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MERMAIDS: MYTHICAL CREATURES THROUGHOUT HISTORY

by Caro, March 28, 2013

Brought to you by OBS reviewer Heidi

 

Mermaids are one of the more well-known aquatic creatures of legend with the top half of their bodies in a human form, but with the tail of a fish.  The stories, depicting mermaids from books, to TV, and even movies have varying traits depending on how the creators wants to depict them.  But where does this usually beautiful creature originate from?  Read on to find out more!

Mermaids have appeared in folklore throughout the ages, but the first known references to them were in ancient Assyria around 1000 B.C.  The stories foretold the goddess Atargatis accidentally killing her human lover and turning herself into a mermaid as an act of shame; the waters not allowing her to give up her beauty completely.  Therefore, only making half of her a fish.

Mermaids are often associated with tumultuous events such as shipwrecks, floods, and drowning.  Just like Ariel saving Prince Eric in Disney’s Little Mermaid!  Other stories will show them as beautiful temptresses, often falling in love with humans.  Greek mythology often associates them with Sirens.

It’s interesting that the legend of mermaids seems to stretch worldwide, although the belief of these creatures varies from region to region.  European countries tend to have a more negative view of the creatures, while others such as the Pacific Isles see them as signs of good fortune.  The mermaid is even the symbol of the city of Warsaw, Poland.

Mermaid sightings have been reported throughout history, even the likes of  Christopher Columbus supposedly reported such experiences.  But it is believed to be a misunderstanding and there have been no documented proof of their existence.

Books with Mermaids:

  • The Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Anderson.
  • Tempest Series by Tracey Deebs.
  • Fins Series by Tera Lynn Childs.
  • Of Poseidon Series by Anna Banks.

TV with Mermaids:

  • H20: Just add Water

Movies with Mermaids:

  • Aquamarine
  • Splash
  • Lady in the Water
  • The Little Mermaid (Disney animated)
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

 

 

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