One Disturbing Aspect About the Legend of Mermaids

Do you know where the legend of mermaids came from? Hundreds of years ago, sailors at sea would see manatees off in the distance and think they were beautiful half-fish, half-women. Obviously, this was several generations before major developments in optometry. Manatees look so little like attractive women, it also made me think: was this rumor started by a sailor who was married to a woman who resembled a manatee? And how quickly was that guy thrown overboard? “Dale! This is the third time this week you’ve gotten our hopes up over sexy fish ladies hanging out on rocks in the middle of the ocean! When are you going to realize not every woman looks like Bertha, your beloved wife?”

My other question: when they got closer to the manatees and realized they weren’t gorgeous ladies, do you think any of the sailors tried to convince all his sailor buddies they should still try to smash? “Look guys, if we squint they still look like hot ladies. We’re three days from the nearest port and a man’s got needs. Blackbeard don’t try to act like you haven’t done worse. Remember that redhead in Barbados? She was like a middle linebacker. Whatever, I’m going in.” He spends the next few hours on a rock in the middle of the Atlantic, desperately trying to force small talk with a manatee. “So are you guys like…relatives to walruses or what? Do you eat plankton? Do you want to listen to my mix tape?” Then he ends up marrying her, too embarrassed to go back on the path he so confidently traveled down.

While that thought is kind of weird, at least some lucky manatee got a ticket out of the ocean, right? She thought she’d spend her whole life at sea, but thanks to one stubbon, horny sailor, she’s now living in a mansion near some port. It’d be like Pretty Woman, if Julia Roberts were a manatee.


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