Thank you to author Robert Woolcott for his delightful guest post on mermaids:
“Do mermaids exist, or don’t they? We can ask this question over and over, but the real question is not whether they exist but rather How can they not exist? It’s the question I chose to explore in my novel The Mermaid Coast (Shanty Publishing, 2013) after realizing that nearly every culture from every corner of the world has some form of belief or worship of these amazing humanoid creatures.
From the earliest illuminated manuscripts—in which Noah’s ark is not just packed with pairs of land animals, but surrounded by marine animals, including mermaids—to primitive African figurines, to the Sistine Chapel in Rome, mermaids have been in our consciousness for centuries.
And it’s not just in our imaginations that they’ve taken hold. Literally hundreds of accounts of actual sightings exist, most notably in the form of Gaelic tales from the British and Irish islands, and they have even been documented by educated explorers like Henry Hudson and Christopher Columbus.
Do mermaids (also known as selkies, merfolk, and sirens) fill a missing link in our own evolutionary history? Possibly. The connections between man and whales, man and ape, and whales and other aquatic life are well-documented. As are the very likely possibilities of species thought to be extinct which—with newer and more accurate deep sea exploration—are now being re-discovered. With the recent sightings of prehistoric sharks and giant squids, it becomes more and more likely we will soon be face to face with these amazing and beautiful creatures.”
–Robert Woolcott, author of the novel The Mermaid Coast