Her characteristic appearance is as a nubile young girl, with long hair and a fish tail, carrying a comb and a mirror. Unlike the other part-human, part-animal creatures of myth and folklore, mermaids have been the object of many sightings up to the present day; it is as if there is a desire to prove the reality of mermaids, which makes them closer to creatures such as the Loch Ness monster and the Yeti than to centaurs and sirens. Another expression of this desire to believe can be found in the many fake mermaids, usually made of the upper torso of a monkey and the tail of a salmon, which have been exhibited in fairs and circuses. In the age of trade and exploration, seeing a mermaid was an almost essential part of travelling to new worlds; Christopher Columbus saw three off Haiti , Sir Richard Whitburne sighted one when discovering Newfoundland in , and Henry Hudson's crew saw a mermaid off Nova Zembla in In each case, the surviving accounts consciously compare what has been seen with the dominant images in art — Columbus finding his mermaids less pretty and more masculine than he expected. She refused to eat, and made plaintive sounds like those of a mouse.
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Just kidding. It was for this reason that Starbucks adopted the mermaid as its logo. Regardless, it took mermaids millennia of mythology to land on those coffee cups. So why the mixed reviews?
Fantastically Wrong: The Murderous, Sometimes Sexy History of the Mermaid
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You have NO idea how hard explaining my uncontrollable, shoulder shaking giggling to my Flemish office mate was it was the egg laying bit that set me off. But thank you. There can never be enough mermaid spider erotica.