Do you want to know what’s the Oldest known Mermaid? Keep reading to know the oldest known mermaids and some interesting facts about her.
Mermaids and their stories have captivated our imagination for centuries, with their ethereal beauty and mythical allure. But have you ever wondered about the oldest known mermaid?
In this article, you will get to know the enigma surrounding the oldest mermaid ever recorded. Also, in this post, you will get to know the ancient tales of mermaids and the archaeological discoveries about mermaids.
What is the Oldest Known Mermaid?
The goddess Atargatis is the oldest known mermaid in the world. Also, around 1000 BC, the goddess Atargatis was a mermaid legend in Syria. The goddess Atargatis wanted to become a fish, so she dived into a lake.
However, the gods in the lake didn’t let her give up her beauty completely. As a result, her bottom half turned into a fish, while her top half remained human.
Origins of Mermaid Legends
The quest for the oldest known mermaid takes us back to ancient times when myths and legends were born.
Also, mermaids have been depicted in various cultures around the world, each with its unique interpretation of these captivating beings. Here are some of the earliest references to mermaids in history:
Mermaids in Ancient Assyria
Ancient Assyrian art provides one of the earliest known depictions of mermaids. In the palace of King Sargon II (721-705 BC), archaeologists discovered reliefs portraying half-human, half-fish creatures known as “Apkallu.” Furthermore, these winged figures bear a striking resemblance to the mermaids of later folklore.
The Sirens of Greek Mythology
The Greek mythological tradition introduced us to the Sirens, a group of beautiful, seductive creatures who lured sailors to their doom with their enchanting songs. Although not strictly mermaids, the Sirens share characteristics and have influenced mermaid lore throughout history.
Ancient Deities and Watery Legends
Atargatis, the Syrian goddess of fertility and water, played a pivotal role in ancient mermaid mythology. As the story goes, she transformed herself into a mermaid out of shame after accidentally killing her human lover. Furthermore, this tale serves as a significant precursor to the mermaid legends that followed.
The Merrows of Irish Folklore
Irish folklore introduces us to the merrows, enchanting mermaid-like creatures deeply embedded in Celtic mythology. Also, these beings were believed to dwell beneath the sea, possessing a magical red cap. Interestingly, this magical red cap grants them the ability to travel between the human and underwater realms.
Fishermen’s Tales and Legendary Creatures
In Japanese folklore, the Ningyo, or “human fish,” bears a resemblance to the mermaid. Furthermore, these legendary creatures possess a human-like face with a fish-like body. Ancient texts describe the Ningyo as a rare and precious creature, believed to bring bad luck if captured.