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Do mermaids really exist ?

How attractive the word "mermaid" sounds! Roughly speaking, they have stretched people's imagination and have added embellishing details to world's best legends and movies. A mermaid, by the roughest definition, is the mythical sea creature with a woman's trunk and fish's tail, instead of legs. The captivating tales, featuring mermaids in the sea have puzzled people worldwide and there is a remarkable array of reports of these strange creatures which throw the hearers off balance.

Most observers rightly claim that the origin and existence of these mysterious creatures fall beyond the boundaries of human understanding and reasoning. As most of these sightings of mermaids have remained unexplained, in spite of thorough investigations, some others say that they might be some form of aliens or activity of paranormal.

Buddhist literature, specially Jathaka tales, is profusely scattered with references of mermaids living both in water and in jungles. The Jathaka tales spell out the marked trait of mermaids, that is, they lived in pairs in the jungles and were in the habit of couple dancing which is well illustrated by Chanda Kinnara Jathaka.

They were clearly distinguishable from their ocean counterparts because they were land inhabitants who had something like bird's claws instead of fish's tail to stand. This clearly illustrates that there are many kinds of mermaids typically defined by the place they live in.

It is undisputedly proved that the most primeval reference to mermaids dates far back into 5000 BC. Archaeological findings reveal that there was a freaky god who carried a perfect resemblance to a mermaid among the range of gods worshipped by the Babylonians'. This god, "Owannesse", was characterised by a strange body with an upper part which resembled that of a man and with a Lower part being almost a fish's tail. This eerie mermaid god is seen illustrated on the inscribed tablets of stone and is considered an extremely sacred symbol of divine power. Several references to "Owannesse" occur in Arabian folklore which make allusions of people who were constantly worshipping the mermaid god in the far distant past. the Louvre Museum of Paris still lays out the archaeological evidence which prove that worship of Owannesse widely existed in ancient world. The biblical reference to the god of "Daagon" with fish's tail unveils the fact that high level of divine power had been ascribed to mermaids centuries after the antediluvian period.

Oceanographers are positive

Even if the belief in the existence of some form of mermaids has been adamantly challenged, the oceanographers are positive about the possibility of mermaids existing in the deep recesses of the sea.

They are not prepared to accept the common belief that even the single sign of mermaids has been wiped out from the surface of the earth, yet they think these ocean creatures might be snuggling covertly somewhere in the deep waters. They might appear on the water surface unexpectedly, baffle people with unprecedented sights, show momentary swimming movements and disappear into the deep.

Although much scientific research has been carried out, the final conclusion has made it clear that the presence of mermaids is beyond the scope of normal scientific understanding. However, oceanographic studies show that the potential for existence of mermaids is far greater than that of non-existence of these sea creatures. Scientists have rejected the general tendency to regard strange sightings of mermaids as stark myth because there are many more regions, varieties of strange animals and plants hitherto unexplored by humans in different parts of the world. Accordingly as oceanographers affirm, much less of the great sea has been grasped by the human research and many varieties of unidentified or unknown fish still live in the great depths of the sea.

Views of anthropologists

As anthropologists agree, in the earliest stages of development, some humans have migrated to coastal areas in search of new kinds of plants and food which grew lushly in the shallow sea. For considering a long time, humans had been diving underwater for edible seaweeds. Consequently, these humans, through millions of years, grew accustomed to life in the water and gradually developed physical changes needed for life in the sea. The result? The gradual metamorphosis from a human to human fish! Anthropological studies show that, in comparison to the highly perplexing changes that have come about in creatures in the course of biological evolution, it is sensible to conclude that mermaids have evolved from earliest humans who had moulded their life to the life under-water.

Scientists offer a powerful justification to this conclusion. It was chronic of people to reject the earliest legends involving mythical creatures like dinosaurs, but scientific and archaeological explorations reveal that they really existed on earth, based on fossil discoveries. Therefore, the mythical animals who gave birth to the legends and depictions on the prehistoric caves must have existed though they have gone into extinction through the activities of humans, natural disasters and environmental factors.

Arresting sighting of mermaids

Peter Edwardson, an engineer in Yorkshire, found it an extremely fine, sunny day for a cruise in the sea. He was accompanied by his assistant Carl Ludwig. Their primary aim was to research an island of limestone surrounded by crags and deep sea. They were within sight of the island when suddenly Peter saw a creature sitting on a crag by the side of the island. A close glimpse revealed that it was a half naked girl with a lower part being the very image of a fish's tail. They instantly guessed it to be a mermaid and went closer to the crag she was sitting on. She gazed at them with a look of dismay and the next moment she jumped and disappeared into the deep waters.

For a few minutes, her brown hair was seen floating along her trail and with a final erection of her fin, she dived into the blue water. Peter gave up his idea of research and quickly turned back with his friend. This strange sighting, confirmed even by his friend, was reported in the local newspapers in 1933 but the readers refusingly questioned the credibility of sighting such a phenomenon.

Peter revealed he had seen something akin to fish's scales spotting her body and her wild face which lacked the womanish smoothness, only betrayed animal panickiness. The sheer astonishment left him so beyond control of common sense that he could not get the fullest picture of the thing, within the three minutes, in which the mermaid was in view. The creature, Peter said, glided quaintly along the rock with the help of the fin before jumping headlong into the water.

According to him, the mermaid's face was narrow and the protruding eyes had a rather round shape which reminded him of fish's eyes. Moreover, Peter remembered to have seen eerie spots on the naked body of the creature and his assistant too confirmed to have seen the same.

William Moornow, a government teacher in Scotland claimed to have caught sight of a mermaid probably basking on a rock on the beach. He had a personal preference to stroll every evening along the Bay of Sand Side which was an outstanding beach purely because of its perfectly healthful surroundings. One evening, while he was on a leisurely stroll along the upper part of the Bay, Moornow suddenly caught a brief view of a fair lady with brownish hair sitting alone on a rock by the sea. In an exclusive interview with the Times magazine Moornow has given a lively picture of what he witnessed.

Witness

In it, he maintains that there were some people on the beach at that moment and everybody's attention was being focused on the fair lady as she seemed stark naked! Her nude posture in Solitude, filled Moornow, including those on the beach with a blend of bafflement and enthusiasm and the next moment they were approaching the mysterious lady.

But they were despaired when the lady, on studying the approaching crowd, threw herself on to the watery expanse,

The "Times" says the region of the sea, into which the mermaid was said to have plunged, is a highly perilous watery expanse spotted with highly precipitous rocks with violent waves constantly splashing against them. Regardless of every attempt to catch any sign of her in this violent region of the sea, all the efforts turned futile as nobody was ready to risk his life in the perilous sea to trace her hiding place. The people who were on the beach, expressed their amazement on espying the fish's tail of the lady just when she jumped into the water.

Robert S. Penker, of England is yet another witness to a mermaid, who is reported to have had an indescribably surreal experience with a mermaid while he was swimming in the sea. He was swimming in the shallow sea at the beach of Cornwall, somewhere in 1825; when all of a sudden, he felt his feet being enveloped by something cold like a rubber strip. Utterly terrified, Penker shook his feet desperately and turned back only to see a beautiful girl embracing him slowly with caressing touches. He clearly heard the sweet reed sound she was making although her lips were seen to be tightly closed.

This penetrating music was only momentary but he felt himself snuggled in her arms and he was stupefied when she kept him on a rock before she vanished in to the water. Subsequent efforts by him to track her hiding place proved abortive because he found nothing except for rocks, coral reefs in the vast watery stretch.

A spectacular find was made by some fishermen in Saudi Arabia sometime back in 1981. The fishermen watched, with disbelief, an eccentrically unfamiliar fish with human legs which had been washed ashore following a fatal accident that had brutally damaged its legs. Oceanographers in Saudi Arabia focused their highest attention to this aquatic creature because it had the upper part of a fish and the lower part with human legs.

They concluded the creature as is the popular belief, to be a mermaid fish which had died of lethal wounds caused by a fishing hook a few hours before it was found lying on the shore. Japanese and Saudi Arabian newspapers gave a resounding publicity to this strange find and carried absorbingly interesting reports with headlines which claimed that the mermaid fish had died in the efforts by naval officers to capture her by using a fishing hook in the deep sea.

Fatal wounds

It was virtually clear that the mermaid had fatal wounds on the back, made by a sharp fishing hook in her struggle to break free. The Saudi Arabian media openly denounced that Saudi officials had made no arrangements to preserve the mermaid's body in a museum for further investigations and explorations. The officials, on the defensive, claimed that no fully-fledged museum was available in the country to successfully preserve a dead body of that nature anyway. However, by the time the valuable news of the priceless captive reached the world through media, the corpse of the amazing human fish had long been lying rotten on the shore, with a battery of people flocking every minute, to see it.

Thus the biological researchers missed a valuable thing which could have unravelled mysteries and have revealed much more about inner mechanism and evolution of mermaids. The naval officers too had not officially informed the authorities about the capture or where it had been found. For some inexplicable reason, the navigators often hesitate to disclose their sightings or capturing of mermaids, to the government authorities and thus, many more valuable discoveries go unpublished as a result.

Charming girl

They tend to show marked restraint in speaking about these sightings probably because they may think such discoveries are insignificant experience or they might be fearing consequential punishment or severe questioning by the relevant authorities.

Henry Hudson, a navigator once saw a charming girl swimming alongside of his ship. Everybody's mind on board went totally blank as to what to think of a lady swimming unaccompanied in the bleak, deep sea in the murky evening.

The navigators very well knew that at this darker stage of twilight, nobody not even the most experienced swimmer, would have ventured to jump into the tempestuous sea, let alone a lady.

They instantly surmised her to be a sea creature and cast a fishing net to capture her but, with a gymnastic movement, she jumped backwards and dived underwater displaying her fish's tail! Hudson's astonishment at this freak of nature knew no bounds and subsequently he had mentioned about it in 1608, on a naval log entry in which he assertively stated the extent to which the incident had affected him.

It is not advisable, however, to believe that mermaids really exist in the very form envisaged by mythologists but some eccentric fish with human features - somewhat akin to the picture of mermaids that we know - are sure to exist in the unexplored deep.

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