This week is all about Mermaids.
From your locks down to your fins...
what do you call 'em?
(Yes, I went there!)
Do you know everything about Mermaids?
Are they real or a myth?
In ancient Syrian (-1000 B.C.), there was a goddess who went by the name of Atargatis. She was a fertility goddess whose cult eventually spread to Greece and Rome and was associated with water (especially lakes) and fish. Often depicted in mermaid form, Atargatis is perhaps the "original" mermaid. Legend has it that she dove into the lake to become a fish, but only her bottom half was transformed.
Before anyone dreamed of a mermaid, the "merman" was front and center. The Babylonian god Oannes predates the Syrian mermaid Atargatis by several thousand years. Apparently he had both a fish body and a human body. His human form was beneath his fish form, which allowed him to live among men, as well as in the sea.
In Old English, "mer" means "sea", and "maid" simply meant woman. Mermaids are therefore "women of the sea". Mermaids are fish-like people who swim through the oceans and the seas.
Aquamarine is the gemstone of the sea, and it's supposed to be a cherished object for mermaids. In addition to being treasure, people once believed this gemstone came from the tears of mermaids, and it used to be thought had the power to protect sailors when they were at sea, or when they fell into the water.
Hans Christian Andersen based the mermaids in his tale, 'The Little Mermaid,' on Scandinavian mermaids called the Havfine. These merfolk were able to live in both freshwater and saltwater. They were also supposed to be fairly temperamental, and have the ability to foretell the future. If a human being ever caught sight of one, it was considered a bad omen.
Did you know any of that?
I sure didn't.