(Image by Efira-Japan)
16-year old Cleo Rosin had gone to her mother to the Zambezi River in order to collect some drinking water. When they arrived at the river there was a canoe anchored along the bank, and Cleo climbed inside in an adventurous way. When she sat down, she noticed that there was a small round island in the middle of the river, which was especially wide at this point. And sitting on the island, near its edge, with her lower body partially in the water, was a particularly beautiful woman with long black hair. To Cleo’s surprise, the woman was naked and she was white. At this stage, Cleo’s mother was still filling the buckets with water. She called out to her mother: “Mommy, just look at that woman over there.” Her mother looked up and said, “Sh…Sh…you’d better keep quiet.” And then she added, “Look away.” But Cleo had already seen the bottom part of the woman’s body and it was like a fish and the woman was looking directly at them. But as her mother advised, Cleo looked away, and when she looked up again, the woman was gone. Her mother told her not to tell anyone about the encounter or else the “mermaid” would return and take her.
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Eric de Bisschop was re-enacting an ancient voyage from Tahiti to Chile in a replica of an old Polynesian raft. In his book, “Tahiti Nui” he claims one of his sailors saw a mermaid jump onto the deck. It stood upright on its tail and had hair like fine seaweed. The sailor tried to touch it and got punched. The creature then jumped overboard.
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B. Borovikov was hunting sharks in the area and on that particular day had descended to a depth of eight meters. He then saw giant beings rising up from below. He described them as milky white, but with humanoid faces, and something like fish tails. The being ahead of its companions noticed Borovikov, and stopped. It had giant bulging eyes. Two others joined him. The first one waved a membrane hand at the diver, and then all of them approached him and stopped a short distance away. Then they turned around and swam away.
Varieties of Merfolk
[I]f you pay attention some “trends” seem to appear. The sightings can be roughly grouped in 5 broad categories (I’m not including beings like the Thetis Lake Monster). The first 3 concern human-like entities from the navel up, with some sort of tail and no posterior limbs, such as:
- Classic mermaids and mermen with scaled fish-tails (see John M’Isaac report, 1811, Benbecula Merchild report, 1833, others.).
- Merbeings with long fish-tails, exhibiting some serpentine or eel-like qualities —it is hinted that the ones able to stand upright on their tails probably belong to this category; they are eerily reminiscent of nagas—. Some accounts also mention seaweed or ribbon-like substances sprouting of their heads (see Reynolds report, 1782; de Bischopp report, 1957, Australian Yawkyawk legend??).
- Scaless mermen and mermaids often depicted with dolphin or porpoise-like tails (Henry Hudson report, 1608, mene mamma, Portgordon Report, 1814, Morotai mermaids).
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The last 2 categories of merbeings:
- Assorted merbeings with fish-tails and four limbs (Exeter merman, 1737; Runan Shah?).
- Assorted animalistic creatures with arms and fish-like tails, but with monkey, fish or seal-like faces (Yell mermaid, Exmouth Mermaid). These ones are too many to describe.
Here’s the Exmouth account. . .
Read more. . .
And here is an earlier Electric Children article on the subject – The Living Mermaid
(A mermaid from 2003′s Peter Pan)