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Exposing a Mermaid Cult

Posted by: Nick Redfern on July 31st, 2013

John William Waterhouse's A Mermaid, 1901

“While the notion that the United Kingdom might actually be the home of living, breathing, flesh-and-blood mermaids will inevitably be greeted by many with the justified rolling of eyes and hoots of derision, it is an undeniable and astonishing fact that such beliefs persisted for centuries. And, in those parts of the U.K. where the many and varied traditions and superstitions of times-past can still be found lurking, that belief actually quietly continues – to a shocking and sinister degree.

“The word ‘mermaid’ is derived from a combination of ‘mere,’ the Old-English word for ‘sea,’ and ‘maid,’ meaning, of course, ‘woman.’ According to old sea-faring legends, mermaids would often deliberately sing to sailors to try and enchant them; with the secret and malevolent intent of distracting them from their work and causing their ships to run disastrously aground.”

But there’s far more to it all than that, including a disturbing story that I’ll soon be exposing in full, and parts of which I already reference in the article – which is my latest post for Mysterious Universe.

Nick Redfern About Nick Redfern
Punk music fan, Tennents Super and Carlsberg Special Brew beer fan, horror film fan, chocolate fan, like to wear black clothes, like to stay up late. Work as a writer.


3 Responses to “Exposing a Mermaid Cult”

  1. cryptokellie responds:

    From Nick Redfern’s article; “Exposing a Mermaid Cult”… “Whether or not real mermaids exist is, of course, a matter of great debate!”

    No, there is no debate…mermaids and all human hybrid merbeings do not exist and didn’t ever exist. The blending of human and fish biology doesn’t work on so many levels that any discussion in truth is ridiculous. As to a Mermaid Cult and the nefarious doings of said group, there are real cults worshiping all manner of inane subjects, real or imagined, so a group of misguided people with too much time and resources on their hands wouldn’t surprise me in the least. One only has think on the “Heaven’s Gate” cult and what was happening there to realize that a Mermaid Cult is not the least bit fanciful.

    “Insanity in individuals is something rare – but in groups…it is the rule.” Nietzsche.

  2. MattPriceTime responds:

    Why in the world are grown people still thinking of mermaids as half human and half fish? Can you please observe what is reported of the creature? Just about everything about it screams aquatic mammal, Are you that incline to think “ocean=fish”? Let’s take a moment here based upon years and years of these things:

    Mermaids don’t swim side to side like a fish, they swim like that of a dolphin, whale or seal. Mermaids have mammary glands, meaning mammal reproductive system, thus far again it would function like a dolphin, seal or whale and not like that of a fish with eggs. The attraction to other mammals is also something that is indicator of mammal. Plenty of mammals have humped different species. The coming to surface of mermaid sightings is the other indicator of it needing air hence forth being a mammal. Let’s not forget what’s the animal often used to discredit mermaids? Oh yes the manatee, an aquatic mammal. Buying into more fancy tailed Disney versions is not appropriate. Every bit of mermaid behavior reported since the days of old, clearly show anyone calling it “half fish” need to stop.

    We shouldn’t discount everything, we should investigate. Now am i 100% convinced mermaids exist? No. Do i see something that is worth looking at? Yes. Something saying “it’s a mix and couldn’t be real” is just ignorance. Cynical scientists doubted the Okapi and the Platypus for being hodepodge combinations of other traits that couldn’t possibly be together on one real animal. Look how much their ignorance got them.

    I doubt anyone is pulling a fully developed intelligent Ariel out of the water (at least in this point in my life), but i think there is more than enough reason to look for something that may be a little more like a mermaid that is being misidentified. More so than what we know today. if it’s something that for a period of time went convergent in some ways to humans that people misidentified then that would make a lot of sense. Since most of the reports were people on ships afterall there could be a large margin of error, but most people don’t seem to believe a current manatee or seal is enough to make that jump, I tend to agree with that. More of the fanciful parts were born of legends based on something real (in a way like the elements akin to the gorilla before it’s discovery) that was rare and smart enough to try not to get caught by something far more dangerous (humans).

  3. cryptokellie responds:

    The only thing that I am discounting is the creature pictured with this article – a human/fish hybrid creature. No such thing. Can’t happen. This classic image has been handed down from the ancient Greeks and their mythos/religion, filtered through the Roman versions and has become an indelible part of maritime folklore. But an actual living being…no. As for a living animal that might represent the mermaid and account for sightings and details of said sightings…well, there are a lot of problems with this concept. After completely discarding human/fish hybrid idea, what are we left with? Let skip over the sirenia specie misidentifications for now and look at why the classic mermaid is a non-starter. The attributes that make the mermaid so alluring and so much on display in the canard TV “Mermaid: Body Found” specials, are not viable adaptations for aquatic mammals. The sexy shape is completely wrong for an aquatic mode of life. A long, full head of hair is also a deterrent to hydro-dynamics, as are a thin neck and a flat face. Long thin arms would be a disaster in a fully aquatic mammal and fully webbed fingers wouldn’t be a help to anything at depth. Tape your fingers together into a fully webbed hand and see just what you are able to do. As all mammals have mammary glands, fully aquatic mammals do not have the lovely breasts that are probably more than half the reason that mermaids continue to be attractive ideas.
    Exterior breasts would be a serious drag issue for an aquatic species and at depth, they wouldn’t function anyway which is why no fully aquatic mammals possess them. Just compare the physique of a swim-suit model with an Olympic swimmer and you’ll get the idea. Streamlining is everything and what doesn’t make you streamlined isn’t needed. So when you’ve lost the basic humanesque shape and details due to aquatic evolutionary requirements, what are we left with…probably the real mermaid stand-ins, namely sirenia seen though grog-colored glasses and a longing for shore side companionship. The better question would be…why in the world are grown people still thinking of mermaids at all. But I completely agree, we need to stop calling mermaids half fish and start calling them whole cloth.



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