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While there is no evidence that mermaids exist outside folklore, reports of mermaid sightings continue to the present day, including 21st century examples from Israel and Zimbabwe.
Historical accounts of mermaids, such as those reported by Christopher Columbus during his exploration of the Caribbean, may have been inspired by manatees and similar aquatic mammals.
Mermaids appear in the folklore of many cultures worldwide, including the Near East, Europe, Africa and Asia.
The first stories appeared in ancient Assyria, in which the goddess Atargatis transformed herself into a mermaid out of shame for accidentally killing her human lover.
This answer would please her, and she would accordingly calm the waters and bid the ship farewell.
Any other answer would enrage her, and she would stir up a terrible storm, dooming the ship and every sailor on board.He thought that humans, who begin life with prolonged infancy, could not have survived otherwise.A popular Greek legend turned Alexander the Great's sister, Thessalonike, into a mermaid after her death,;"), to which the correct answer was: "He lives and reigns and conquers the world" (Greek: "Ζει και βασιλεύει και τον κόσμον κυριεύει").Thereafter, she took the form of a mermaid — human above the waist, fish below — although the earliest representations of Atargatis showed her as a fish with a human head and arm, similar to the Babylonian god Ea.