office, Mr Sisso grinned at all the attention that his mermaid has attracted. He said that at least two witnesses claimed to have seen the creature, and he produced two snapshots from a British amateur photographer showing a yellow discoloration in the surf at sunset. Vince Palmer, from East Sussex, said in an accompanying letter that the pictures proved the mermaid’s existence — and he enclosed, helpfully, a self-addressed envelope for the $1 million cheque. “Before this picture she performed many tricks but I’m afraid I missed these with my camera,” he wrote. 8)

The mayor’s reward offer has sparked the threat of international legal action from an American group called the Mermaid Medical Association. They wrote to Mr Sisso, telling him that they were “shocked about your decision to pay a reward of one million dollars to those who will hunt the mermaid. “Therefore if you don’t declare in a period of ten days that you withdraw from your decision we intend to approach the International Court of Justice and to ask for its interference,” said the group’s director, Jeff Lerman. :shock:

Mr Sisso was not intimidated. Nor has he been forced so far to come up with the reward money: he is too busy dreaming up mermaid-themed costume parades and more hotels to worry about such trivialities.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/w ... 956546.ece
 

Zilch5

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Justin_Anstey said:
Could early sightings of seals, dolphins and whales bobbing about have fuelled these ideas?

-Justin.

Lots of people around here say that the mermaid legend evolved from Dugong sightings. Now - how long do you have to be at sea until you start thinking of a Dugong as a sexually attractive young woman??? :D
 

Mister_Awesome

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Zilch5 said:
Justin_Anstey said:
Could early sightings of seals, dolphins and whales bobbing about have fuelled these ideas?

-Justin.

Lots of people around here say that the mermaid legend evolved from Dugong sightings. Now - how long do you have to be at sea until you start thinking of a Dugong as a sexually attractive young woman??? :D

I've always had a hard time swallowing the dugong theory, but it seems to be fairly old.
 

Timble2

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I thought it was Selkies (seal people), rather that mermaids that were though to have been based on scrambled stories of the Lapp nomads.
 

James_H

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I guess it depends how separately you view the two (alleged) phenomena...
 

escargot

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Zilch5 said:
Justin_Anstey said:
Could early sightings of seals, dolphins and whales bobbing about have fuelled these ideas?

-Justin.

Lots of people around here say that the mermaid legend evolved from Dugong sightings. Now - how long do you have to be at sea until you start thinking of a Dugong as a sexually attractive young woman??? :D

The truth may be even more disturbing than that. :shock:
I read years ago that desperate sailors noticed how female dugongs' sexual organs resemble human ones. They apparently found the lady dugongs quite friendly.
 

GNC

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escargot1 said:
The truth may be even more disturbing than that. :shock:
I read years ago that desperate sailors noticed how female dugongs' sexual organs resemble human ones. They apparently found the lady dugongs quite friendly.

Is that why mermaids are supposed to lure sailors to their doom? Be fairly easy to drown trying to service a dugong...

Or am I getting mixed up with Sirens?
 

PeniG

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Sirens, mermaids, selkies, and undines blend into each other at the edges.

Dugongs and manatees can hardly be blamed for mermaid sightings off Scotland, though the extinct Stellar's Sea Cow may have had a larger range than is generally supposed. Sirens were originally bird women, in the Greek, but the word for mermaid in Spanish is La Sirena, and the most famous Siren of all, the Lorelei, is associated with fresh water and isn't usually depicted with a tail. I believe selkies sometimes sing.
 

MrRING

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Anonymous said:
I would've buried this issue until I read about the Benbecula mermaid. If they could only find where the coffin is, it would put this issue to rest. Basically the story goes a mermaid was seen frolicing around a fishing boat and a boy clocked the bugger square on the back with a rock, killing it. Few days later, it washes up on shore. An "autopsy" (best they could muster back in the day) confirmed it was a human-like creature with soft, pearlescent skin, and a fish like tail. female is form, resembled a young woman with developed breasts and greenish hair (algae). anyways, the good folk of Benbecula buried it somewhere and the location was lost. Since these people live off the sea, a seal, whale, large fish, or what not could be a reasonable explaination, however it could've been a young woman who drowned inflated to myth and what not. but there is less evidence of this.

From the book Sea Enchantress by Benwell & Waugh, is their bit about the description of the mermaid at the time:

She was next heard of a few days later, but, alas, then she was dead; her body was washed ashore, about two miles from where she was first seen. A detailed examination followed, and we learn that "the upper part of the creature was about the size of a well-fed child of three or four years of age, with an abnormally developed breast. The hair was long, dark and glossy, while the skin was white, soft and tender. The lower part of the body was like a salmon, but without scales."
 

rynner2

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The Zennor Mermaid story is mentioned in this prog:

Britain's Best Drives - 3. North Cornish Coast

Richard Wilson gets to grips with a retro VW camper van as he drives the coast road from St Ives to Land's End and learns about St Ives's 1950s art heyday.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b0 ... ish_Coast/

(There's also an interesting story about D. H. Lawrence in Zennor, which was new to me.)

Great scenery anyway - I've seen it several times from the open-top tourist bus, but the prog has aerial shots too.
 

kmossel

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Zimbabwe: Mermaids Stopping Govt Work

Zimbabwe: Mermaids Stopping Govt Work - Sipepa Nkomo
31 January 2012

WATER Resources Development and Management Minister Samuel Sipepa Nkomo had a Senate Committee on Gender and Development in stitches when he alleged that mermaids were preventing Government officials from installing water pumps at dams in Gokwe and Mutare.

Minister Nkomo was presenting evidence on the water supply situation in Zimbabwe when he made the stunning allegations.

He said the problem first occurred in Gokwe when officers installing water pumps at a dam dumped the project vowing not to return to the area because of the mermaids.

"All the officers I have sent have vowed not to go back there and I am now appealing to the chiefs to do what is necessary to correct the problem," he said.

He said a similar situation occurred at Osborne Dam in Manicaland.

Government hired white personnel to do the job but they also refused to undertake the project.

"We even hired whites thinking that our boys did not want to work but they also returned saying they would not return to work there again," he said.

Minister Nkomo said it was necessary to brew traditional beer and carry out any rites to appease the spirits.

Local Government, Rural and Urban Development Minister Ignatius Chombo who also appeared before the committee concurred that there was need to perform traditional rites at the dams.

http://allafrica.com/stories/201201310162.html
 

amyasleigh

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This recent Zimbabwean “mermaids scare” has received a bit of discussion lately on the site http://www.cryptozoology.com/ (sub-forum “Main Lobby”, thread “Mermaids – the work of Satan?” – that quote refers to a comment on the issue from a local orthodoxly-Christian source, opining that such beings don’t exist: just a matter of the Devil messing with people’s heads).

There’s a little on this current FT thread (p.6) about an earlier “Zimbabwean mermaid connection”: basically revolving around a scam uncovered there in 2005, with the victim being charged a large sum of money for the importation of several mermaids from Britain; the said mermaids to be used for thief-tracking-down purposes – not clear what supposed to happen to them subsequently. A piece on that case quoted there, mentions re mermaids, “ ‘injuza’ in the Ndebele language – an imaginary sea creature fabled to have a woman’s head and upper body, and a fish’s tail”.

A post in the recent correspondence on “cryptozoology.com” mentions that seemingly the mermaid idea is well-established in Zimbabwean folklore: alleges that there are hot springs in the northern highlands of the country known as the Mermaid Pools, because 200-odd years ago, natives claimed to have witnessed “mermaids” in the area.

Mermaid-consciousness in this part of the world surprised me slightly, because Zimbabwe is an inland country; and overwhelmingly (including in references in this current FT thread), mermaids and events connected therewith, are associated with the world’s seas and oceans – as the “mer-“ prefix would indicate. Comes to mind, though – while the works of J.K. Rowling (charming lady though she is) are not considered authoritative about these things: the lake at Hogwarts (from textual evidence, an inland location) is inhabited by “mer-people” – both sexes, a breeding colony --the “mer-“ here re a non-marine location, never grated on me; although many things in the “Harry Potter” books did.
 

Kondoru

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We have Jenny Greenteeth, dont we?
 

Monstrosa

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There are folk tales where a man spies a young woman tending sheep which she leads back into the lake/loch/body of water, when next he sees her he steals her magical doohickey or woos her. They marry but she sets conditions such as not striking her or asking certain questions, he fails to keep them and she and all her posssessions/sheep/children return to the lake.
 

amyasleigh

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The world has in plenty, tales of supernatural -- and from humans' point of view, often dodgy -- denizens of lakes and rivers (though I had to Google Jenny Greenteeth, finding out about her and likewise sinisterly-named counterparts). Just that linguistically and traditionally, I'd been used to mermaids (mermen, mer-anythings) being associated all but exclusively, with the seas and oceans.
 

rynner2

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amyasleigh said:
Just that linguistically and traditionally, I'd been used to mermaids (mermen, mer-anythings) being associated all but exclusively, with the seas and oceans.
Mere can also refer to a lake:

mere 2 - noun - Dictionary.com Unabridged

1. Chiefly British Dialect . a lake or pond.
2. Obsolete . any body of sea water.

Origin:
before 900; Middle English, Old English; cognate with German Meer, Old Norse marr, Gothic marei, Old Irish muir, Latin mare


mere 2 — n World English Dictionary: Collins

1. archaic , dialect [] a lake or marsh
2. obsolete the sea or an inlet of it

[Old English mere sea, lake; related to Old Saxon meri sea, Old Norse marr, Old High German mari; compare Latin mare ]

Interestingly, both dictionaries also give another meaning which is new to me:

mere 3 - noun British Dialect .

a boundary or boundary marker.

and

mere 3 — n

archaic a boundary or boundary marker

[Old English gem?re ]

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/mere

Since mermaids (and other objects of Fortean interest) could be said to exist at the boundaries of reality, this could also be a factor in the name.

Mere meaning lake also appears in place names, eg Haslemere

The earliest record of Haslemere was in 1221 (when it was spelt Haselmere)[citation needed]. The name describes hazel trees standing beside a mere (lake). The lake does not exist today, but there is a natural spring in West Street which could have provided its source.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haslemere
 

amyasleigh

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rynner2 -- thanks. Am doing best to re-programme brain via-a-vis definitions / derivations concerning merpeople !
 

kamalktk

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The US National Ocean Surface weighs in. Mostly this is amusing since it's a government website. http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/mermaids.html

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.
19th century artist rendering of mermaids in the ocean

The belief in mermaids may have arisen at the very dawn of our species. Magical female figures first appear in cave paintings in the late Paleolithic (Stone Age) period some 30,000 years ago, when modern humans gained dominion over the land and, presumably, began to sail the seas. Half-human creatures, called chimeras, also abound in mythology — in addition to mermaids, there were wise centaurs, wild satyrs, and frightful minotaurs, to name but a few.

But are mermaids real? No evidence of aquatic humanoids has ever been found. Why, then, do they occupy the collective unconscious of nearly all seafaring peoples? That’s a question best left to historians, philosophers, and anthropologists.
 

Anome

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And it's led to a fascinating reaction from the public.

Via The Register
The US's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has been obliged to issue a statement clarifying that "no evidence of aquatic humanoids has ever been found", in the face of a tidal wave of citizens calling to demand the truth about mermaids.

The Roswell-style conspiracy theory kicked off after Animal Planet aired a two-hour extravaganza entitled MERMAIDS: THE BODY FOUND back in May. Described as "science fiction based on some real events and scientific theory", the programme blurb promises a melange of "real-life events and phenomena with the story of two scientists who testify they found the remains of a never-before-identified sea creature".


Animal Planet elaborates: "MERMAIDS: THE BODY FOUND makes a strong case for the existence of the mermaid, a creature with a surprisingly human evolutionary history, whose ancestral branch splits off from a shared human root."

Although it once again stresses the programme is "science fiction", Animal Planet then presents two "real-world" events which act as a "springboard" for some aquatic fantasy. They are:

In the early 1990s, the US Navy began a series of covert sonar tests, which were linked to mass die-offs of whales, which washed up on beaches throughout the world. For years, the Navy denied they were responsible for these beachings.

In 1997, scientists at the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) recorded a mysterious sound (called “The Bloop”) in the deep Pacific, which was thought to be organic in nature. It has never been identified.

Suffice it to say, poor old NOAA quickly became a target for the black helicopter brigade, who suggested that for some reason the US Government had covered up the existence of mermaids. Presumably, this was part of a Cold War experiment to fuse Area 51 alien DNA with mermaid material, thereby creating a superstrong aquatic biological weapon which could be trained to swim towards Russian warships with explosives strapped to its nose.

We may never know, because NOAA refuses to be drawn on the matter. It concludes that the question of why mermaids "occupy the collective unconscious of nearly all seafaring peoples" is "best left to historians, philosophers, and anthropologists". ®
 

Kondoru

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Why would a documentary channel air sf?
 
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