The Ugly Truth About Mermaids: Half-Fish Half-Humans and Why They’re Terrifying
Just imagine that you’re spending your vacation on a tropical island; the salty wind in your hair, the warm sand between your toes, and — oh look — a beautiful mermaid waving at you from the ocean.
Except... why does she look so angry and — oh no — why is she trying to pull you under the waves!? Get those slimy seaweed hands away from us! This is not what Disney promised.
To love mermaids... or not to love mermaids. That is the question. We may adore Ariel and Disney’s The Little Mermaid, but there is no denying that merpeople have a sordid reputation. Mermaids are idolized as beautiful mythical creatures, yet they can also be tricky little beasts who lure people to their watery graves. So, don’t trust them...
Although all of the mermaids in the new DBH Mermaid Collection are beautiful and ethereal (and oh so fashionable), beware of any of the real mermaids you might meet on your beach vacation this summer. Not only can you never be sure of the kind of mermaid you’ll meet, but we’re also pretty sure that any real half-fish half-human creatures you run into will be a lot more terrifying than you think.
1) Oh the Hu-manatee: Blubber
Different cultures around the world celebrate the legend of the mermaid. Whether they are the Sirens from Greek mythology or the Ningyo monsters in Japan, the myth of the mermaid is a diverse and enduring one. Historians propose that the legend of the mermaid may have originally stemmed from sailors catching a glimpse of adorable manatees swimming on the horizon. Although the manatee is cute in a “floating potato” kind of way, they are certainly not known for their beauty or their grace. In fact, they are nicknamed the sea cow for a reason.
So, we can only assume that a real mermaid would have the same kind of body as a manatee. Forget about that beautiful half-naked fish woman, because a real mermaid would definitely need some of that wrinkly manatee skin, coarse hair, and blubber on her bones to survive the cold. Just picture a manatee with long flowing mermaid hair.
2) Feeling Gillty? Breath Through It
If mermaids are half-fish and live under water, does that mean that they need to have gills hiding somewhere in order to breath? We can safely assume that the top half of the mermaid is human and should, therefore, have human lungs.
Except, fish need a way to extract oxygen from the water and itty-bitty human lungs are just not equipped for that kind of heavy underwater breathing.
That means that there have to be some freaky gills hiding behind every mermaid’s ears or between her toes, right? That definitely ruins some of the mysticism surrounding the mermaid myth.
3) Going “Out” For Dinner
There are a lot of questions about how or what a mermaid can eat. I mean, merpeople have access to the best sushi in the world, right? Except, that’s dark... As half-fish, do they eat other fish? Shudder.
Either way, we can assume that merpeople aren’t going to be heading through fast food drive-thrus any time soon and that they will need to be equipped to survive in the ocean.
That means either they’ll want to trade in those pearly whites for some stylish baleen like whales have, or maybe they could try the starfish method and extend their stomach outside of their body, turn their food into a soupy slush, and then pull it back in to re-ingest the food at a later time? That seems messy...
4) Let’s Cuddle...or Not
Merpeople might carry around tridents, but they will probably also need to have a few other forms of protection as well.
They could try the whole blowfish strategy and just cover themselves in spikes, or they could give poison a try, or maybe even employ the eel’s electric shock method too.
However — no matter what method the mermaid might use — none of them sound like they’ll make us want to give them a hug any time soon. Plus, how do we know that they aren’t just like one of those terrifying deep-sea creatures with giant bulging eyes and they’ll use that weird glowy bait thing to kill us instead? Somehow that spiky blowfish doesn’t seem so bad now…
5) We All Float Down Here: Swim Bladder
Most fish use some variation of a swim bladder to maneuver through the changes in density and depth of the ocean. A swim bladder allows fish to rise with the intake of air or sink with its release.
We can only assume that mermaids come and go to the surface of the ocean all the time to lure sailors, so they must have swim bladders too, right?
Plus, that whole not getting crushed to death in the deep sea implies they must have some way of navigating the oceans that we, mere humans, cannot.
Except... mermaids won’t be able to maintain their mystical or whimsical reputation if they start talking about swim bladders at parties ...
We’re pretty sure that a real mermaid would be shaped like a manatee, have creepy gills, and would eat with her stomach out on the table...
Thankfully though, all of the beautiful mermaids still exist in the DBH Mermaid Collection just for you! If Derek Zoolander taught us anything, it’s that you should always be proud to be a mermaid (or mer-man)!
So, heed the Siren’s call and take a trip under the sea and get a new Design By Humans’ Mermaid t-shirt for 15% off (code: mermaid) today!