Mermaids are popular all over the world. Christopher Columbus and Henry Hudson both wrote detailed entries in their ship's logs about their encounters with mermaids. Merfolk 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 a 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 appear to be blue but this is likely related to the reflection of light on scales. Those merfolk that are grey are thought to be aged or feeble. 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 a while, 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 over 300 years old 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 underwater. 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 creatures they consider friends, such as dolphins, whales, manatees, dugongs, and serenia. They often play and exercise together.
The merfolk diet consists of sea lettuce, seaweed, 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 red 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.
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 dragonfly, 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.
See the Captains Lady's The Mermaid Diet. It's suitable for everyone in the entire family.
And, if you are into mermaids, you won't want to miss The Captains Lady's The Art of Mermaidism board on Pinterest.
Artwork: The Mermaid by John W. Waterhouse with a sepia overlay and ripple-effect.
Mari J. Dionne ~ CHP, CLC
"The older I get the more sure I am that one's thoughts create one's reality. They say home is where the heart is but I have found it is the mind that that determines where one's heart resides."
Forgotten English Health Terms
Fish-Whole - as sound as a fish or healthy
Blind Cupid - the backside
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 - 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
Dendranthoplology - the theory that man sprang from trees
Fash - to care, to trouble one's self, 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, stench, 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
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
Wamblecropped - humiliated
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
Whirligigs or Tallywags - testicles
Betwattled - to be surprised, confounded, out of one’s senses
Bone Box - the mouth
Dicked in the Nob - silly, crazed
Head Rails - teeth
Hickey - tipsy, hiccupping
Knowledge box - a term for the head
Sugar stick - the virile member
Pimpish - Dainty in the matter of food (taking in small quantities)
Witchify - to bewitch
Naufrage - shipwreck
Artwork & Photography Credits
Side Bar: Pen & Ink, Old Door, and Star (iStock.com ~ All rights reserved.) with sepia overlays.