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On Mermaids

So I thought I’d start a new collection of posts, one about supernatural beings and creatures. They fascinate me and I do admit, I would love to have a talk with one or two of them, but instead, I will write my personal views of supernatural creatures. I’ll try to rationalize them a little, explain their abilities and weaknesses and make a small list. Since there is a wonderful anatomy sheet of a mermaid on tumblr, I will start with them, because it’s truly inspiring.

All of the following text is mostly made up by me, partly inspired. If you disagree on my theories, please feel free to comment with your own ideas.

image

(click through source)

Mermaids are older than humans, but went a similar way, they developed out of sea creatures like most life on earth, but continued to spend their life underwater, keeping their gills but at the same time, developed lungs that are able to breathe air, which is why they spend time on land and time underwater. While the overall term is “mermaid”, the male ones are also referred to as “merman”. 

They reproduce like fish do, not through intercourse and pregnancy, but the females lay eggs with the men fertilizing them. Before that, the mating season reminds of the swarming of the honey bees, apart from the fact that every female mermaid is fertile and there is no “queen”. The mermen have to impress the females by fighting each other or impressing them with their swimming. If a female chooses one of the males, she joins him and they perform a kind of dance underwater which can turn into a fight if the female wants to test the merman’s strength.

When it comes to fighting, there are two techniques mermaids use. One is similar to the way dolphins fight, by tackling their opponent with their whole body. That is also a reason why females have what we would consider “breasts”. Even though their young come from eggs, they still suckle them, like platypuses do. But females also use the extra fat pads to ram their enemies without injuring their bones and lungs. Mermaids have to fight more than mermen, because they have to protect their young. She would kill for their children, she even attacks the merman who fathered them if she consideres him a threat. If they are involved in closed combat, they will use teeth and claws, which represent the ones of carnivous mammals. They also use them to rip apart their prey to feed their young.

Outside of mating season, all mermaids split into different groups, some mixed, some only female or only male. Mermaids are mostly carnivorous and their diet consists of fish. Though it happens once or twice, that they will attack sailors, because they tend to be attracted to female mermaids and come to close to their hunting places. Their upper body represent human upper bodies, but on closer examination, they are almost fully covered in small scales. The ones on their tails can have any colour and are mostly used to attract mates. They do have hair although a lot of them keep it short, due to practical reasons. Their hair usually has a similar colour to their tales, though that might vary as well. Scales on their upper bodies resemble human skin colours of any kind, the hue depends on in which level they are usually hunting. This is the reason why in most tales, mermaids have fair skin, because the fair “skinned” ones are hunting closer to the surface, while the darker “skinned” ones are hunting closer to the ground, because the darker scales don’t reflect the last bit of light under the sea, while the fairer scales reflect the sunlight breaking through the surface like skin does, which tricks bigger fish into approaching them because they expect a helpless, hairless surface being and then are attacked by the way stronger mermaid or merman. When it comes to mating though, all types of mermaids come together, since they pick their partner depending on strength and their swimming abilities. 

Underwater, they communicate through gestures and the occasional use of ultrasound. On the surface, they use their own language, which consists mostly out of clicks and squaks, not that different from the sounds dolphins make, which is why they are able to communicate with then in some aspect. Their relationship with dolphins is different from the one humans have to domesticated animals, because it is more a relationship based on mutual trust and respect. They don’t hunt eachother or in each other’s hunting grounds and occasionally, they team up against a bigger predator. Mermaids have ears but mostly use them to pick up ultrasounds, their eyes however, are excellent. They have a second pair of eyelids that is see-through and protects their eyes from the water and most types of pollution. Their noses can pick up traces of blood in the water, similar to sharks but not as well. Though they aren’t affected by it as sharks tend to be.

The tail of these creatures mostly consists out of bones and muscle, which makes them useful in combat, even on the surface. Younger mermaids and mermen also use them along with their arms to cling to their mother’s tail until they are strong enough to properly swim on their own. 

Mermaids and mermen have a strange relationship with humans. On one hand, they occasionally become their prey if they enter their areas, on the other hand, they feel some kind of familarity because they share human features. If you encounter a mermaid that isn’t on the prowl, they might get interested in you. There have been events where mermaids or mermen saved the life of humans, for example lost sailors or the survivors of sinking ships. Very few humans managed to actually befriend a merman or mermaid and even study their language a little bit. Mermaids though, can’t spend much time outside of the sea, though because they are sensitive to the sun and the air dries out their scales and makes them brashly.

 
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