1810: Merchildren

Posted by: Loren Coleman on November 16th, 2010

British Press


December 5, 1810



A letter from Douglas contains a curious account of two Merchildren, lately discovered by three respectable tradesmen of that town, during an excursion on the Calf of Man, in quest of sea-fowl. Attracted by a sound somewhat resembling the cries of a young kitten, they found, on searching amongst the rocks, two small marine animals, exactly resembling in their form that species of creature, so often described and known by the name of the Merman.

One of them was dead and much lacerated by the violence with which it had been driven on shore, during a strong gale of wind on the preceding night; the other was, however, conveyed to Douglas, where it still remains, and seems likely to do well. It is one foot eleven inches and three quarters in length, from the crown of its head to the extremity of its tail; five inches across the shoulder; its skin is of a very pale brown colour, and the scales on its tail are tinged with violet; the hair (if it may be so called) on its head, is of a light green cast, it is attached to the crown of the head, only hanging loose about the face, about four inches in length, very gelatinous to the touch, and somewhat resembling the green sea-weed commonly growing on rocks; its mouth is small, and has no appearance of teeth. It delights much in swimming about in a large tub of sea-water, and feeds chiefly on muscles [sic; mussels] and other shell-fish, which it devours with great avidity; it also now and then swallows small portions of milk and water, when given to it in a quill.

Loren Coleman About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.

2 Responses to “1810: Merchildren”

  1. coelacanth1938 responds:

    Could that be some kind of otter?

  2. E responds:


    Seems like mutant otter if you ask me. 🙂

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