Mermaid Sand Material in The Overlap | World Anvil
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Mermaid Sand

Okay, now that I've told you mermaids aren't real, perhaps you're wondering what Mermaid Sand is. You may have seen it in gardening shops--usually comes in a small package, and they say if you add it to the soil, your plants can't die. Well, I'm sure that's an exaggeration, but it does come from Mermaids... at least, it comes from the Tenganaw .   Mermaid Sand is the brand name of a river silt which is commonly collected and sold by Tengananw communities. It's known for being somewhat scarce, as the Tenganaw also regulate the amount of silt collected from the river bed to be sure that they are not harming the ecosystem. Some Scavengers claim that they also do magic over it, but I know for a fact they don't. Because I tried to steal some once where they were harvesting it. What? It's useful for Scavenger tinctures, and it's not cheap.


Material Characteristics

When dry, Mermaid sand is a soft, dry silt. It is a deep brown and color and very fine. When wet, it forms a thick mud.

Physical & Chemical Properties

The soft silt is rich in minerals and deposits from dead fish which make it excellent fertilizer for plants


The silt can be mixed with any soil to make it more nutrient-rich

Origin & Source

Tenganaw communities along several rivers have been known to collect it, though according to the marketing, it comes primarily from the Aludli floodplain.

History & Usage


Mermaid Sand was first marketed about a hundred years ago, though the Tenganaw have likely been using the silt in their own plant growing since long before that. At first, it only sold to farmers who already lived near the rivers, but as word got out, it became more and more common to see small packages in garden stores. It wasn't long after that before the Scavengers figured out what a good material it mage for magical tinctures. After that, the price went up. The Tenganaw inflated it to prevent Scavengers from using it for their unstable magic, but a farmer with the right connections can reach out to the Tenganaw and get the stuff at the original price, as long as they're confident it will only be used for growing plants.
It has a strong fishy smell.
I don't imagine it would hurt you, but why would you want to eat the stuff? It tastes like dirt.
dark grey-brown
Common State
collected as mud, dried and sold as dirt.

Cover image: by Molly Marjorie


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