Mermaids, Bigfoot, Nessie…OH MY!! The belief of the possible existence of mythological creatures has existed since early man. But why so little proof? To be honest, we have much to learn about our world and we truly only know less than a third of our oceans and what they hold. Why am I talking about such a controversial subject? Well, recently we have been hearing a lot more about new evidence of Bigfoot and especially mermaids lately. I too am curious on whether such creatures can exist, but I am also curious about the factual psychological information of misidentification of known species and what the human mind may do when it runs wild with imagination and possibilities.
We even had official statements given by our military and NOAA, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, that mermaids do not exist. But way waste time to even address this to the public as well? It is really hard to say, but it does make people wonder why these governmental units even care to discount these creatures if they truly do not exist?
There is a real theory called the ‘Aquatic Ape Theory’, that suggests that some of our ancestors may have lived in aquatic environments. A film was released called, ‘Mermaids: The Body Found’ last year and was shown again last night on ‘Animal Planet’ along with an interview of one of the previous NOAA scientists. What is interesting to see is that NOAA is known to address such things on occasion, but nobody really knows why they feel they have a need to if they do not exist?
Many explanations have been given, and one psychological one comes from when men are at sea for lengthy periods of time. It is said that sometimes men at sea become so lonely that they start to imagine lovely humanoid creatures that live in the sea. These men have become so desperate for the company of women they start to misidentify everyday creatures such as seals, dugongs, and manatees as mermaids. This in turn is also called the ‘Sea Mammal Theory,’ when people misidentify sea creatures for mythological or cryptic creatures.
What is a cryptic creature? It is a part of a scientific study called cryptozoology, but not to be confused with the study of mythological creatures. It is the study of living creatures that may exist now or have existed once but are not known formally. Bigfoot and Nessie being a few of them, but it does seem that mermaids are now being thrown into this group of possibilities. The film I discussed above is noted by the scientists that were interviewed as science fiction, but quote that such possibilities could exist although very little evidence exists and some may be fabricated. Personally I have to admit, that the documentary-like film I saw last night was impressive, if not creepy. But doubts will continue to come into my mind until it can be proven logically. As a shaman, I can see such things as probable spiritual beings (although another controversial subject to some), but physically there just isn’t enough to go on yet.
Personally I have dealt with many people over the years in misidentifying the most common of creatures. Such as when someone calls me up on a wildlife rescue, tells me over the phone the animal is a baby eagle, but in reality it ends up being a pigeon! Yes, this kind of situation happens a lot and it really can be pretty funny. We are creatures with such a high intelligence, it really is pretty easy to misidentify creatures when we think we have found something special, or even think we have seen something that what considered nonexistent because of how imaginative our brains can be.
So why do we continue to have possible beliefs that such creatures may exist? Well, recently we have found enormous new species of whales we have never seen that helps to explain why there could be a possibility that certain creatures could possibly exist. Again, we only know a small fragment of our oceans.
I think by looking at probable evidence, sightings etc. it gives us hope that such things can exist, that our world is much more special than people give credit for. Other times it is someone so desperate for attention and recognition they will go as far as possible to convince others that certain things do exist. An extraordinary example is when a few crafty anthropologists have literally found or bought artifacts/remains and place in them in a special location away from the original location in order to get recognition for their findings. To this day some anthropological findings are still being discovered but misused in these self-empowerment struggles for fame and recognition. These types of things can give the true scientists and science as a whole a bad name sadly. And when it comes down to scientists that are strongly suggesting certain creatures do exist, they do take on an extreme threat to their profession and personal lives as well.
Still curious? Come on down to the St. Cloud Library and do some research, you may just find more information that may or may not convince you!