Welcome to the last day of Mythical Wild Facts. We are going to end it with another popular mythical creature. Disney has made the Mermaid popular with The Little Mermaid but where does the myth come from? Stick around and we will find out everything you ever wanted to know about the Mermaid. You will see the Mermaid doesn’t just exist in Disney cartoons. They are actually quite famous in folklore, literature and of course popular culture.
I can’t remember if the Little Mermaid sang (but I am sure she did) but Mermaids are often known for singing to people and God’s alike which would distract them from their work, which would cause them to accidentally walk off the ship or drive the large boat into the ground. No doubt about it, if I was sitting at my computer working and a Mermaid started singing…. I would be distracted. Other legends have the Mermaid squeezing the life out of drowning men as they tried to save them. You wouldn’t want to put that on your resume if you are applying for a lifeguard position.
So where did the Mermaid come from? Well, the first known stories were started in Assyria (this area is now known as Iraq) in 1000 BC. The Mermaid was created when the goddess, Atargatis, loved a human shepherd. The goddess accidentally killed her mortal lover. She was so ashamed that she jumped into the lake to take the form of a fish, however, the waters were unable to hide her divine beauty. From that point on she took the form of a Mermaid – human above the waist and a fish below. The earliest depictions of Atargatis has her as a fish with a human head and legs. I think Ariel, The Little Mermaid, would looked funny as a fish with a human head and legs.
Mermaid Fast Fact – It is believed that creatures such as the Mermaid represented our understanding that humans were one with animals but also different from them. I think somewhere along the lines we have forgot that humans are one with the animals.
Well that does it for a very unique week of Mythical Wild Facts. I hope you enjoyed the break from our standard animals. We will be back next week with known, living animals. Have a great weekend everyone!