My mermaid pedigree?

I haven’t told anyone else this, yet, but my sister is a mermaid. She assures me that it’s true, but I’ve never had a really good sit-down conversation with her about this, because as you might guess, this fact raises a great many deep questions in the mind of a biologist. I’m not going to dismiss it out of hand, though, since I’ve had my own strange obsessions with creatures of the vasty deep that might be indicative of some familial affinities. If she can be half fish, I want to be half kraken.

Anyway, I heard from her about a museum in Westport, Washington, The Mermaid Museum. While I have my doubts about the likelihood of a human-fish chimera, the place is part of the Westport Winery and Resort, and I think it would be a good idea, once this pandemic is over, for us all to get together and discuss the finer points of mermaid biology over a few glasses of wine.

I’m pretty sure that once I was a couple of bottles deep I might start conceding the possibilities. Ply me with seafood and I become very charitable.


  1. says

    When I see someone claiming to be a mermaid, my first thought is usually “why does that mermaid have knees?”

    Only the ones without knees are real. :)

  2. nomdeplume says

    Actually you have “never had a really good sit-down conversation with her” because mermaids can’t sit…

  3. blf says

    The mildly deranged penguin points out the usual depiction of werefish — half with head ape-like, other half aquatic (or, sometimes, visa-versa) — is laughably wrong. She stays there are three known types of werefish:

    (1) Left (or right) half is ape-like, other half is aquatic. This means they have both lungs and gills, an arm and a leg and fins, and so on, easily explaining their amphibious nature.

    (2) Inside is aquatic, exterior is ape-like (or visa-versa). Easily confused with reptilian lizard apes. Possibly the origin of the Soggy Monkey hypothesis.

    (3) Physically an ape, mentally a fish (or visa-versa). Rare, they either keep jumping in the sea and drowning, or wriggling up onto land and suffocating.

    Some, she says, are genuinely were, morphing as a result of the Moon (and all it’s tasty cheese), tides, shipwrecks, or walruses. Others just lurk and, for instance, cause shipwrecks, flying saucer sightings, Bigfoot sightings, and the beer to go bad.

  4. wzrd1 says

    Sounds like a plan, save for one problem. Were I present, PZ can have all you can eat calamari, but I’d want all you can eat crabs, which would result in the extinction of crabs.
    Given the minimal effect of wine on me, grapes would become threatened…

  5. Ray, rude-ass yankee - One inseparable gemisch says

    Ooooh, Ooooh, I want to believe! Can I come drinking too? After a bottle (or two) of wine I’m sure I’ll be convinced! Right now I’m a bit skeptical about how the biology of mermaids would work, though. Just a little, maybe.

  6. Ray, rude-ass yankee - One inseparable gemisch says

    magistramarla: Aren’t all grandchildren rare and magical? I don’t know from personal experience, but I’ve heard.

  7. magistramarla says

    Ray @ #10,
    Yup. I’ve got eight of them, and they are each unique, rare and magical in his/her own way, even the one who is 21.
    I’m still trying to figure out how I’m old enough to be his grandmother.

  8. davidc1 says

    @9 Don’t bend down to talk to her ,she will have one of your eyes out .
    Old joke about mermaids ,a mermaids measurements are 38/32/and 5 shillings and 6 pence a pound .
    Told you it was an old joke .

  9. nifty says

    Ate at this winery on Wednesday this week, just before the enormous plume of Oregon fire smoke hit. Sitting in unhealthful for anyone air on the Washington coast now.

  10. maireaine46 says

    The winery and mermaid museum looks like a wonderful place. I wish I could go there, my lifelong friends and I have always loved mermaids and the sea, and using the many mermaid myths to get people to care about the oceans is brilliant. And of course wine just adds to it all.Being half Irish I would like to be related to the Selkies, the seal people.

  11. nifty says

    They also have an amazing garden to wander through with some interesting artwork, and a small plant nursery at times. Often quite good food (my current favorite fish tacos) and several wines that I do like.