Saturday, 27 April 2013

Merfolk (Mermaids and Mermen)

Legends of the Merfolk have surrounded us all our lives. Everywhere there are stories of half human, half fish, creatures of the sea. All around the world tales of these creatures have been heard. Some depict them as beings of the light, others see them as malicious and evil. The Merfolk are both male and female, although the latter is more common. Often, when a ship is lost at sea, they become delusional, and spin tales of legendary beasts. Many consider the Merfolk to be one such creature. But the fact that they have been found in all corners of the Earth, that is enough to convince many they were, or are, real.
The Merfolk are human in appearance from the waist up, but from their hips and below they have the tail of a fish. The scales on this tail can vary in colour, from green to red and blue. Some are even multicoloured. The most common seem to be a sea-green. The torso of the creature is hominid in appearance, however, on their back is a dorsal fin, the colour being the same as their tail. Not all Merfolk have a dorsal fin however, it appears that only the elders do. The hair of the beast may vary in colour, from brown to green. The hair is usually long, and the females, the Mermaids, spend much time looking after it.
The Mermaids are said to have beautiful voices, which have often lured people to their deaths. They lay on rocks and sing, to entice passing ships. No sane man can resist the sound and they often steer the vessel toward the sound, where they are crushed upon the rocks. It is also said that if one of the Merfolk were to wash onto land and could not get back to water, they would take a temporary human form, to allow them to find water. Another legend holds that the kiss of a Mermaid will prevent a man from drowning, and many have attempted to capture one for this. It would mean that they could dive for lost treasures and never drown.
Modern opinion suggests that the Merfolk were invented by sailors lost at sea. One popular modern belief says that Sea Cows or Manatees were mistaken for Mermaids and Mermen. Another says that when men were lost at sea they became disillusioned and began seeing beautiful creatures in the distance. Merfolk were also used to explain shipwrecks in otherwise safe areas. But that does not explain how Merfolk reside in all corners of the world. Make up your own mind.
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