Are mermaids real?
No one really knows for sure.
Do entire civilizations of merfolk live in enchanted underwater castles and cities in societies a lot like ours?
Maybe since the ocean is so vast and deep, merfolk have managed to remain hidden. In fact, scientists suspect that approximately 90 percent of the ocean is unexplored. That leaves a lot of ocean where mermaids can hide!
Even though lots of people have seen mermaids, no one can absolutely prove they exist. On the other hand, no one can fully prove that they don’t exist either.
We do have eyewitness accounts. Even famous people have seen mermaids. Christopher Columbus, the famous explorer who discovered America, wrote in his journal that once while he was exploring the Caribbean, he saw three mermaids rise high out of the water. The sight must have been thrilling! But Columbus was disappointed. He didn’t find them beautiful or enchanting at all. I think he must have seen mermen instead!
Henry Hudson, who discovered the Hudson Bay in the United States, saw a mermaid in 1608. In his journal he described her as having white, pale skin and long, black hair. Her tail was shaped like a porpoise, and speckled like a mackerel.
And John Smith, an American explorer who was a friend of Pocahontas, actually fell in love with a mermaid! The story goes that John saw a lovely maiden swimming and immediately felt the first stirrings of love. Apparently he found her long green hair quite attractive! He was talking and flirting with her from aboard the ship when he was jolted by something shocking. From the waist down, she was a fish!
Those sightings happened centuries ago, but people still see mermaids in our day. Glimpses have been specifically reported in the 20th and 21st centuries in Canada, Israel, and Zimbabwe. Truly, throughout the centuries, countless numbers of sailors have reported seeing a mermaid swimming off the bows of their ships in every ocean around the globe.
Scientists believe that the sightings are cases of misidentification—that people are actually seeing manatees, dugongs, or some other ocean species.
Columbus, they say, saw three manatees. Most people laugh at that theory saying someone would have to be at sea an awfully long time to think that a manatee is a woman or mermaid—or have really bad eyesight! I think that someone who had been on the ocean as much as Columbus would have seen manatees before and would know the difference.
A few years ago, Animal Planet aired two documentaries that claimed to have proof and scientific evidence that mermaids exist. Unfortunately, the “scientists” that were interviewed on the show were actually actors. People were angry and confused. Were the shows real or fake? Do mermaids exist or don’t they? Finally the United States government issued an official statement: “no credible evidence of the existence of mermaids has ever been found.”
But what is out there in that mostly unexplored world of the ocean? Could evidence that mermaids exist someday be found?
What do you think?
Do you believe mermaids are real?