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Do mermaids really exist?

Updated on April 17, 2011

A good many legends, whether they be Mediterranean, African or American, tell of man-like (or woman-like) creatures rising up out of the sea.

Some large aquatic mammals do exist and live at river-mouths or in lakes. Zoologists have honoured this popular belief by calling the group to which they belong the Sirenia, which means mermaids.

Out of the three families of sirenians that have existed since the development of mammals, only the dugongs and the manatees (two species of sea-cow) remain. A third kind of sea-cow, the Rhytina, was exterminated by seal-hunters at the end of the eighteenth century.

Manatees and Dugongs live in warmer regions: they have very little fur except for the long bristles on their lips that look like some sort of moustache. They sleep during the day, then at night drag themselves on to the water's edge to graze.

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    • Several Ninjas profile image
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      Several Ninjas 5 years ago

      They'd be sentient beings, so there might be a problem if you wanted to keep them as a pet. If they wanted to live with you and it was mutual consent, then I suppose it would be another matter.

    • profile image

      CamilleAJ 5 years ago

      K i have a question. if mermaids really do exist. and you managed to capture one alive, would you legally be allowed to keep it? because its technically a fish, not a human lol

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      amber w 5 years ago

      i really want to be a mermaid.i am not sure i believe though.i am trying to find out real facts about mermaids.but every thing if fake.can you help me.if you no mermaids are real please tell my why.thx.

    • Several Ninjas profile image
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      Several Ninjas 7 years ago

      thanx for the tip mythbuster! i think i'll check the library first. don't wanna put them out of business!!

    • mythbuster profile image

      mythbuster 7 years ago from Utopia, Oz, You Decide

      Nice hub, Several Ninjas.

      If you're interested in more information on mermaids and related crypto-creatures, try searching your library for books by Loren Coleman or Jerome Clarke with Loren Coleman ("Cryptozoology From A-Z"), Theodore Gachot ("Mermaids: Nymphs of the Sea"). You also might be able to find portions of these books available at googlebooks if you search there.