Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Mermaids and Monsters

Short of something to read, I found myself the other day perusing the book shelves of a local charity shop. Amongst the dog eared paperbacks I ended up buying was a near fifty year old volume which sought to explain various mythical monsters. Despite its age, this has proven to be a most fascinating read, providing highly plausible explanations for sightings of such things as mermaids and sea serpents. However, it got me to thinking as to whether there could be other explanations beyond the misidentification of seals, manatees and giant squids. Take the mermaid, a creature with the upper half of a beautiful naked woman and the lower parts of a fish, surely there could be a more basic explanation for its origins? I mean, half woman, half fish - doesn't that just seem like an attempt to make bestiality acceptable? Indeed, aren't mermaids reputed to lure mariners to their doom with their siren songs? Could it be that salty old sea dogs came up with this alluring creature to try and explain to their wives why their cocks were slimy and stinking of rotten fish, whilst their pubes were full of fish scales? "Honestly, I haven't been fucking a fish, my dear. There was this half woman, half fish creature which seduced me into her arms by magical means and had her way with me! Obviously, it was her bottom half which was fishy..."

But what of the sea serpent? Could all those sightings be down to giant squids waving their tentacles around? Personally, I can't help but feel that if you were to replace 'giant squid' with 'giant squit', we could be closer to the truth. The more I read descriptions of these legendary sea creatures, I can't help but feel that they sound suspiciously like huge floating turds. Invariably witnesses speak of seeing large dark coloured log-like things floating in the sea. Sometimes they're described as 'humped' - like several lumps of excrement floating together, perhaps? But what, I hear you cry, about all those reports of long necked creatures sticking their heads up out of the water? Well, only the other day I dropped a turd so huge it stuck at least six inches above the water. It would have sat up even higher, except that the end was bent over. This had the effect of making it resemble the Loch Ness monster - you've seen the photos: long plesiosaur-like neck and small head poking out of the water. Makes you think, eh? Of course, this explanation - highly plausible though it might be - throws up another mystery. What could possibly deposit a floater in the sea so humongous it could be mistaken for a sea monster? One for Arthur C Clarke. If he wasn't dead, that is.

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