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Thursday, May 28, 2015

Mermaid Tales

Back in 2009, rumours of a mermaid that was washed ashore on a Malaysian island spread like wildfire across the nation. There was even a short video clip of the mermaid lying dead on a beach.

Be warned that the mermaid in the following video doesn't look quite like Ariel. You may find the image disturbing.

Turned out, the purported mermaid was a sculpture by artist Juan Cabana. Quite frankly, I was a little disappointed. I had wanted to believe that mermaids were real and one was discovered at long last.

And why not? The existence of merpeople  really is quite plausible for 2 reasons.

1.  Mermaid tales have existed across all cultures since time immemorial, long before the different cultures interacted with one another. Paintings, poems and sculptures of these amphibious maidens sometimes found in Indian temples are evident that such creatures are more than just a figment of the imagination.
Growing up, my first mermaid tale was the one Grandma used to tell before tucking us to bed. According to Chinese mythology, sailors loved to trap mermaids to sniff out their tails. Simple minded though beautiful, they were easy to snare. Their tails were naturally purple and smelled of happiness but would turn to red and smell of sadness when they were unhappy. Mermaids in Chinese literally translates as 'beautiful human fish'.

2.The ocean covers 71 percent of the Earth's surface and contains 97 percent of the planet's water, yet more than 95 percent of the underwater world remains unexplored. Who really knows what's down there in those bottomless mid-ocean trenches? After all, two new whale species were discovered only in recent years.

If mermaids were real, I believe they aren't the alluring beautiful creatures we grew up imagining and would probably look more like monsters than Ariel. Baby boomers, remember the black and white photograph of a 'reverse mermaid' that made quite a splash circa 1973? I was in fifth grade when a classmate brought the picture to school. The creature in the photo had a fish’s head and the hips and legs of a fully-developed woman. For a very long time, I never knew for sure if the mysterious entity was fake. It did look kinda fishy! It was only until recently that I googled and learned the reverse mermaid was indeed a hoax that originated in or around Yemen during the early 1970s.  The story behind the hoax until today is still undisclosed.
image credit - http://karlshuker.blogspot.com/2011/03/rene-magritte-and-reverse-mermaid-very.html
I believe or rather I choose to believe that mermaids along with dragons, unicorns, werewolves, vampires, fairies.... exist simply because they represent the unknown, the mystical, the supernatural. Maybe they are not what we have in mind but they are definitely out there, elusive, lurking in the twilight place between land and sea.

What about you? Do you think mermaids are real?
Mermaid Cookies


  1. Such cute cookies! Totaly off the subject but because I remembered it now, LOL, I saw corgi cookie cutters the other day (our dog was a corgi). I saw them on Facebook through some site; I'll have to go back and order them. I thought of you, LOL :)

    I kept waiting for that sculpture to move. Very life like with the hair. I think it would be cool to be able to be a mermaid and be able to swim in the ocean without having to come up for air very often.


  2. These are so fun! Thanks for sharing at Merry Monday, hope to see you again next week!