Mermaids are popular all over the world. Christopher Columbus and Henry Hudson both wrote detailed entries in their ships logs about their encounters with mermaids. They have been spotted in China, Japan, Korea, Hawaii, the South Pacific Islands, Denmark, Ireland, Wales, Scotland and Iceland. Japan says you gain mortality without aging by eating the flesh of a 'Ningyo' and the 'Syrenka' has been the symbol of Warsaw since the 14th Century.
Mermaids and Mermen appear human in form from the waist on up and as fish from the waist on down. They have smaller sex organs than humans. The lower body, appearing to have scales, is actually very smooth and their tails are iridescent, which causes them to shimmer and sparkle in the water. There are, reportedly, greenish, white and black skinned merfolk. Some even have two tails rather than one.
Mermaids are said to be beautiful, having ageless beauty, although some resources say they are not as beautiful as some have reported. Perhaps they were speaking of the males. Mermen tend to be uglier than females and can be quite wild and scary.
A Mermaid is a mammal. Her lungs are able to breathe both the air from the sky and the oxygen from water. In fact, Mermaids and Mermen can be on land for awhile, if they choose, before swimming back out to sea.
Mermaids give birth as other mammals do. Merbabies learn to swim immediately, but are often carried encircled in the mother's arms as she glides through the water. As they mature, they often grasp on to their mothers hair or tail fin to be pulled along, especially when they are tired. Mermaids can live to be 300 years old, or longer, and then dissolve into sea foam.
Humans, especially men, are attracted to the song of the Mermaid. If a Mermaid falls in love with a human male she will go to great lengths to show him how much she loves him. If he returns her love, she may live forever as a mortal and give birth to a mortal child. If not, she is doomed to watch the land babies from the shore.
Yes. Mermaids do sleep. Mermen snore, while females do not, as they are more sensitive to water disturbances that air bubbles cause, and all merfolk dream.
Mermaids live in underwater castles and coral caves. They often travel great distances and sleep over in underwater shelves and coves. They have even been known to visit lakes, rivers and swamps. During their travels they collect treasures, such as seashells, pearls, and anything that has been lost at sea. They take them home for useful purposes and souvenirs.
The personality of merfolk differs between male and female. Mermen don't care much for humans and avoid them. Too bad, as they are able to cure sickness, grant wishes and lift curses. Mermaids have a tendency to be innocently vain, loving their own images. Mermaids often warn sailors of a coming storm or disaster. They, like the Mermen, are able to offer cures to sicknesses, but often expect something in return for their favors, often feeling slighted if they are not rewarded. In this case, they may provoke a storm or curse a ship so that sailors will fall into the ravaging sea or ground their ships. Not realizing her own physical strength, she may squeeze a drowning victim too hard and cause his death. Sometimes, Mermaids forget that humans can't breathe under water. While carrying him home in order to help him, he loses his life to the sea.
Merfolk have many friends and a strong social network. Among their friends are the Sirens, Harpies, Nereids, Oceanides, Dryads, Selkies, Sea People and Water Fairies. I am sure there are even more that they consider friends, such as dolphins, whales, manatees, dugongs and serenia. They often play and exercise together.
The merfolk diet consists of sea lettuce, sea weed, algae and other sea vegetables. Occasionally, they'll eat a fish or two, but most are against this just as many humans are against eating read meat. When on land, they often search for nuts, berries and other fruits, plants and roots. If they are really hungry they may opt for an egg or two. They are not fond of grains and never eat animals or birds. We could all benefit from eating this same type of diet and rightly so, as our origins came from the sea.
How do merfolk exercise? For merfolk it is important to increase upper body and back strength in order to age more gracefully. There's nothing worse than a case of dropsy for a Mermaid. Mermaids should exercise moderately, longer, and more frequent routines than Mermen, who benefit from exercising shorter, fewer and more intense routines. They swim and do water aerobics, of course, perform water sports and engage in Mermaid Pilates (there is such a thing). As humans, we can mimic these activities and add others, such as scuba diving, kayaking and beach-walking.
Mermaids, especially merchildren, often have pets, such as hermit crabs, snails, toads, and an occasional dragon fly, which are treated with love and allowed to roam freely. Of course, the very young must be taught to keep their pets out of their mouths.
Mermaids can suffer from back ache, irritable bowel and chronic pain just like we do, although their daily abdominal exercises usually keep these at bay. Mermaids can also contract herpes. Both, humans and fish can contract herpes and mermaids are a cross between the two. Don't believe me? Take a look a this.
The Mermaid Diet provides a wealth if information on devising a genetically appropriate nutrition plan for wellness and weight management.
Artwork: The Mermaid (detail) by John W. Waterhouse
Mari J. Dionne ~ CHP, CLC
Whirligigs ~ Testicles
Accoucheur ~ A male mid-wife.
Kingsevil ~ A disease or swelling of the cervical lymph nodes.
Valitudinary ~ Subject to sickness; crazy.
Chime-Child ~ A child born on Sunday who was immune to witchcraft, could see ghosts, and was a natural healer.
Periblepsis ~ A delirious stare of the eyes.
Wormland ~ A churchyard.
Green-Sickness ~ A disease incident to virgins; sickly paleness, with green tint of complexion.
Tissek or Tissicky Cough ~ A tickling faint cough.
Multiplying Medicine ~ An elixer of the alchemists, used in making and multiplying gold.
Peat-Reek-Whisky ~ Highland whiskey, distilled over peat fires.
Belly-Brussen ~ A distended stomach or having a protuberant stomach.
Oint ~ To smear with an unctuous substance (usually having to do with painting or disguising something).
Farbed-Up ~ Confused
Nyctobasis ~ Somnambulism; to walk in one's sleep.
Roozles ~ Wretchedness of mind and body.
Coolth ~ Coolness (opposite of warmth).
Pharmacopolist ~ An apothecary.
Laver ~ To wash (before dinner).
Gothicism ~ To be rude or rudeness.
Desuetude ~ Lack of use.
Splay the Bream ~ To cut up that fish.
Doctor of Skill ~ A physician.
Pimpish ~ Dainty in the matter of food (taking in small quantities.)
Dendranthoplology ~ The theory that man sprang from trees.
Fash ~ Care, trouble, anxiety.
Satisfy Colon ~ To satisfy one's hunger.
Neurasthenia ~ Debility or impairment of the nerves.
Trollibags ~ The intestines.
Cothish ~ Faint, sickly, ailing.
Fogo ~ A disagreeable stink or smell.
With Squirrel ~ Pregnant
Pottinger ~ A cook, apothecary, druggist (Scotland).
Pomster ~ A quack doctor; to treat illness without knowledge or skill.
Bleflummery ~ Vain imaginings.
Venefice ~ A practice of poisoning.
Fish-Whole ~ As sound as a fish or healthy.
Weaponsalve ~ A salve that was supposed to cure the wound by applying it to the weapon that caused it.
Overset ~ To recover from mental shock.
Fordolked ~ Wounded.
Witchify ~ To bewitch.
Wamblecropped ~ Humiliated
Naufrage ~ Shipwreck
Peffle ~ In a nervous state.
Measondue ~ A hospital or poor house.
Dead-Nip ~ A blue mark on the body not caused by an injury or any known cause...sometimes called a witch's nip.
Sadly On ~ Expressing that a person is ill or in a bad way.
The Captains Lady, 2005~2017.
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