Focus on Mermaids: Fact or Fiction?

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Focus on Mermaids

Fact or Fiction?

Lots of people claim to have seen mermaids, but unfortunately no sightings have been proven.

But, mermaids have been part of our culture for a long time. In ancient times, the goddess Atargatis from the Neo-Sumerian Empire, was described as half woman and half fish. Pliny, an ancient Roman, wrote about people partially covered in scales washing up on shore from Gaul.

Depictions of mermaids across Europe, from the Middle Ages, are common. Lore warned men to stay away from mermaids and to be careful at sea. In the ancient Far East, mermaids were trusted wives of powerful sea-dragons. Mermaids are portrayed as seductive maidens, or siren beasts that drag men to parish to an inky death in the depths of the sea.

The Legend of the PV Mermaids

Local peninsula lore and mystery surround the shipwreck of The SS Dominator, a Greek freighter trapped in the PV cliffs in 1961. The SS Dominator was carrying ten thousand tons of wheat, with a scheduled journey from Portland to Algiers. The freighter was supposed to stop in Long Beach, but instead became trapped at the cliffs between Malaga Cove and Lunada Bay.


Although the Coast Guard tried to free the ship, they were not successful. Sightings of mermaids were reported, apparently holding the ship intact, with the goal of luring and seducing the ship crew. It is not known if the mermaid - ship crew encounters spawned baby mermaids and mermen, as the ship was abandoned and the mermaids disappeared underwater off the coast. Mermaid sightings were unconfirmed, though many that hike out to the shipwreck have reported hearing the sounds of mermaids singing among the waves.

The fascination with storytelling and lore keep the legends of mermaids alive. Do you believe the legend?


Breverton, T. (2011) Phantasmagoria: A Compendium of Monsters, Myths, and Legends. Quercus Publishing