Mermaids are surrounded by stories and tails that go back thousands of years. We've been doing some research and put together some of the best facts we could find. Here are 12 facts about mermaids and we've also put them together in a fun infographic too. We hope you like it:
1. The Earliest Mermaid Legends Come From Syria
Dating back to 1000bc, Atargatis from Syria is the “original” mermaid. Legend has it that she dove into a lake to become a fish, but only her bottom half was transformed. Nearby to her temple was a sacred lake, filled with many varieties of fish, including her sacred animal. These fish were well-kept, sometimes even ornamented with jewels. These special fish even knew their names and would come when called and sometime even enjoy being stroked!
2. Sea Cows (Manatees) were often mistaken for Mermaids
Sea cows are large mammals that were often mistaken by sailors out at sea. Christopher Columbus was reported to have seen “ugly & fat mermaids”. We don't think Sea Cows are ugly at all. Here's a video that show how beautiful they are.
3. Mermaids have 4 main superpowers
Mermaids are blessed with a number of superpowers with the 4 main ones being Immortality, Seeing the future, Telepathy and Hypnosis. It's been said that they may also possess further abilities such as being able to change water into different things like steam & fire and having super strength.
4. There are 4 main type of mermaids
Mermaids come in many different shapes and sizes with unique characteristics. We've found 4 of the main types. However different variations have been mentioned in ancient stories and texts.
- Traditional mermaids - The most common Mermaids. These are Sea dwelling only mermaids and never venture onto land.
- Irish shedding mermaids - Irish folklore tells of "shedding mermaids" that have the ability to shed their tail and walk on land like humans.
- Shape Shifters - These amazing mermaids can actually change to human form at will and come onto land and "blend in".
- Merfolk - The merfolk, according to ancient lore are human looking mermaids that live on the land and sea. This type of mermaid can breathe underwater and is very difficult to spot.
5. Aquamarine Is from Mermaid Tears
Aquamarine is a beautiful blue gemstone. It's name means "water of the sea" and legend has it that it's created from mermaid tears. Aquamarine is also the name of an Australian film from 2006 which featured mermaids..
6. The word Mermaid means ‘Women of the sea’
The word 'Mermaid' is a made up of the Old English words mere (sea), and maid (a girl or young woman). When you look up the word mermaid in the dictionary you'll find:
1. (in folklore) a female marine creature, having the head, torso, and arms of a woman and the tail of a fish.
2. a highly skilled female swimmer.
Of course if you are a swimmer you can become a mermaid with one of our mermaid tails.
7. Mermen are the original merfolk
The merman Babylonian God Oannes was mentioned around 7000 years before Atargatis (see fact 1). He was a water god with the upper body of a man and the lower body of a fish.
Legend says he was a great teacher sharing knowledge with humans.
In the daytime he would come up to the seashore of the Persian Gulf and instruct mankind in writing, the arts, and the sciences.
8. Mermaids are featured in over 16 movies
Mermaids appear in loads of movies and films. As well as the mermaid themed films like Aquamarine, The Little Mermaid and Splash (and yes there is a remake happening as we speak starring Channing Tatum) they've also appeared in huge blockbusters like Harry Potter and the Pirates of the Caribbean.
Here's a video from Youtuber Mermaid Petronella which features clips from 15 of the best mermaid movies.
9. A Mermaid Kiss gives you gills
Legend has it that a kiss from a mermaid can give you some amazing abilities, including being able to breathe underwater.
Other stories suggest that a kiss from a mermaid may also give the receiver other enchanting powers such as the ability to heal people.
Along side the magical powers of a kiss, the tears of a mermaid are said to unlock the power from the fountain of youth.
You can try and catch a kiss from a mermaid in this free online mermaid kiss game.
10. Mermaids don’t have a great singing voice
Many people think that mermaids have a beautiful singing voice which they used to lure sailors onto the rocks, however legends states it was Sirens who were to blame for all the shipwrecks.
11. The most expensive mermaid tail produced cost over £10,000 (2013)
Linden Wolbert is a professional mermaid from Los Angeles in California. Her amazing hydro-dynamic tail weighs 35lb and cost over £10,000 to make. Linden is available for parties and events and works as a mermaid as a full time job.
Take a look at the tail in action:
12. The colour of a mermaids tail depicts her mood
The colour of a mermaids tail is a clear sign of her mood. It reflects the mermaid's personality! Here at URAmermaid we have a wide range of enchanting colours and moods so you'll be sure to find one that reflects you perfectly.
Take a look at our full range of mood fabrics and let us know your favourite!
We hope you enjoyed the amazing mermaid facts. If you think we've missed any, please let us know by posting a comment below.