On January 9, 1493, Christopher Columbus is sailing off the coast of the Dominican Republic, when he sees what he believes are three mermaids.
He was absolutely serious in this conviction and reported that they were “not half as beautiful as they are painted”, according to History.
Columbus had sailed from Spain six months previously, heading across the Atlantic Ocean with his ships the Pinta, the Nina, and the Santa Maria, in search of a western route to Asia.
He didn’t find that route on this trip, the first of four he would make; instead, he found the Americas.
Mermaids are said to be beautiful women from the waist up and have the bodies of fish from the waist down. While it’s not too far a reach to understand how lonely sailors who have been months away from home might imagine such a creature, it’s far more likely that what Columbus actually saw were manatees.
Manatees are large marine mammals which have flat tails, flippers, and egg-like heads, according to Live Science.
The creatures, which are also known as sea cows, are more closely related to elephants than cows.
They are bulky, have a lolling nature, and are often eaten by other animals. Manatees can range from 8 to 13 feet and can weigh between 400 to 1,300 lbs. Despite their bulk and apparent ungainliness, they can swim with both speed and grace.
Their large, flat tails provide a lot of power in the water. Their regular swim speed is about 5 mph, but they can manage 15 mph in short bursts. They seem to bear very little resemblance to mermaids.
Consider how mysterious and powerful the ocean must have seemed to early civilizations along the sea coasts.
learn more at :: https://www.thevintagenews.com/2018/10/12/mermaids/