Seashore to Sea Floor

Merfolk Lore

“In folklore, a mermaid is an aquatic creature with the head and upper body of a female human and the tail of a fish.

Mermaids are sometimes associated with perilous events such as floods, storms, shipwrecks, and drownings. In other folk traditions (or sometimes within the same tradition), they can be benevolent or beneficent, bestowing boons or falling in love with humans.

The male equivalent of the mermaid is the merman, also a familiar figure in folklore and heraldry. Although traditions about and sightings of mermen are less common than those of mermaids, they are generally assumed to co-exist with their female counterparts.” Wikipedia

Mermaid Accoutrements

Mermaid Comb: Murex pecten has an extremely long siphonal canal. The shell has over one hundred spines, which provide protection from predation, and prevent the snail from sinking in the soft mud. Like many other murex snails, it feeds on other mollusks. This is a common species, but perfect specimens of the shell are not easily found because of the fragility of the numerous long spines.

Mermaid Tears: The maidens could change the mighty course of nature, but were forbidden to do so by Neptune, the stern, watchful god of the sea. One dark, storm-ravaged night, with sails ripping and masts cracking, a schooner fought to find safety in Friendly Cove off Nootka Island in the San Juans. The ship was familiar to the mermaid who swam along its side . . . she had weathered many crossings with the ship and its captain. As the ship heeled in the violent wind, the captain lost his hold on the wheel, tumbling perilously close to the raging sea. In an instant, the mermaid calmed the wind and tamed the waves, changing the course of nature and saving the life of a man she had grown to love from afar. For her impetuous act, Neptune banished the sobbing mermaid to the oceans depths, condemning her for eternity never to surface or swim with the ships again. To this day, her gleaming tears wash up on the beaches as sea glass . . . crystalline treasures in magic sea colors, an eternal reminder of true love.

Tritan’s Trumpet: The common name "Triton's trumpet" is derived from the Greek god Triton, who was the son of Poseidon, god of the sea. The god Triton is often portrayed blowing a large seashell horn similar to this species. The shell of the giant triton Charonia tritonis, which lives in the Indo-Pacific, can grow to over 20 inches in length.

Mermaid’s Purse: Mermaid’s purses are the egg cases of dogfish and skates. The parent fish attaches these egg cases to objects such as seaweeds growing on the sea bed. Empty egg cases from which the baby fish have hatched out, are often found washed up along the strand line of sandy beaches. Occasionally a storm may rip the seaweed and egg cases from the sea bed and throw them up with the eggs or a baby fish still found in vertebrate animal tissues that is slow to break down and so may persist in the sea for months or years. Identification of egg cases found on a beach can indicate which species live in the vicinity and point to areas where there may be nursery grounds. Many of these fish are listed as threatened or endangered species throughout the world.

Mermaid Sightings and Hoaxes

Christopher Columbus 1492: manatees or dugong

Moclips Mermaid on the Animal Planet 2013

PT Barnum 1822: Fiji Mermaid

Florida 2010: Juan Cabana taxidermist

Mermaids Around The World

Selkie: Scotland

Sirena: Brazil

Sireia: Mexico

Meermin: Holland

Nayada: Russia

Undine: Latin

Loralei: German