14 January 2006

Mermaids, Mermen and Amphibious Beings

Quote for the day:

“The important thing is not to stop questioning.”
Albert Einstein
American German born physicist
(1879 – 1955)

photo of merman from Banff Trading Post

Here is an excellent photo of a creature that has been on display at ‘The Trading Post’ in Banff, Alberta for many years. The first time I saw it was back in 1969 at which time it was stored in an aquarium at the back of the store on a bottom shelf.

photo credit: roadsideamerica.com

There is no explanation as to who brought it in and it has been there since at least 1915. An old yellowed and torn article from 'The Beaver Magazine' published by the Hudson’s Bay Company dated September 1942 is taped to the glass.

The article tells of an 18th century voyager of the North West Company, Venant St. Germain, who on May 3, 1782, while traveling from Grand Portage to Mackinac, had seen near the south end of Pie Island, at the entrance of the Bay of Thunder, a creature shaped in part like a human being it was about the size of a child seven or eight years of age, the eyes were extremely brilliant, the nose small.

The Caspian Sea has reported recent sightings of an amphibious humanlike being. In March 2005, an eyewitness account from the crew of the Baku, an Azeri trawler, was published by Iranian newspaper Zindagi: "That creature was swimming parallel course near the boat for a long time," said Gafar Gasanof, captain of the ship.


Trivia:

  • The first "merman" known in America was purchased from Japanese sailors in 1822.
  • P.T. Barnum purchased his first merman in 1842 and put it on exhibit as the "Feejee Mermaid."
  • An amphibious humanlike being was reported in Karelia in 1928. The creature was repeatedly seen in the lake of Vedlozero by local residents. A group of researchers from the Petrozavodsk University arrived to investigate the case on location. Unfortunately, the findings were classified and the members of the research party eventually perished in the Gulag.

Links:

Original Beaver Magazine Article 'A Merman In Lake Superior' September 1942
History Society Link To Beaver Magazine Article
Ananova - 'Merman' spotted in Caspian
La Sirene du lac Superieur

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