Mermaids, sometimes also called sirens, are mythical creatures who supposedly live in theseas around the world. Their top half looks like a beautiful woman with long hair and from the waist down they have the body of a fish.
Sailors and fishermen have told stories of seeing mermaids forcenturies; the first sightings were made in Assyria around 1000BC. The popular image of a mermaid is sitting on a rock, admiring her beauty in a mirror.
Some mermaids were benevolent creatures,granting wishes to sailors who helped them. But to many seafarers seeing a mermaid meant bad luck, an omen of a storm or shipwreck. There are also tales of the mermaids' enchanting song enticing sailors ontorocks where their ships were smashed to pieces. They live in a kingdom on the bottom of the sea, and it is here they take their prisoners to. From this story, the fear amongst the sailor grew.
Therehave been a lot of sightings along the history; below I mention some of them:
• 'My attention was arrested by the appearance of a figure resembling an unclothed human female sitting on a rockextending to the sea, apparently in the action of combing its hair. It remained on the rock three or four minutes after I observed it, and was exercised during that period in combing its hair, which waslong and thick. I has a distinct view of the features, being at no great distance from an eminence above the rock on which it was sitting, and the sun brightly shining.'
'The Carmina Gadelica' WilliamMunro, Schoolmaster circa 1785. .
• A mermaid was said to haunt 'Mermaid Rock', Cornwall (UK). Whenever she was sighted it indicated that there was a shipwreck to be expected and therefore thelifeboats should be prepared. It was said that she lured the ships towards the rocks by her singing.
• The sighting of a mermaid in the UK was made in 1947 off the Isle of Muck, Scotland (UK)....