Sailors hallucinations, or is there more then meets the eye?
Spotted by sailors for centuries, but now they seemed to be disappeared from the seven seas. Did mermaids suffer the same fate as for instance; the Tasmanian Tiger, Passenger Pigeons, Dodos, and many others? Extinct due to the acts of man? Or is there some other cause at play here?
Often mermaids described as the upper body of a human female, and the tail of a fish. In descriptions and artwork, they actually have the horizontally placed tail fin, known as a signature feature of an aquatic mammal, such as whales and dolphins. Not the vertically placed tail fin as seen on fish. There are some rare examples of mermaids displayed with the upper body of a human male, but those are very rare, and may be from artists' fantasy rather than from truthful descriptions by ocean travellers. Often the mermaids are displayed with long to very long free flowing hair, quite often red in colour.
Many different mermaids have been described in all kinds of skin and tail colour combinations. Sometimes to great detail, describing secondary fins, other times just talking about a tail and tail fin.