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Do mermaids really exist?

mermaidAlthough these magical creatures featuring a female human head and torso and the tail of a fish are well represented folklore, literature and even popular culture, there are no physical evidence that they really exist or ever existed.

In ancient Greek mythology, mermaids were depicted as seductive sirens who lured sailors to their deaths.

Danish fairy tale author Hans Christian Anderson wrote these fish-tailed maidens to have lived in a castle at the bottom of the sea. Other ancient legends say that mermaids were once mortal maidens who were captured and lured into the ocean by mermen.

Stories about mermaids must have came from tales told by sailors and ocean travelers who had caught glimpses of real sea creatures called manatees, or sea cows and had mistaken them for mermaids.

Manatees are mammals that may look like humans with tails from afar. Manatee feeds her baby milk and cradles it in her flippers while nursing.

Because of this and because of the manatee’s somewhat human facial appearance, when it pops up out of the water to feed on sea grass with its flippers held out before it, it almost appears to be standing. So from a distance, or in a fog, or for a sailor with poor eyesight, the "mermaid" legend might very well have begun.


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