Mermaid Sightings Throughout History Essay

Mermaids: Real Or Legend? Essay

There are many legends about mermaids, but does anyone believe in any of them? Most people are skeptical, but there are some people who truly believe that they exist. Mermaids are said to have the upper body of a human and the lower body of a fish. They are also said to have been circulating the oceans as far back as 5,000 B.C. ("Unknown Explorers - Mermaids") Mermaids probably do not exist because there is not enough evidence that they do exist.
One of the biggest questions asked about mermaids is if they actually exist. Most people will say no, some people will say yes, and some will say it’s possible. Another common question asked about mermaids is usually where they live and what they do. How did they come about? What do they look like? Can they talk, or do they make noises? Mermaids are popularly talked about but not popularly believed in.
Do mermaids exist or not? Mermaid sightings have been reported as early as 586 A.D. A great historian named Pliny the Elder was convinced of the existence of mermaids and described them as “rough and scaled all over.” Thousands of sailors across the globe have reported seeing mermaids swimming off the bows of their ships. Even Christopher Columbus reported an encounter with a mermaid; in January of 1493 Columbus reported that he saw three mermaids frolicking in the ocean just off Haiti. ( "Unknown Explorers - Mermaids") Columbus stated that the creatures “came high out of the water” but were “not as pretty as they are depicted, for somehow the face looked more like a man’s.” ( "Unknown Explorers - Mermaids") What he saw could have easily been a type of animal he did not recognize.
There have been many recent mermaid sightings that have left everyone wondering. Is it fake, is it real? The one common thing found in all these apparent mermaid sightings is that the mermaids did not look as beautifully as they are described. They are usually described as “ugly looking creatures” or that they “have the face of a man.” Mermaid sightings that happened back in the day were probably just mistaken as animals, but more recent sightings are unexplainable.
Some history about mermaids makes people question their existence. History says that in 1403 a living mermaid was caught off Edam, Holland. In 1531 a live mermaid was caught off the Baltic coast and was sent as a present to King Sigismund of Poland. Encounters were not just in European waters. In 1560 Jesuits in Ceylon caught seven tritons and seven mermaids. Even though there really isn’t any hardcore evidence that Mermaids don’t exist the point could still be made. However, most marine biologist say that is a possibility and will never be disproven until every inch of the ocean has been explored and accounted for. ("Essay - Mermaids") It is possible that mermaids exist but we’ll never know until marine biologists take the time to search and explore for them.
Mermaid sightings are just like UFO sightings, people can come up with many...

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The first thought that comes to many when one thinks of mermaids, is the iconic Disney character, Ariel. It’s many a young girl’s dream to hop in the ocean with the red headed beauty. Most people regard, The Little Mermaid, as a fictional children’s movie – but there are some that believe that beings like Ariel exist in this world. The premise that these creatures are real has been a controversy since 1000 B.C.

Throughout history many people have claimed mermaid sightings and contacts. There are folktales, pictures, and videos, but all lack clear scientific evidence. Scientific evidence is evidence that is irrefutable, in that it cannot be objectively dismissed. For example, if a mermaid was captured or a body found, that would irrefutable. As of today that hasn’t happened, yet people still believe they exist. Why?

In 2012, Animal Planet (a cable TV channel) released a series of documentaries that were presented as facts from real scientists, and purportedly actual cell-phone footage of a merman. The scientists were paid actors and the footage was staged. It fooled and confused many rational people. This had many questioning their long held beliefs. According to LiveScience (website), “The show was so convincing that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, represented in the film, received enough inquiries following the TV special that the agency issued a statement officially denying the existence of mermaids. In a June 27 post, NOAA noted, ‘the belief in mermaids may have arisen at the very dawn of our species. … But are mermaids real? No evidence of aquatic humanoids has ever been found. Why, then, do they occupy the collective unconscious of nearly all seafaring peoples? That’s a question best left to historians, philosophers and anthropologists.

Some believers may respond to all this lack of evidence as just that – a lack of evidence, but not proof that mermaids don’t exist. They rightly note that according to NOAA only 5% of the oceans have been explored, and therefore mermaids may just be undiscovered. Does the future hold out the possibility that a mermaid may be found? Or does the terrible destruction of our planet, which is 70% water, foretell that this will never happen? That is up to whether we decide that it is a credible and important issue.

As you can see there are two sides to this topic. On one hand there is no scientific evidence for mermaids, and on the other hand there is no scientific evidence that mermaids don’t exist. Due to the vast unknown, that presents itself in our oceans, there isn’t a definitive answer as to the existence of mermaids.

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