posted on Jul, 4 2012 @ 01:16 PM
Originally posted by PurpleChiten
Any mermaid that possibly exists definitely won't look like the ones from fairytales
True. In fact, the "actual" accounts given throughout history of so called mermaids, differs quite widely from the descriptions given in fairytales;
According to actual claimed accounts, the beings are not only female, but both female and male specimens are reported just as equally, and they are
also incapable of speaking and do neither want eat after capture even when offered food.
As for the descriptions of the actual apparence of these beings, they are generally described as having either green or black hair, webbed fingers and
sometimes also a grayish skintone, but apart from that, generally fully humanoid faces, heads and torsos and in no way resembling Seals, Dugongs or
One example of such an account(there have been many) can be found in a richly illustrated book published in the year 1717 describing the lifeforms in
tropical waters, (“Poissons, écrevisses et crabes de diverses couleurs et figures extraordinaires, que l’on trouve autour des Isles Moluques,”
) being the result of thirty years’ labour, in the Indian seas, by Blatazar Coyet, where the description and also a following depiction of a
creature that was captured in the nets near the island of Borné, can be found, and reads as follows;
“See-wyf. A monster resembling a Siren, caught near the island of Borné, or Boeren, in the Department of Amboine. It was 59 inches long, and in
proportion as an eel. It lived on land, in a vat full of water, during four days seven hours. From time to time it uttered little cries like those of
a mouse. It would not eat, though it was offered small fish, shells, crabs, lobsters, &c. After its death, some excrement was discovered in the vat,
like the secretion of a cat.”
It was further described as follows;
its body olive-tinted and its hair the color of kelp; its fingers are four-jointed and there is a fringe
around its waist which was orange, with a blue border. It had a slate-grey face and green fins, and a delicate row of pink hairs running the length of
Depiction and plate from the book: upload.wikimedia.org...
There are also the account taken from Pontoppidan's Natural History of Norway;
About a mile from the coast of Denmark, near Landscrona, three sailors, observing something like a dead body floating in the water, rowed towards it.
When they came within seven or eight fathoms, it still appeared as at first, for it had not stirred; but at that instant it sank, and came up almost
immediately in the same place. Upon this, out of fear, they lay still, and then let the boat float, that they might the better examine the monster,
which, by the help of the current, came nearer and nearer to them. He turned his face and stared at them, which gave them a good opportunity of
examining him narrowly. He stood in the same place for seven or eight minutes, and was seen above the water breast-high. At last they grew
apprehensive of some danger, and began to retire; at which the monster blew up his cheeks and made a kind of lowing noise, and then dived from their
In regard to his form, they declare in their affidavits, which were regularly taken and recorded, that he appeared like an old man, strong limbed,
with broad shoulders, but his arms they could not see. His head was small in proportion to his body, and had short, curled black hair, which did not
reach below his ears; his eyes lay deep in his head, and he had a meagre face, with a black beard; about the body downwards, this merman was quite
pointed like a fish.
A couple of other accounts for the interested;
In 1560, near the island of Mandar, on the west of Ceylon, some fishermen entrapped in their net seven mermen and mermaids, of which several Jesuits,
and Father Henriques, and Bosquez, physician to the Viceroy of Goa, were witnesses. The physician examined them with a great deal of care, and
dissected them. He asserts that the internal and external structure resembled that of human beings.
Captain Weddell, well known for his geographical discoveries in the extreme south of the globe, relates the following story:— “A boat’s crew
were employed on Hall’s Island, when one of the crew, left to take care of some produce, saw an animal whose voice was even musical. The sailor had
lain down, and about ten o’clock he heard a noise resembling human cries; and as daylight in these latitudes never disappears at this season, he
rose and looked around, but, on seeing no person, returned to bed. Presently he heard the noise again, rose a second time, but still saw nothing.
Conceiving, however, the possibility of a boat being upset, and that some of the crew might be clinging to some detached rocks, he walked along the
beach a few steps, and heard the noise more distinctly, but in a musical strain. Upon searching round, he saw an object lying on a rock a dozen yards
from the shore, at which he was somewhat frightened. The face and shoulders appear of human form, and of a reddish colour; over the shoulders hung
long green hair; the tail resembled that of the seal, but the extremities of the arms he could not see distinctly. The creature continued to make a
musical noise while he gazed about two minutes, and on perceiving him it disappeared in an instant. Immediately when the man saw his officer, he told
this wild tale, and to add weight to his testimony (being a Romanist) he made a cross on the sand, which he kissed, as making oath to the truth of his
statement. When I saw him, he told the story in so clear and positive a manner, making oath to its truth, that I concluded he must really have seen
the animal he described, or that it must have been the effect of a disturbed imagination.”