Are Mermaids Real?
by Demelza Carlton
Let's take a look at the evidence.
There are plenty of fictional accounts of mermaids, in print and visual media. There's the Little Mermaid/Sea Maid, depending on whether it's the Disney version with a happy ending or the traditional, tragic fairytale. There are stories for children and young adults, with a few stories for adults, too. Yes, my novel Ocean's Gift is one of those rare mermaid stories for grown-ups.
Mermaids appear as main characters in movies like Splash, but as incidental characters in movies in both the Pirates of the Caribbean and the Harry Potter series.
Animal Planet put out a programme about mermaids, Mermaids: The Body Found. Also a work of fiction, this programme suggests that merpeople are humans that evolved differently. At the end of the programme, the "researchers" (okay, paid actors pretending to be researchers) go out into the open ocean in a tiny boat with a recording of mermaids, hoping to call them to the boat so they can see the mermaids. Perhaps it's all my work on Ocean's Gift, but it's only this end scene that had me riveted. If real mermaids had been attracted to the research vessel, the boat would have been quickly sunk by a freak wave. All those aboard would have been pulled under and sharks called to dispose of the bodies. The crew on the second boat who were filming the research vessel would have met with a similar disaster. The people of the ocean's gift protect their own, to the length of taking out any humans who might have stumbled on the mermaids' secret existence. Of course, the people of the ocean's gift are just a figment of my imagination, characters in my Ocean's Gift series of books. Mermaids can't possibly exist, so they can't be hunting me or a nosy TV crew. Right?
The US NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) state that, "No evidence of aquatic humanoids has ever been found." This may indeed be the case. An alternative solution is offered by Maria, one of the characters in Ocean's Gift:
"I think that human government department has one of our kind working in it. Our Pacific sisters must have a powerful singer as skilled as Vanessa, who passes for human."
Infiltration of government departments by non-humans, mutants, aliens and anything else that can pose as humanoid is a common theme in popular media. Take Men in Black, X-Men, Stargate... to list just a few. If mermaids exist and work hard to hide their existence from humans, they'd need to have key people in human institutions to ensure that any reports or evidence would go missing or arrive at different conclusions. Somewhere, there would be a mermaid media officer, combing electronic and print media for rumours that mermaids exist, then quashing those rumours using whatever means necessary. Of course, if there are mermaids infiltrating human institutions in reality as opposed to just in movies, it would be somewhat embarrassing for the government department involved. It's hardly something they'd put out media releases about.
There are stories of mermaids across the world. In Zimbabwe, construction of a reservoir has been delayed because of mermaids. At Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean, there's a legend about a water dragon or a mermaid in one of the caves not far from the settlement area. There's meant to be a mermaid at the Cocos Keeling Islands, also in the Indian Ocean, who welcomes locals home.
Whether mermaids exist or not is a matter for observation and evidence. The reality is that they may be real, but carefully hidden from humans, because of their small numbers and the need to protect their people from us. There are creatures on land that have not been seen or described before, being discovered by science every week in Western Australia alone. In comparison, Western Australia has been explored far more thoroughly than the Indian Ocean that laps at its coastline. If there are mermaids in the depths of the ocean, it's entirely possible that we are ignorant of the fact.
My personal opinion, despite writing mermaid fiction, is that mermaids don't exist.
And they'll kill me if I tell you otherwise.
Do you believe mermaids are real?
About Demelza Carlton
Demelza Carlton has always loved the ocean, but on her first snorkelling trip she found she was afraid of fish.
She has since swum with sea lions, sharks and sea cucumbers and stood on spray-drenched cliffs over a seething sea as a seven-metre cyclonic swell surged in, shattering a shipwreck below.
Sensationalist spin? No - Demelza tends to take a camera with her so she can capture and share the moment later; shipwrecks, sharks and all.
Demelza now lives in Perth, Western Australia, the shark attack capital of the world.
The Ocean's Gift series was her first foray into fiction, followed by the Nightmares trilogy.
About the Book
Sirens don't fall in love with humans. For centuries it has been so..
But Sirena is different. She lost her first love to sharks and a storm, cursing the islands that stole him from her.
Times have changed and she must swim ashore once more, to the islands she once cursed.
Gone are the boats powered by sail and steam - jet boats with GPS are now the order of the day.
Enter Joe, the deckhand on the Dolphin. A handy man to have around when the lights go out. He'll fix your generator and have the lights back on in no time, no worries.
But can he seduce a siren?
Or will she swim away before he can uncover her secret?
A book about lobsters, beer and boobs, on some cursed islands off the coast of Western Australia. At least, that's how Joe tells it.
For Sirena, it's a very different story.