This category refers to sculptures that are displayed in public locations as opposed to private locations.
Human history is filled with mermaid legends. Men and women from just about every corner of the earth have spun yarns, written literature, and created art about creatures and spirits from the water. Some mermaid tales have revolved around spiritual beliefs, some have been about explaining the unexplainable, while others have acted as warnings about the perils of the ocean. These stories have captured the imaginations of people for millennia and will continue to do so for a long time to come. I have mentioned several throughout this website. Here are three more famous mermaids.
The myth of Atargatis is one of the oldest, dating back to 1000 B.C.E. Atargatis was the Assyrian goddess of fertility who protected her people around what is today northern Syria and Iraq. Her followers formed a cult and created a temple near a lake or pool. Although all surviving visual symbols and icons of Atargatis show her to have human characteristics, the legend of her being a mermaid endures. The story mentions her falling in love with a human shepherd but killing him by accident. Overcome with grief, shame and guilt, she retreated to a lake to hide. In a bid to conceal her great beauty and remain hidden in the water, she tried changing herself into a fish, but could not. Only her lower half transformed into a fish tail.
Atargatis’s legend spread throughout the ancient Near East, reaching as far as Rome and Greece. Her legacy is as the mother of fertility, revering fish and doves as sacred and protecting them.
In the great far north of Canada, the Inuit people tell of the goddess Sedna. (To different Aboriginal peoples, she is known as Tallelayuk, Takánakapsâluk, Takannaaluk, Nuliajuk, Arnapkapfaaluk, and other names.) Sedna is the goddess of both sea and land. There are several legends about her, but they all involve her in the ocean. In perhaps this mermaid’s most famous origin story, Sedna mistakenly married a bird spirit disguised as a man and was kidnapped by it. Her father rescued her in a kayak, but the enraged bird spirit flapped its wings to create a storm of large waves. Trying to keep Sedna from the spirit’s clutches, her father pushed her into the sea. As she clung to the kayak in the frigid water, her fingers froze, snapped off and sank (in some versions, her own father cut them off) where they became whales, walruses, and other sea animals. Sedna herself grew a fish tail and thus is revered as the mother and spirit of the sea. Some Inuit believe Sedna protects sea creatures so they can be found by hunters and used to sustain the people.
Undines (sometimes spelled ondines) are spirits or nymphs that represented the classical element of water. Other spirits represented fire, earth and air. Undines are invariably depicted as beautiful females of the water, often with fish tails. Undines were said to occupy waterfalls or pools, and, much like the tales of sirens, they had beautiful and enticing singing voices. Some say that mermaids are even a species of undines.
Writers and playwrights of the 18th and 19th centuries took the ancient Greek concept of undines and developed it. The story became that Undine – a solitary female character, instead of a group – promised her uncle that if her mortal lover was ever unfaithful to her, she would no longer be the source of breath for his lungs. When her lover planned to marry another woman, Undine took her breath from him and he perished. Today, there is a rare form of sleep apnea that endangers the automatic process of breathing that is unofficially called ‘Ondine’s Curse’.
Considering our planet’s surface is 70% water, it is totally understandable that mermaids are famous in so much of human folklore and are interwoven into our cultures. Their stories have enriched people’s lives for many generations and I, for one, intend for their enchanting legacy to continue forever.
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Would you like to see mermaids? Who wouldn’t? After thousands of years and multiple legends about them in many different cultures, mermaids continue to charm and even educate humanity. Their stories have blurred the lines between fact and fiction, inspired countless voyages, and mesmerized men and women with their enchanted ways. Images of them reveal such grace and beauty in the water. Fortunately, some wonderful people have created mermaid shows so that all of us can experience a little real life wonder and fun, without watching a movie, scouring the internet, or looking through libraries. The US has some excellent real life mermaid shows that are sure to leave you in awe.
Weeki Wachee Springs, Florida
Weeki Wachee may have an official population of only a dozen people, but since 1947 this place just north of Tampa and Clearwater in Florida has been a tourist attraction and home to the world’s most famous mermaid show. Weeki Wachee Springs is actually a Florida state park. The shows boast 28 full-time mermaids who perform 30-minute sets three times daily in a setting filled with fascinating marine life and exhibits.
The Sip ’n’ Dip Lounge, Montana
If you think that landlocked Montana isn’t the place to go to see mermaids, you would be mistaken. Once voted by GQ Magazine as the number one bar on the planet worth flying to, the Sip ’n Dip Lounge in Great Falls is truly a sight to behold. An expansive pool with windows behind the bar house mermaid shows seven days a week as you listen to the legendary Piano Pat sing. With a large drink menu and kitschy tiki decor, this destination is one where you come for the mermaid show but stay for the ambiance.
Ripley’s Mermaids, South Carolina
Located in vacation hot spot Myrtle Beach, SC, the beloved Ripley’s Aquarium is already home to hundreds of species of marine life – and mermaids. With live shows and even ‘meet and greets’ with the mermaid performers, Ripley’s Aquarium is a great place to take your family.
The Silverton Casino’s Mermaid Aquarium, Nevada
Las Vegas is known for many things – desert, casinos, shows, and more. Add mermaids to that list. At the Silverton Casino’s Mermaid Lounge, you can watch an interactive feeding show with real life mermaids in a huge tank. Watch these breathtaking creatures in daily performances as they feed exotic and beautiful marine life right before your eyes. As you can see here, kids and adults alike love it, especially how interactive the show is.
Downtown Aquarium’s Mystic Mermaids, Colorado
Yet another unlikely location for a mermaid show – high above sea level. At the Downtown Aquarium in Denver, you can be dazzled by the Mystic Mermaids. With regular shows in the latter part of each week, including dining shows and ‘meet and greets’, this is an amazing opportunity to watch mermaids swim with their aquatic friends. All performers had to meet exceptional standards to be part of Mystic Mermaids and they’ll even educate the audience about the importance of looking after our natural environment.
Dive Bar, California
Located in California’s capital city, Sacramento, the name Dive Bar is meant literally. For on top of their sleek decor and extensive drink menu, they allow you the opportunity to witness mermaids and mermen swim among the fishes in a 7,500-gallon tank. Marvel at mermaids swimming above your head as you sit at the bar. This is definitely a mermaid show you don’t want to miss.
Let’s face it… mermaid shows are fun! It’s not that easy to find and see mermaids in the open ocean, so the next best thing is to see them up close as you relax, drink and dine in comfort. I’m ready to book my next vacation right now.
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There is no shortage of beautiful sights in the Caribbean, but there is one that only so many can see… because it is in 55 feet of water off Grand Cayman Island. It is this magnificent mermaid statue named Amphitrite. Thousands of divers flock to Grand Cayman to see Amphitrite every year.
Amphitrite is a 9 foot tall, 600-pound bronze mermaid statue located off the beach of Sunset House Resort. Created by Canadian sculptor and avid SCUBA enthusiast, Simon Morris, and installed in 2000, Amphitrite is actually the second of her kind. In 1989, the first statue, named the Emerald Princess, was placed in the waters of Powell River, British Columbia, Canada. These two statues are virtually identical.
While BC’s Emerald Princess is a great attraction with dive enthusiasts, it is Amphitrite who attracts even more attention due to her location in the glorious warm waters of idyllic Grand Cayman.
Who Was Amphitrite?
In Greek mythology, Amphitrite was the wife of Poseidon, the great god and protector of the sea. She was the eldest of the Nereids, a group of 50 sea nymphs who were all daughters of Nereus (‘the old man of the sea) and Doris the Oceanid. Considered to be the personification of the entire sea, Amphitrite is also known as the mother of seals and dolphins.
The tale tells that Poseidon saw Amphitrite dancing in the water and fell desperately in love with her. He asked for her hand in marriage, but Amphitrite refused and swam away to hide with Atlas near the ends of the earth and protect her virginity. Never one to give up, Poseidon enlisted the help of his loyal friend Delphin, a dolphin sea god and leader of all dolphins, to find her and convince her to marry him. Thankfully for the god of the sea, Delphin was persuasive and Amphitrite eventually agreed to the proposal. So grateful was Poseidon for Delphin’s help, he placed the image of the dolphin among the stars as the constellation Delphinus.
Between them, Poseidon and Amphitrite had 3 children, including the sea god Triton, a merman in appearance. It is believed that this depiction of Triton – human above the waist and fish below – is the source of much of the western world’s typical image of a merman (and mermaid).
Legend has it Amphitrite was even present at the birth of Apollo.
Today, the name Amphitrite is still recognized as being synonymous with the sea. Several ships of the British and US navies were named after her over the centuries.
Grand Cayman Island
In 2000, after a year of planning, Simon Morris’s gorgeous sculpture of Amphitrite was lovingly given its resting place 55 feet below the waters of Sunset Reef, about 130 yards off the shore of Grand Cayman. Her official name is Amphitrite, Siren of Sunset Reef. She is a Mecca for divers from across the globe and inspires awe in all who see her up close.
A New Companion!
In 2015, Amphitrite was given a male companion a short distance away on a reef at Light House Point, Grand Cayman Island. The half-human, half-seahorse Guardian of the Reef stands an imposing 13 feet tall, with shield and staff in hand to symbolize the quest to protect the marine environment.
Together, Amphitrite and the Guardian of the Reef make Grand Cayman Island an even more attractive destination and a source of great wonder and joy for thousands of diving and mermaid enthusiasts.
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Just about every corner of the world has lore and legends about mermaids. For the most part, they are depicted as mean-spirited tricksters who often lured people to their deaths. This may come as a surprise to anyone who knows only the romantic stereotype of mermaids.
However, there are some myths about creatures from the sea that are unlike all the others and still captivate the imagination today: the mysterious selkies.
From the North Sea and North Atlantic
Selkies (sometimes ‘selchies’ or ‘silkies’) feature in the folklore of people from northern Scotland, Ireland, the Shetland Islands, and the Faroe Islands (Danish territory north of Scotland between Iceland and Norway). While many tales about part-human, part-fish creatures from the sea end in tragedy for mortal people, selkies changed from being seals to humans, and their stories enjoy a more romantic quality, although with some heartache as well.
Some people believe that the legends surrounding selkies arose when early Scottish settlers and shipwrecked sailors married dark-haired, fur-wearing Finnish native women and Sami people (sometimes called Laplanders).
Not Your Typical Mermaid
Male and female selkies were said to be seals when in the ocean, but could shed their skins to live on land as humans. Whichever form they were in, selkies tended to long for the other form and the other life. Nevertheless, they could remain human for some time provided their seal skins were well hidden from them. Upon finding their skins, they would have to return to the water.
Both female and male selkies in human form were usually described as being classically beautiful or alluringly attractive. Some stories depict the males as ‘predators’ of a sort, often coming ashore to seduce women who were dissatisfied in their marriages or lonely in their day-to day-lives, like fishermen’s wives. Other tales mention lonely human females summoning male selkies by shedding seven tears into the sea.
Female selkies were said to be incredibly beautiful as humans and made excellent wives and mothers. But if a female selkie found her seal skin again, she would immediately return to the water, even leaving behind a husband and children.
Possible Meanings Behind Selkies
Like most myths, stories of selkies may have been attempts to explain the unexplainable and find some kind of comfort. Instead of being mere romantic fantasies about being lured away by a gorgeous lover, it’s possible that selkie stories may have been about explaining why a woman might have an affair and/or leave her family. Or they could have been an attempt to explain people who were different and didn’t fit in, perhaps even those who had webbed fingers or scaly skin.
Life dependent on the ocean was always unpredictable for the people of the North Sea and Northern Atlantic, with the sea sometimes giving and other times taking away. The concept of seal people becoming human and imparting joy before returning to the water and leaving things behind certainly fits the pattern of the ocean giving and taking. For all we know, some stories may have been ways of explaining the tragedy of death in the water.
Today, selkies remain virtually unknown to most of the world. That is a pity, because their stories are very ‘human’, revolving around life and love instead of intentional harm and death. Of all mermaid legends, selkie tales are among the most touching, even bewitching, and teach us much about the beauty and nature of our own humanity.
Unless you know your mythology, you might be thinking, “Who or what is Melusine? A medication? A monster from Harry Potter?”
Melusine is a mythical creature that everyone has seen hundreds of times and yet few people have known what they were looking at or have given it a second thought.
The next time you see the Starbucks logo, take a closer look. See the mermaid with two tails? THAT is a representation of Melusine. Why is she on that logo? As you will quickly learn, her story is richer and deeper than anything on the Starbucks menu and reminds us that tales of the supernatural remain part of the human experience to this very day.
The Origins of the Legend
Melusine is a water sprite (or faerie) from antiquity. The earliest written accounts seem to be some French writings of the 14th and 15th centuries. But the legends may go back much farther.
The French stories, translated into German and English in around the 15th century, told of Elynas, King of Albany (another name for Scotland at the time), who went hunting and met a beautiful woman, Pressyne, in the forest. Pressyne married the King and gave birth to triplets, three daughters named Melusine, Melior, and Palatyne. However, the King broke a pact (it seems like an early pre-nuptial agreement) of not entering the chamber where the children were born and bathed. Pressyne took the girls and traveled to Avalon, an island from the Arthur legend. On Melusine’s fifteenth birthday, she asked why they had traveled to Avalon. When she was told of her father’s broken promise, Melusine wanted revenge and convinced her sisters they should capture him and lock him up. Pressyne punished them. As the instigator, Melusine received more severe punishment and was condemned every Saturday to take the form of a serpent from the waist down. In some stories, her form was that of a two-tailed mermaid.
After this point, the stories become harder to assimilate. Legend has it that a Duke married Melusine and she forbade him to see her in her chamber on Saturdays, but he also broke the promise. Before then, some tales say she bore him ten sons (several of whom became kings) and the land prospered. After discovering that her husband knew her Saturday secret, Melusine turned into a mermaid/serpent for life.
Thus the Melusine stories were blurred into ruling customs of feudal life to provide a supernatural element to wielding power. The ruling houses of northern France and Luxembourg took to the stories particularly, with some claiming to be direct descendants of Melusine.
Even the Arthur legend ties in. The Lady of the Lake, who produced the sword from the water and also raised the young Lancelot, is said to be a water nymph like Melusine.
There are more references and tributes to Melusine still around today than you may be aware of – aside from the Starbucks logo.
In Czech and Slovak languages, there is a word meluzina. It means a wailing wind and links to the idea of Melusine searching for her children.
Over the centuries, Melusine’s story has been in books, poetry, a Dvorak opera (Rusalka), plays, paintings and sculptures. She was the inspiration for the character Mélisande in a play, later adapted into a Debussy opera. Even some songs of the 21st century have been written or named for her. See here, here and here.
The founders of Starbucks wanted to link their product to Seattle’s proximity to the ocean and the spirit of adventure connected with seafaring. From there they studied Moby Dick and tales of sirens. They came across Melusine and a logo was born.
So, next time you down a Venti Latte, you can see a connection to one of the great mermaid tales of history.
So many cultures have amazing myths and stories about mermaids or creatures like them. The form and interpretation you probably know best comes from Hans Christian Andersen’s tale The Little Mermaid, which is immortalized in the world’s most famous mermaid statue in Copenhagen Harbor.
But the history of mermaids runs deep and wide. Greek mythology features King Triton, a merman protecting the deep. Homer’s Odyssey mentioned sirens that could have been mermaids and his work has influenced so many tales. Numerous cultures have worshipped human-fish deities or told stories of such creatures or spirits, believing them to be immortal or to possess special powers. Ocean explorers over the centuries told of mermaid sightings. Columbus himself apparently once saw manatees and mistook them for mermaids. And, of course, part 1 of this blog examined ancient mermaid lore from Japan, Africa and Brazil.
These and many other examples make it clear how profoundly mermaid culture has influenced the human imagination.
Western Europe and the Starbucks Logo
You know the mermaid on the Starbucks logo? That is a depiction of a mermaid, the waterspriteMelusine. Several cultures of Europe have told stories of Melusine and her serpent-like double tail. Those stories appear in some literature and folklore of Germany, Luxembourg, Albania, and France. Melusine is especially connected with France as the royal house of Lusignan (that ruled much of Europe from the 12th to the 15th centuries) claimed to be descendants of her.
Rusalka have a mixed history – sometimes depicted as water nymphs who helped irrigate crops, while other times as spirits of dead girls who lured people to death in the water. (There’s that similarity to sirens again.) These tales came from Slavic cultures and were widely spread in Russia.
Beyond kilts, haggis and William Wallace, there are mermaids in Scottish folklore. Known as selkies, these gentle creatures were believed to have lived as seals while in the water, but shed their skin on land and lived as humans. Legend has it that once ashore, selkies’ skin could be stolen, whereupon they would remain human, marry humans, and have children. Tragedy came later as they would eventually find their old skin and return to the sea, leaving their families.
Another story from the 19th century claimed a Scottish boy threw rocks at a mermaid, killing it. That mermaid was depicted as looking like a child. It presents yet another demonstration of how mermaid tales have gripped human imagination.
From Gaelic legends, merrows(the name is similar to mermaid and merman) were believed to wear a magic cap called the cohuleendruith, which allowed them to live underwater. Female merrows were beautiful half-fish, half-humans. Male merrows, on the other hand, were usually depicted as ugly and cruel. Similar to the Scottish selkies, female merrows often would marry humans. However, inevitably they would tire of land and return to the sea, sometimes with or without their families.
Traditional Maori culture in New Zealand features carvings representing Marakihau, a monster with the head of a human and the body of a long fish. It is usually depicted having a long tongue that sucked up men and canoes, causing tragedy.
There is a Norwegian legend about Finfolk – shape-shifting nomads who were equally at home on land as in water and were believed to be hostile to humans. According to folklore, the Finfolk would often abduct humans and make them their spouses, treating them more as servants than partners. They loved silver, so it was believed that one of the only ways to escape Finfolk was to throw a silver coin at them.
There are accounts of mermaids in ancient Chinese literature. Even the Hindu religion and folklore of Thailand and Cambodia mention a mermaid princess named Suvannamaccha. Mermaid records across Asia are not as extensive as in other parts of the world, but, as with all culture of the East, they are always fascinating and multi-layered.
After reflecting on this two-part blog, it’s clear that mermaid culture and stories have permeated just about every culture on earth. Many tales bear striking similarities, despite having local variations and differences. Because of those similarities, some people have wondered if the stories started in one place and were spread worldwide by word-of-mouth, or if we humans share an unexplained mystical connection with water. One thing is certain… mermaids have affected human culture more deeply and profoundly than one might first think and will continue to do so for generations to come.
For thousands of years, in just about every culture spanning the globe, humankind has told tales that blur the line between what’s real and what’s magical. Often these stories have been told in hopes of explaining the unexplainable, or to teach a lesson, or simply to delight and entertain the ears of all who heard them. And while the stories of the world are as diverse as the people living in it, across cultures and countries there are many that coincide in their themes and indeed their characters and creatures.
That includes mermaids. For millennia, they have lived in the folklore of so many civilizations. Mermaid culture is prevalent across the globe as these mythical wonders have been revered, romanticized and immortalized in fables, artwork and literature.
The earliest we know of a mermaid story is from Assyria around 1,000 BC. The goddess Atargatis was the subject of a myth where she accidentally killed the human she had fallen in love with, then jumped into the water to hide in shame. But her godly beauty could not be concealed and so she became half human and half fish. From there, the Greeks recognized her in their own mythology as Derketo. After that, there is speculation this myth influenced in some way the tale of Aphrodite and Eros who became fish and are today honored in the constellation Pisces.
Why Half Human and Half Fish?
No one can say for sure. But it was long before Christ that people first speculated that humans may have developed from seagoing creatures. From there, it’s not a huge leap to consider the idea of a hybrid species and thus the mysticism and romanticism behind a mermaid or a merman.
Beware the Stereotype
We’ve all seen images of the classically beautiful long-haired woman with a fish tail from the waist down. It’s the first image that comes to mind when we think of a mermaid. You may be surprised that different cultures depict these sea creatures in much different fashion. It is in these differences that we see the true beauty and influence of mermaid culture.
The Ningyo from Japan is markedly different from the western view of a mermaid. The Ningyo is depicted as a giant fish with a human face and the mouth of a monkey. It was believed that whomever ate one would be granted eternal youth and beauty. This came at a risk, however, for it was believed that catching one would bring terrible storms and mishaps upon a person’s village.
The cradle of human civilization, Africa, has its mermaid tales about water spirits called Mami Wata (‘mother of the water’). Sometimes they were described as mermaids, sometimes as men, others as snake charmers. They’re venerated in African folk stories and the stories even made it to the Americas.
But it also appears that mermaids, Mami Wata and the sirens of Greek mythology may share a connection. The Mami Wata were feared, especially the females that allegedly lured men to their deaths. This bears striking similarity to the Greek tales of sirens with their captivating voices luring sailors into shipwreck.
Speaking of luring sailors, Brazil has its stories of Iara, the Lady of the Waters. Originally a water snake, over the years through folklore, Iara changed into an immortal woman with long flowing hair and piercing green eyes who lured men to her underwater palace. To this day, Iara is thought by some to have been responsible for the accidents and disappearances of many men of the Amazon.
Hmmm… I seem to be fixating on mermaid culture where the creatures cause trouble. But at least I haven’t yet mentioned Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid and the famous statue of the same name in Copenhagen Harbor. Oh, whoops.
Well, onto that and much more in part 2 of this blog where we’ll explore mermaids in the legends of other cultures.
Mermaids have been a part of folklore for centuries in many countries around the world. While children are often enthralled by tales of mermaids and the sea, there are many adults who continue to be fascinated by them and enjoy decorating their homes and lives with mermaid memorabilia.
From out of the many cheap, tacky ideas, there are some wonderful, artistic, practical and even quirky gifts for mermaid lovers out there. Here are a few, to save you scrolling through hundreds of web pages.
Jewelry presents an opportunity to choose a sensational gift for mermaid lovers. Jewelry designers use a wide variety of materials and stones providing different textures to create stunning pieces.
You can choose from a range of earrings, necklaces, pendants, rings, pins and medallions. You can go to you jeweler if you want a custom and unique piece for a friend or loved one. Meanwhile, to inspire you, Etsy and Buzzfeed have presented some outstanding ideas.
There are some beautifully crafted lamps on the market, often designed for the mermaid’s tail to light up. Craftsmen use stained or painted glass and even coral for elaborate, and sometimes very intricate, tail designs.
Many mermaid lamps are ornamental, providing a wonderful accent or focal point for a room. Yet they also provide illumination. Here’s some inspiration.
Ornaments and Sculptures
If you really want to spoil someone, you cannot go wrong with a mermaid sculpture or ornament. Smaller ornaments for the home can be made of cast iron, bronze, ceramic or stone and can be hung on a wall or be free standing.
Larger sculptures are available for outdoors. They can be made of stone or cast aluminum, which doesn’t rust. Surprise your friend with a mermaid sculpture to add a touch of class to their swimming pool area.
Other great outdoor gifts include mermaid weather vanes and birdbaths.
There are hundreds of gift ideas for home accessories that can really complete the look for your mermaid loving friends. People can outfit their entire homes with mermaid accessories right down to the smallest details. Some mermaid gift ideas in this area might include:
- Treasure keepers
- Seashell compacts for makeup
- Hand mirrors
- Candle holders
- Mugs and glasses
- Bottle openers
- Pocket knives
- Key chains and key rings
A bathroom seems one of the most obvious places for a mermaid in the home. You won’t be disappointed, because there is a good variety of accessories to choose from. Think towels, towel rails, small sculptures, soap dishes, cabinet handles, toilet flush handles, even cabinet knobs. Houzz provides some wonderful examples.
You could always play it safe with a gift for your mermaid loving friend by buying a print to brighten up any space. The range is vast and full of color and interesting details. Fine Art America is a good place to start, as is art.com.
We have merely touched the surface of gifts available for a mermaid lover. You can’t go wrong with choosing a unique piece of artwork. But by all means contact a mermaid enthusiast for more information on mermaid culture, folklore, artwork, statues and sculptures.
The Chamorro culture of Guam has an old folk tale about Sirena of Guam. The legend is preserved also with a statue in Sirena Park. map
The statue commemorates the local Chamorro legend of the young girl Sirena who loved to swim in the river so much that she at times would swim instead of doing her chores. One day while swimming instead of gathering coconut shells Sirena’s grandmother became impatient and blurted out the curse “If Sirena loves to swim so much, she should be a fish”. Overhearing this, Sirena’s godmother quickly amended the curse by adding “Leave the part of her that belongs to me as human”.
Sirena transformed into a mermaid as a result of this modified curse. Her grandmother instantly regretted her curse and tried to take it back, but was unable to do so, and Sirena said farewell and swam out to sea so as not to be caught by fishermen.
See more data and photos at the full page for this statue.
Mermaids have held a special place of both mystery and enchantment in people’s minds for centuries and that continues to this day. Mermaids and their famed beauty have long been the subject of literature, artwork, fairytale and fantasy. They represent the unexplored mysteries of the oceans and also our desires as humans to transform and transport ourselves.
All over the world, events are held to honor and enjoy mermaids. Some merely bear the name, like mermaid swimming events. Others offer opportunities for enthusiasts to indulge in mermaid artwork, history, culture, crafts, curios, souvenirs and activities.
Here are some awe-inspiring mermaid events forenthusiasts and devotees to look forward to in 2017.
March Mermaid Madness – Ventura Harbor Village, CA
March is the month of mermaids at Ventura Harbor Village in the stunning seaside town of Ventura, California, only a two-hour drive from downtown Los Angeles.The annual March Mermaid Madness offers classes, artwork, crafts, sales, fashion, activities, food and a parade. The entire harbor transforms to delight the senses of every mermaid lover lucky enough to attend.
The 35th Annual Mermaid Parade – Coney Island, NY. June 17th
Coney Island in New York state is world renowned for its unique fun and attractions. Throw 35 years’ worth of mermaid fun into the mix and you’re sure to experience something super memorable. 2017’s Mermaid Parade is on June 17th. There will be activities ranging from family enjoyment through to some partial nudity events. People dress up in handmade costumes, there’s an annual Merman King and Mermaid Queen, and you’ll see outstanding representations of mermaids in all forms. This is a big summer-starting cultural event supported by the City of New York.
March of the Mermaids – Brighton, England – July 15th
Mermaids are beloved the world over. After all, they travel the oceans. On the other side of the pond, Brighton in England will host its fifth annualMarch of the Mermaids. The British are superb at combining both pageantry and quirkiness in a way that makes everyone feel so welcome. This mermaid event draws deliriously happy crowds. Best of all, it’s for a good cause, raising awareness and funds for ocean conservation. The best place for keeping your finger on the pulse is its Facebook page here.
Mermaid Fest – San Marcos, TX – September 6th-18th
This one’s a real whale of an event. Come September 2017, cowboys will have to move over as San Marcos in the Lone Star State gets invaded by a tsunami of all things mermaid. The San Marcos Mermaid Society reveres the mermaid as the guardian of its river and people. With a ball, a parade, concerts, games and food, this event is sure to have something for all walks – I mean swims – of merfolk.
Weeki Wachee Springs – Spring Hill, FL
If you can’t make these other mermaid events, Florida’s tiny town of Weeki Wachi (it has 12 permanent inhabitants!) has a big theme park attraction all year round. Come see beautiful mermaids swimming around its crystal clear waters for three shows daily. Plus there are so many other attractions for the whole family. A great mermaid vacation beckons!
I hope to see you at these wonderful and fun mermaid events this year! If you can’t be at them, there is always the American Museum of Natural History in NYC, open all year with its magnificent mermaid displays and information.
Eastport, the eastern-most city in the United States, received its bronze mermaid sculpture yesterday. map
The mermaid was created by local artist Richard Klyver, and has been 5 years in the making.
In a ceremony attended by several hundred townspeople and visitors, speeches were given by the head of the city council, by artist Richard Klyver and by yours truly, after which the mermaid statue was unveiled, lots of photos were taken and the mermaid assumed her duties.
Here is a press coverage video of a preview a day before the unveiling:
The Bangor Daily News ran this article on the upcoming unveiling of a new mermaid statue in Eastport Maine.
It’s exciting to see a new bronze mermaid statue being custom made for this historic town.
The Animal Planet programs on mermaids have certainly achieved one objective – that of creating news and discussion.
It has not all been nice – there has been plenty of criticism about the fact that the programs, which contain a lot of fiction, are presented as fact, with an almost invisible tiny disclaimer stating that some of the content is fictional.
But maybe that was the point – to make sufficiently many people actually believe that it was factual to create the uproar that has been seen. The uproar creates news in itself, and with that some of the other issues get discussed as well, including the US Navy sonar testing which is believed to have killed millions of animals, notably whales and dolphins.
It was announced today that a 6 meter (20′) bronze mermaid statue was installed on the Porto Bello Business and Cultural Centre in Limassol, on the south side of Cyprus.
The Centre overlooks the harbor, and the mermaid statue was installed on the roof, where it can be seen from the harbor and from all sides.
The beautiful and charming City of Tarpon Springs on the west coast of Florida now has its fabulous 6′ 4″ bronze mermaid statue, the Ama Tarpon Springs.
She was installed March 31st, and unveiled on April 1st, in time to be admired by all those attending Tarpon Springs’ Annual Fine Arts Festival this weekend.
The official welcome and dedication ceremony will be on April 9th 2014 at 5:30pm, in Craig Park, where visitors will have a chance to meet Amaryllis, the French sculptor. City officials and the Tarpon Springs Public Art Committee will attend of course. You are invited.
Not your usual mermaid, the Ama statue has both legs and a tail. She has legs while on land, with her scales and tail carried with her over her shoulder for when she returns to her own element. Her message – the reason she is here – is ocean conservation, and the hope that we will help protect all marine life and the seas that are the cradle of life on our planet.
She fits in perfectly with the Tarpon Springs’ strong tradition of cultural arts and its strong Greek heritage – mermaids originated in Greek mythology after all. The city is also a haven for manatees, the graceful creatures historically associated with mermaid sightings, and the Ama sculpture includes a small manatee at the base. Lastly, the sculpture includes a vase sponge as a tribute to the city’s tradition of sponge diving.
The statue is part of the Amaryllis Art for Charity project sponsored by German company Koh-i-Noor, which aims to eventually place 100 similar Ama statues across the world in locations of great beauty near water. Ama Tarpon Springs is the 17th statue in the series, and the first on America’s East Coast.
The name Ama comes from the Japanese word Ama, referring to traditional pearl divers in Japan.
More information on our Ama Tarpon Springs page.
“The fountains at Peterhof in St. Petersburg (Russia) are immensely impressive, built on a grand scale. The Samson Fountain, which is part of the “Great Cascade”, has a number of mermaid statues.
Both the child and grown mermaids are twin-tailed mermaids, which was quite common for mermaid sculptures at that time in history.
The statues and the fountain date back to about 1730, and were created on the orders of Peter the Great, and were inspired by the French Château de Marly. The fountains are powered by water pressure from natural springs at a higher elevation, with no need for pumps.
More information on the Peterhof Mermaids page.
I saw an interesting article today, mentioning the rapid growth of LinkedIn in England, and mentioning that the 15 million LinkedIn members in the United Kingdom include 66 rocket scientists and 5 mermaids.
It just goes to show that a mermaid tail is not just a pastime – it can be a key part of a resume and career.
There was a nice article yesterday in The Cavalier Daily about Hales Parcells, a college student who turned her love of mermaids and her passion for ocean conservation into a program of teaching school kids about preservation of the Chesapeake Bay while wearing her mermaid tail.
It is another great example of merging passions and social betterment programs.
Many mermaid performers are very active in ocean conservation, and it is a recurring theme also in mermaid art.
The growing enthusiasm and interest in mermaids is a great springboard for raising awareness about ocean conservation.
You may be interested also in the Amaryllis Art for Charity project, with its statues around the world promoting ocean conservation.