Posted by: Loren Coleman on April 21st, 2006
You will want to read this account openly, without bias and take in the description in spite of the negative values that our culture places on Merbeing accounts today. Why? Because within such words as you will find here may lie a mystery older than the waves that splash in the sea. Read on, dear traveler, and allow your mind to ponder the wonders herewith. – Loren
An Eighteenth Century Wonder.
An amusing and detailed account of a merman seen in the Atlantic, written apparently in good faith, ends with the following description of the monster, which may possibly have been a seal or a sea lion: “That monster is about eight feet long, his skin is brown and tawny, without any scales, all his motions are like those of men, the eyes of a proportionate size, a little mouth, a large and flat nose, very white teeth, black hair, the chin covered with a mossy beard, a sort of whiskers under the nose, the ears like those of men, [illegible] between the fingers of his hands and feet like those of ducks. In a word, he is a well shaped man. Which is certified to be true by Captain Oliver Morin and John Martin, pilot, and by the whole crew, consisting of two-and-thirty men.” (An article from Brest in the “Memoirs of Trevoux.”) This monster was mentioned in The Gazette of Amsterdam Oct. 12, 1725, where it is said it was seen in the ocean in August of the same year. — Household Words.
Source: Lincoln [Nebraska] Evening News, April 4, 1898.
Thanks to Jerome Clark .
Please click on the image for the full-size cartoon.
Thanks to Mark A. Hall for pointing out the cartoon, and to Mia B. Smith, Permissions Coordinator at American Scientist, who informs me the copyright for this cartoon is to properly read Bill Long, 2005.