Sirens

Sirens (Sirenia in Latin means mermaid)

The Sirens have been around since man started exploring the world by sea. Ancient maps have drawings of sea serpents and mermaids. Cristóbal (Christopher) Columbus men saw Sirens in their many journeys throughout the Caribbean. In recent times a mermaid is portrayed as being beautiful but in this time they were said to be ugly. Columbus wrote in one of his journals “[A crewman] saw three mermaids, who rose very high from the sea, but they are not so beautiful as they are painted, though to some extent they have a human appearance about the face.”

Interpretation of Siren or Mermaid by Artist-Illustrator Ray Wu
Interpretation of Siren or Mermaid by Artist-Illustrator Ray Wu

Sirens are said to lead seamen astray with their singing and womanly shapes. This was done by enchanting the mortal if they stopped to listen to the song. If a man listens to the song of a siren they will never return to their family again. It has been said that entire ships crews were enchanted and this is why they were lost at sea forever. Ships run ashore and sometimes entire crews are said to have been suffocated by these mythical creatures of the sea. Just spotting a siren is very bad luck.

It is thought that these sirens or mermaids were really Manatees. The tails of mermaids in the drawings closely resemble the manatees. Maybe the long hair is attributed to the way manatees rise from the water and have seaweed dangling from their large bodies. They could look like they are trying to embrace a man as they embrace their young in the same way a woman might embrace a man. Yet, for a man to see a woman in a 2000 pound manatee is way out there for sure. Could it be that being at sea too long he wanted a woman so bad that he was hallucinating? Men long ago did like a more voluptuous woman, but for them to think a manatee was a woman is pushing it a bit.

So, if you are a man at sea and yearning for a woman beware when one rises out of the sea and starts singing to you. Don’t fall prey. Get to a doctor and fast to be treated for hallucinations. Because if you succumb you may never return to life as you know it….

Did you know….
*Sirenomelia or mermaid syndrome is a rare birth defect where one is born with their legs joined together.
*It is said the American Indian tribe Penobscot is descended from a mermaid.
*The Selkies of Scottish and Irish legend are more seal and mated with man.

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