What Animal is Mistaken for a Mermaid?

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What Animal is Mistaken for a Mermaid?

When it comes to myths and legends, one of the most enduring is the mermaid creature. Interestingly, this half-human, half-fish creatures have fascinated people for centuries. But did you know that there are animals that have been mistaken for mermaids?

In this post, we’ll take a closer look at some of these creatures and explore why they might have been confused with the mythical being called the mermaid.

What Animal is Mistaken for a Mermaid?

There are some animals that are mostly mistaken for mermaids. Legend has it that some sailors spread fake news of mermaids as a result of animals that look like them. To clarify some of this, here are a few animals that are mistaken for mermaids.

1. Manatees

What Animal is Mistaken for a Mermaid?

Manatees are sea animal that is mistaken for a mermaid. This is because they share the same features as a mermaid. Half of a manatee’s body part looks like a mermaid.

These gentle giants can be found in warm waters around the world, and their plump, round bodies and flipper-like arms can resemble the torso and arms of a mermaid. Early sailors, who may have been at sea for months on end, were likely to mistake the slow-moving manatee for a seductive sea creature.

2. Dugongs


Dugongs are also an animal that is mistaken for a mermaid and this animal is known as the “Sea Cow”.

Also, similar to the manatee, dugongs are sirenians, meaning they are marine mammals that are closely related to elephants.

They have a similar body shape to manatees, but their tails are more dolphin-like, which may be why they were also mistaken for mermaids. Dugongs are found in shallow waters of the Indian and Pacific Oceans. However, this sea animal is not common, they are a rare type of sea animal.

3. Steller’s Sea Cow

Steller's Sea Cow

This is another animal mistaken for a mermaid by most people that came in contact with it. While manatees and dugongs are still living species, there was once another sea cow that lived in the North Pacific called Steller’s sea cow

Also, this massive creature could grow up to 30 feet long and was hunted to extinction by humans in the 18th century. In addition, some reports suggest that early Russian explorers mistook these animals for mermaids. 

4. Sea Serpents

Sea Serpents

These are giant sea creatures with long tails that look almost the same as a mermaid.

Also, sea serpents are legendary creatures that have been reported in the ocean for centuries. While there is no scientific evidence to suggest that they actually exist, many people have reported sightings of giant sea creatures with long tails.

In addition, it’s possible that some of these sightings were actually of manatees, dugongs, or other marine animals. Interestingly, sea serpents are mostly bigger than other sea animals that look like mermaids, legend has it that sailors have always mistaken these animals for a mermaid. 

5. Seals and Sea Lions

Seals and Sea Lions

These are sea mammals with flippers, and they are also mistaken for mermaids.

In addition, seals and sea lions are both marine mammals that have flippers instead of arms and legs. However, they don’t necessarily resemble mermaids, their playful nature and curiosity have been known to attract attention from sailors and beach-goers alike.

Sightings of seals and sea lions in the water may have been mistaken for mermaids.

In conclusion, while the mermaid remains a mythical creature, many animals have been mistaken for it over the years. Manatees, dugongs, Steller’s sea cow, sea serpents, seals, and sea lions are just a few of the creatures that have been confused with the half-human, half-fish beings. 

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