Ah, the majestic mermaid. Half woman, half fish, and all mythological creature. But have you ever wondered where mermaids came from? Was there some kind of freak accident at a fish market? Did a group of sailors get a little too lonely at sea? Let's explore the origin of mermaids, shall we?
The concept of mermaids actually goes way back to ancient civilisations. The first recorded instance of mermaids was in Assyria, where a goddess named Atargatis was depicted with the lower body of a fish. It's said that Atargatis was so beautiful that she unintentionally killed a human lover, causing her to flee to the sea and take on her fishy form.
From there, mermaids popped up in various other cultures, like the Greek sirens and the merrow of Irish folklore. But it wasn't until the Age of Exploration that mermaids really took off.
Sailors, who were probably just really bored and lonely, claimed to have seen mermaids while at sea. Of course, they were probably just seeing manatees or other marine life, but who am I to crush their dreams?
Mermaids have since become a staple in popular culture, appearing in everything from Disney movies to Starbucks frappuccinos. But the real question is, do mermaids actually exist?
Well, there's no scientific evidence to prove their existence, but that doesn't mean we can't keep dreaming!
Wishing you and all the sailors out there a very happy International Mermaid Day!
About Victoria Hall
Victoria Hall is an English-born, Australian-based writer and illustrator. She is the creator of three picture books for children, Penny Prickles at Coogee Beach, Eggy Peggy Has Lost Her Leggy and The Fairy Beasts. For more updates, follow Victoria on Instagram or check out her bio here.