Merrrrmaids

My mom wanted to watch a show on Mermaids and how there is new evidence that there is certainly such things as them. They report finding a body that shows irrefutable proof that there is such a thing as a humanoid fish with arms and webbed hands and large eyes and a skull just like ours except with a fish-like tail. Kind of like the movie mermaids.

They showed a picture of a “body,” pulled in a bunch of specialists, showed animated movies of a realistic mer-people hunting together like dolphins, sacrificing themselves for the good of the brood, wielding spears and nets and weapons. There was apparently an all-important skull that proved that the humanoid creature has very large eyes like it was adapted for low-light vision (ie underwater), a bony crest on top of the skull like ancestral primates, a complex and advanced system of acoustics and sinuses and a space on top of the skull for a melon similar to what dolphins and whales have that help resonate sound and use echolocation.

Interestingly what I didn’t hear much about (although in their defense I was busy yakking with my brother) was breathing apparatus. You see, here’s my problem with all of this–similar to my Bigfoot disbelief: it doesn’t make sense.

  1. Studying the skeletal system of whales, dolphins and other sea mammals you see definitive evidence of vestigial structures that hint to a past on land before heading down to the ocean. Hands/fins, vestigial leg bones and hip bones, etc. However they have evolved a certain way over these many many many years for a reason: it’s the best suited for life underwater. There is no use for free arm appendages-especially not long arm-like appendages with small webbed hands, there is no use for separate legs and feet, hair is just not practical underwater. Look at the shape of marine creatures that swim: that vast majority are bullet shaped. Large lungs to keep in air and help with buoyancy and a tapered front to help cut through the water. What use would there be for a human, flat-shaped head that would drag underwater instead of helping be more aqua-dynamic? Along the same lines, I agree that underwater would require large eyes if the creature was going to have any use for vision. However, I do not agree that the creature would have eyes that faces forward like we do. It would be much more practical to have eyes more laterally to be able to take in movement in as large a range as possible. Water (as I learned in video games) has a dimension that is very unlike land. Instead of looking up and around, you also need to see (or really, detect movement) down.
  2. IF say, there were these mer-people, you would assume that like us or even our primate relatives, they would live together in groups/tribes/regions/countries/whathaveyou. If the structure is like what they claim, then they would have to rely on their brains rather than their physical abilities like us (I mean, really, walking on the entire foot? Our method of walking on the entire foot from heel to toe is the slowest possible method of moving around possible, as opposed to, say, a horse’s foot). That means weapons groups and that means that these tribes/pods of people would most likely want to find a place to settle down and call their own for safety. Then they’d build dwellings and defenses against predators and dangers like sharks and currents. Even if they were nomadic, for their own safety they’d want to establish a camp somewhere so they can rest. Using nets like that show imagined they would implies that they would have the idea of saving food for later which means containers and belts and things to hold their weapons/tools. Now, why have we not found any evidence of this? As much military stuff that goes down in the water, as much research, etc. I’m not saying that the world’s governments do not hold any secrets at all. That’s a very distinct possibility. The show addressed this argument by saying that the ocean is so vast we’re discovering things everyday just as we discover things every day in rainforests. That’s the same argument about Bigfoot. I still don’t believe that. If they are anywhere half as smart as we are (and you’d have to be with the inferior physical build the show is contending) there would be a large population of them and scattered because humans and any higher brain-level organisms are bound to war with each other and not get along. There would be evidence of their camps or nesting grounds…something! If you start thinking about deeper depths then you’d have to think about the mounting pressure and then you’d have to consider again the physical build of a creature that could survive in those depths, not to mention seeing in the darkness there. I’m surprised there are no more remains if they do die like living things tend to do.
  3. The next argument is that throughout the different cultures of the world the same accounts appear about these mermaids. From India to China to Greece to the Norsemen. My argument to that is that I’m pretty sure those stories overlap because that’s about the time that information was being spread across the world. Seamen are historically superstitious people. In the blazing sun in the middle of nowhere with cabin fever and surrounded by other men, you could be seeing anything!

If there is a creature like this in the sea for real, then I don’t think it would look like what this show is arguing that they look like. It just does not make logical sense to me. I don’t like to discount plausible ideas…I like to give things a chance, but this is just one of them (under Bigfoot). Why are there only contentions of mer-maids anyways? Where are the men?

Also, do fish poop? I know my betta fish used to. Ew I wonder what dolphin and shark poop look like.

 

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