What are Mermaids?

Mermaids are creatures who never existed in actual life, but who exist in the folklore of almost every people. They are supposed to be beautiful creatures who live in the sea. Half human and half fish.

In ancient Greek mythology, the mermaids are the sirens who entice sailors to their deaths. In German folk tales, mermaids are called Rhine maidens and live in a castle at the bottom of a river. Even the Red Indians had a legendary tale about a mermaid!

Mermaids were are usually represented as having human bodies as far as the waist, but fish-like tails from the waist down. In addition to mermaids, there were also supposed to be mermen. The often fell in love with mortal maidens whom they captured or lured away in the ancient stories.

It is hard to say where the idea of mermaids and mermen originated. It may have begun when the earliest explorers and traders went sailing over the ocean. Primitive people, who had never seen boats before, may have thought the sailors came up from the depths of the sea and were therefore half-fish.

It is also possible that the legends were started by glimpses of sea creatures who vaguely resembled human beings. Manatees, seals, and walruses are thought to have been mistaken at times for half-human creatures.

There are several stories told about mermaids in all countries. Mermaids are supposed to reveal things that are about to happen. It is said that a mermaids imparts supernatural powers to a human being.

There is a story of a mermaids who falls in love with a human being, lives with him for a time, and than because some promise is broken, returns to her true home in the sea. In another legend, a mermaids fall in love with a man and entices him to go and live with her below the sea.

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