Mermaids: A Legendary Aquatic Creatures
Today mermaids are one of the popular figures in the world. People think a mermaid is a young beautiful girl combing her long hair sitting on a rock, and being nice to the other creatures in the water, but honestly there nothing close to that. These creatures are similar to the Loch Ness monster and the Yeti. Some believe they kind many fake mermaids, usually made of the upper torso of a monkey and the tail of a salmon, which have been shown in fairs and circuses. In the age or trading and exploring, seeing a mermaid was almost like traveling to new worlds.
Christopher Columbus saw three off Haiti, Sir Richard Whitburne sighted one when discovering Newfoundland in 1610, and Henry Hudson’s crew saw a mermaid off Nova Zembla in 1625. Where do the myths of mermaids come from? Somewhere in the later Middle Ages, the fish-woman mermaid supplanted the bird-woman siren as the creature believed to bring sailors out of the correct path, although in many languages words based on ‘siren’ continued to be used for the fish-woman.
The shift to fish-women as the danger facing mariners may be related to an increasing ability to travel to the open sea, where mermaids live, out of sight of the coastal rocks where sirens had been thought to perch. Both sirens and mermaids have musical talents; bird-sirens sing and play the pipes and the lyre, where the mermaids use their voices to lead on the sailors to their death. Mermaids can raise and calm storms; they can trap men with questions and riddles.
In nineteenth-century Greek folklore, sailors in the Black Sea may meet the fish-woman Gorgona, who asks, “Does Alexander live? ” If they do not give the correct answer,” He lives and rules the world”, Gorgona will raise a storm and kill all aboard. Mermaids combine the beauty of a young girl with a fishy lower body. The problem is how the men would have sexual intercourse with them. Some medieval representations get around this problem by showing the mermaid with a forked tail, but the whole point about the mermaid is that she is sexually impossible except through death.
As popular songs of the nineteenth century remind us, a man who marries a mermaid can never leave her, as there is no divorce court ‘at the bottom of the deep blue sea’. An unusual solution to the problem of the sexual availability of mermaids is found in Magritte’s Collective Invention (1935), which shows a beached mermaid with the upper half of a fish and the lower half of a woman. A related problem is how mermaids themselves reproduce; ale mer-people, or tritons, are shown in art, particularly in the Renaissance, but again they must have missed the point. Matthew Arnold’s poem The Forsaken Merman (1849) is a rare example of the treatment of mermen in literature; it reverses the common pattern of a mortal man loving a mermaid but being deserted by her, to imagine a mortal woman being called back from the mer-world by the distant sound of church bells.
What had also influenced us to believe there were mermaids was the movie “Little Mermaid”. Here the mer-world is having a system of anything that is being inverted of our own, in which not birds, but fish, fly in through open windows. Rather than causing shipwrecks, the little mermaid saves the life of a shipwrecked prince, and then makes a deal with the sea-witch, giving her tongue for a pair of human legs. Every step she takes causes her a pain.
Unable to win the love of the prince without her voice, but than at the end she turns back into a mermaid because the spell was broken. Then one day she is sitting on the a rock looking at the prince and her dad puts a spell on her where she can keep her legs and her voice and marry the prince. This shows that mermaids do look like that but in reality they look and act nothing like that. I feel that society can change their point of view.