As an educator, you've been leading students to grow, learn and achieve for years, take your passion to the next level by earning your doctoral degree in education online at Grand Canyon University, become a change agent and help identify emerging trends in K-12 education, develop innovative solutions and make measured improvements. What do you think making a difference in education looks like? GQ offers over 175 high quality online programs like this one.
Find your purpose at Grand Canyon University physics to with no fees or minimums on checking and savings accounts. Banking with Capital One is like the easiest decision in the history of decisions, kind of like choosing to listen to another episode of your favorite podcast. And with their top rated app, you can deposit checks and transfer money anytime, anywhere, making Capital One an even easier decision that's banking reimagined. What's in your wallet terms?
Apply Capital One in a member FDIC.
Hey everybody, and welcome to Saturday. Yesterday was Friday. Tomorrow, Sunday, today, Saturday. This is today's episode is Mermaids Not a Real Thing is from August four, 2016.
And I got to say, I just remember thinking this is kind of an interesting podcast and that's why I picked it for Saturday. Enjoy everybody.
Welcome to Stuff You Should Know. A production of I Heart Radio. Hey, and welcome to the podcast, I'm Josh Clark. Yeah, it's right, there's Charles Zewe. Chuck, bright cherries over there in the ether, floating possibly now existing on us. And this is stuff you should read just a couple of couple of mermen trying to make their way in the world. Yeah. Trying to keep their tails wet. Yeah. You know, yeah.
That thing dries out. You've seen Splash. Yeah. It's actually just now she dried out and she was just fine. Oh. I thought, oh are you thinking of it when he turned all white and dry it out now.
I was thinking a splash because I couldn't remember it's one. It was one of my favorite movies as a kid. Was a cute movie.
It was one of those early HBO movies early Tom Hanks, which I'm a big fan of early Tom Hanks. Hmm. And I just thought it was a really fun, funny movie.
John Candy. Yeah, it's a great movie.
What's his name played? The The Evil Man trying to exposer, um, Eugene Levy, I think. Oh, is he the bad guy?
Yeah, he was the one that you know, that's a high quality movie when Eugene Levy is the bad guy. Yeah.
There was the CTV crew and he actually tried to spray her and get her wet so she would oh, it was in fact, could turn into a mermaid on the sidewalk.
That's what it was. She got wet. She turned to a mermaid. Right. She got dried. No problem. Yes.
And Daryl Hannah, of course, he's running around with Neil Young now. Oh, really?
Yeah. How about that couple, huh? Sure. Yeah, why not? They're both environmentalists, but there's a lot of turquoise in that bedroom.
I wonder if you hook up with Neil Young, if you or anyone like that, if you're sort of a new relationship and not like the wife they had for forty years. If you're like him, play song, why don't you? What like I wonder if you ask them to play music. Oh, like you're actually into him. Yeah, like if you're Billy Joel's new twenty five year old wife, do you ever say, like, hey, honey, play me a tune.
Play that one that you that you wrote 10 years before I was conceived. I think I'm what I'm saying is I would have a hard time being with Neil Young and not every night after dinner, just kind of nudging the guitar toward him. Oh, I gotcha. And saying, oh, I'd love to hear old man. Yeah, please, baby one for me.
And yeah, he says, I played that song 44000 times. Yeah, I would guess that. Well I can tell you would. I would yeah.
I would guess that once you reach a certain point and playing a song you never want to hear that song or even think about existing again. Yeah.
But then you still have to play it. Oh I try not to think about that when I'm at those shows.
Yeah. It makes me feel bad for them, like they might as well be, you know, in the monkey house or something.
You just throw them bananas at them and God bless the people who really bring it still. Sure. Where you feel like man they're playing that song for me tonight.
Adamant they still bring it. He's the guy who came to mind, whereas when I saw the police on their reunion, they they were phoning it in. Really? Yeah, even Stewart Copeland. Well, I mean, they were playing the songs, but it just it didn't look like they're enjoying themselves at all.
It looked like a total money grab. Sure. They entered from three separate entrances and exited from three separate. Oh, yeah. And I got the feeling they didn't even speak much.
I was reading an article on the Ramones, The Rolling Stone one recently. Uh, yeah.
I guess it was. Yeah, they had a great article on them, so. Yeah, I guess it was, it was definitely Rolling Stone. So. OK, did you read it. Yeah. Then it was awesome. But yeah. Like they, they would, they would just like get on the bus and not speak to one another. Yeah. Go to the next town and get on stage and play and then come offstage and that's like they would, they would speak on stage because they had to.
Yeah that was it. And apparently. Well at least Joey.
And who was his big foil DTT those ones who really hated each other.
Yeah. Supposedly they didn't speak at all for like twenty five years straight because Joey still is like love of his life.
Right. And then they were in the band together still after that it was just like Tessman. So weird. So like a lot of songs, especially ones like the KKK took my baby away. That's about Joey stealing Deedes girlfriend. Wow. This great article. Yeah. Good read. Yeah.
Um, so back to Splash, funny movie about a mermaid and we're going to talk about mermaids here. And mostly what we're going to cover is the law in history and the mythology of the mermaid because there's a little give away, there are no mermaids.
What did you look up like, pictures of real mermaid sightings and stuff? Yeah.
And it's the same thing as pictures of Bigfoot sightings and pictures of UFO sightings and weird distant blur that like you can't it could be kelp or is such an obviously doctored photo.
What would be fun, though, is if we had a time machine for killing Hitler, forget like Wayback Machine. Oh yeah, that's right.
I can't believe we put this into good use. Yeah. Forget like, you know, saving the world. They're keeping the dodo from going extinct. I would take some of these doctored photos that are just so easy to make today back to like the nineteen twenties and be like, look at this. And they go, yeah, I know we still believe in that stuff with your aim being what, just to freak him out.
Oh I figured there would be a money angle.
Josh is traveling Wonder Wonder Emporium. It's not a bad idea where in which you just showed them photos but I charge them like twenty, sixteen rates and no one can possibly afford that.
So I go out of business like almost immediately.
Right. There's like one guy in the town so like I'll pay twenty seven fifty to see those. Right.
Step right up. Town's only billionaire.
Um that's a great idea. I don't know why no one ever thought of that. It was a terrible idea.
Like from beginning to end I forget going back and betting on the stock market or the outcome of the World Series.
I'm going to go back and set up a business doomed to fail.
All right. So let's talk about mermaid lore. Well, we can start here in the more modern age because there are still places that try and take people for money, like we were just talking about even.
Yeah, like me. Um, in fact, in Israel, on the coast there, um, they actually have a town called Kiryat Yam. And if you go to Kiryat Yam, you could win.
How much money does even, say, a million bucks, million American dollars if you if you provide incontrovertible evidence of the mermaid that is reputed to want to live there. Yeah.
And appear at sunset as of twenty nine was the first sighting there.
Yeah. And of course what that is, is, is a ploy to try and get tourists come and spend money in the town and look for the mermaid. Sure.
Come on chumps. The lady welcome you to Qiryat. Yeah. I'm sure Loch has made plenty of tourist money over the years. Apparently they have a standing offer as well. And that's where the mayor of Kiryat Yam got the idea.
Yeah, great idea. Sure. And actually, I saw that photo too. And it's kind of neat. I don't know what it is or who created it or whatever, but there's allegedly a photo taken, obviously, from a cliff down on to a beach.
Uh, you know, Beach will have a big just slab of rock surrounded by sand. Yes. And in mermaids. Right.
There's a mermaid on that rock just kind of looking out in the sea. Yeah. And of course, it could be anything. It could be totally doctored, who knows. But it's from a distance and at least they didn't let go fall out like perfect picture of a mermaid. Right. It's it's it's just suggestive enough that people who believe in such things would be like that right there. There's a picture of a mermaid, you know, totally.
So that was found in two thousand nine or that surfaced in two thousand nine. And since then that surfaced. Right, since then, the town's had that standing offer, correct? So the really the interesting thing to me about mermaids is the mythology. Did you take mythology in college at all?
Yeah, I did it. I always wanted it to interest me more than it did. Me, too. It was just I don't know if it wasn't explained to me quite well enough or just the ancients non bicameral mind wasn't fused together enough to interest people in the modern age.
Well, I think so. I think the stories themselves, as far as good storytelling are just lacking because a lot of them were just versions of one another. And there was usually a very basic premise or moral. Right. Um, and in the case of mermaids, a lot of times there were a lot of folklore even was rooted in misogyny, you know. Oh, yeah. You know, there'll be a woman to come along and screw your life up.
Right. Or if you written by a woman, she will kill your children or something like that. Like women were not to be trusted and they were murderous and duplicitous in a lot of mythology. The old hag.
So, uh, it was in various I mean, hundreds and hundreds of books and text, including the Talmud, believe it or not. And we've talked about Pliny the Elder, the beer and the dude. Yeah. Uh, Romes of the elder.
He in his natural history talked about, uh, a mermaid like creature called the Nereid.
Yes. I think I'm pronouncing that correctly in e r e i d that e is a tough transition.
It is. Because you want to say like NAREIT. Yeah, I know we these are sea nymphs, uh, half human, half fish mermaids and um.
He also talked about Siemen, and we should point out that Mermin, we made the joke about us being Mermin. Yeah, I believe mermen were even first on the literary scene.
Is that correct? Well, first, at least with mythology or theology, I guess there is a Babylonian God of the sea named EHA.
Yeah, E.A. Sports, just E.A. and he pops up in a Babylonian mythology from, I think 4000 years ago. And they think that he's actually the progenitor of or the predecessor, I should say, of Poseidon, who is the Greek god of the sea, and Neptune, who's the Roman guide to the sea, because the Greeks gave us Western culture, but they just walked around to all of the neighboring cultures and picked their favorite parts and put them together.
Yeah, and that was definitely one of them.
Yeah. Yeah, yeah.
Well, we talked in our, um, I guess it was in the folklore and fairy tale episodes that were 10 episodes almost. Yeah. Um, about the original Little Mermaid and how, you know, she was Disneyfied to the fullest.
But the original story was far darker, darker, but also even more touching by far. Yeah. Like I went back and read the last, um, the last section of it. Well give me a summary at the end. So at the end, this is where dramatically differs from the Disney story. The Little Mermaid is scorned for another woman. Her, the guy she loves chooses someone else and marries her. And The Little Mermaid is like, Dude, I gave up my tail for you.
Yeah, I think a witch has my tongue kind of thing and I want to get back my life. So her sisters came and bring her this ritual knife and say, you can convert back to a mermaid if before dawn you plunge this knife into this dude's heart. This guy loves heart. Yeah. And you get some of his blood on your feet. You will regrow your tail and you can jump into the sea and everything will be just fine again.
So she goes and she finds the guy sleeping with his new bride beside him and she just can't do it. She throws the knife into the sea and becomes sea foam. She disintegrates and becomes seafoam. So she gives her her own happiness up for this guy.
Right. And dies as a result. But even better than that, when she turns into seafoam, she becomes a different mythical creature, like basically an air nymph that goes around like helping humans. And she can possibly get into heaven if she helps people.
Um, for three hundred years, a Hans Christian Andersen wrote it way better that I just recounted it a lot less ums and likes.
Yeah, but it's pretty. It's worth reading plenty. Also talked about Mermin back in the day and there would be Mirman or Siemen who would at night climb up onto ships. There's a quote and so I'm reading it weird upon which the side of the vessel where he seated himself would instantly sink downward and if you remain there any considerable time, even go underwater.
And that was something that we will see as we talk more about mermaids. They are very they're often either an omen that something bad is going to happen to sailors or coastal dwelling people. Yeah. Or they actually directly cause harm to sailors or coastal dwelling people.
Yeah. And most times under the guise of something beautiful and like a siren. Yeah. They are often. Well I don't we haven't even described one. Surely you know that a mermaid has the head and body torso of a woman human woman usually with huge boobs.
Yeah. If you're talking about a sailor's account. Right, you're, you're like oh yeah.
She was busty. Did I mention the boobs. Yes you did sir. Seven times.
And uh, from the, you know, torso down, she's a fish.
Maybe webbed feet, maybe not very graceful, very fast and always beautiful. Uh, it depends. Oh, yeah, yeah. There were some of legen that were not ugly. Really. Yeah. Not ugly.
Or they were that they were not in parentheses. Beautiful, comma, ugly.
Uh, well I hadn't heard about that. Yeah, it's in here. I thought I must have missed that part. It's, uh, it's it's far more frequent where you were saying that they were beautiful and alluring. OK, um, but we'll talk more about that after we take a break, huh?
This episode is brought to you by IBM, safe or sporty, modern or reliable? We want both. We want a hybrid. Well, so do banks. And that's why they're going hybrid with IBM. A hybrid cloud approach helps them personalize experiences with Watson A.I. while helping keep data secure. It's more reward, less risk from banking to manufacturing. Businesses are going with a smarter hybrid cloud using the tools, platform and expertise of IBM. The world is going hybrid with IBM, go hybrid at IBM dotcom slash hybrid cloud.
This episode is brought to you by IBM from labradoodle to cronut. The world loves a hybrid and so do businesses. So today they're going hybrid with IBM. A hybrid cloud approach lets them use Watson II to modernize without rebuilding and bring all their partners and customers together in one place. That's why businesses from retail to banking are going with a smarter hybrid cloud using the tools, platform and expertise of IBM. The world is going hybrid with IBM, go hybrid at IBM dotcom slash hybrid cloud.
All right, Chuck, we were saying that for the most part, mermaids are beautiful, and one of the reasons why they are supposed to be beautiful is because they are frequently, um, uh, accused of luring men, sailors out to sea to their death. Yeah. And how you did it, you did that one of two ways. You have a beautiful singing voice. Yep. Or you just straight up look good yourself. That's right. And if you have a beautiful singing voice, you're a siren, in which case you would not be a mermaid because the siren is half bird, half woman.
Yes. And they don't even necessarily live in the water or near the water. There's sometimes described as hanging out in fields. Yeah, I guess sometimes you can be very pretty and be a good singer. Right, you're a mermaid. Mm hmm. But the yeah, it could be, yeah, sure you'd be, uh. Who am I to disagree? You'd be Beyonce, right. Or Alicia Keys. Right. Or Adele. Oh, you know who I like is.
Rihanna, oh, yeah, she's great. Very pretty, that part, pardon, uh, uh, what's it called? The end. And she played herself.
Yeah, yeah she's pretty great and she was pretty funny, Michael. Like, spanked her and she just immediately turned around and smacked the heck out of them.
Yeah. I enjoyed parts of that movie, especially Michael Cera. Yeah. Playing like coked out jerk. That was really funny. Yeah.
Um, so back to the beautiful mermaids, though. Uh, there was one in one thousand BCE in Syria and her name.
How would you pronounce that at her getas. Oh, I think you nailed it. Yeah. Yeah.
All right. We'll go with that. And she and you'll you'll see a lot of duality, a lot of these stories. And she was one for sure that was a protector, a goddess. Uh, I think she protected the fertility of her people and watched over them and, uh, fell in love with a human man, as you will often see in a lot of these stories. A dude. Yeah, dude in it. And it was fine for a little while, like in most stories.
And then it goes south. Yeah. And she kills him. She crushed him with her, uh, greatness.
Oh, I thought like her big tail or something.
I don't know. Well, she wasn't a mermaid. Yeah. This is where she. Because that's true. That's right. I forgot about that. So she accidentally kills him and then is very shamed, throws herself into the lake, uh, because she wants to become a fish and she's so beautiful that it only works half as good.
I really can't figure out the math on that. But I guess she's just so beautiful that the human beauty part of her is like, no, I won't be a fish.
Just the lower half can be a fish. Yeah, because she had toe fungus. So that was easily overcome, but her face was really nice. So the fish parts just couldn't overcome that. That's right. So she ended up a mermaid.
Weird story. Well, it's just weird like like oh it's foreign or anything.
I'm not being xenophobic, but it really like says a lot about you like humanity and like how we think of things like, no, she was so good looking that this magic couldn't even overcome that.
Yeah. You know the point.
We place a lot of value on that kind of thing. Uh, all right.
So we move on to Germany. Yeah, this one was kind of interesting to me because Germany is landlocked. Oh, I never really thought about that. What does Germany have, a mermaid mythology? Well, I mean, they have lakes, yes, but mermaids are one hundred percent ocean dwellers, aren't they?
No, there are some river dwellers. Oh, that's right. Although I think the sirens were specifically river.
Well, in the German myth, it was a river dweller.
Correct? OK, yeah. The Nix's. Yeah. And they lured men into the river. Yeah. It was a river and so they could drown them like again the call of the siren. Come in here. Look how beautiful I am. Right. Check these out. And now I'm holding your head underwater. All right. And you can't breathe anymore. And the guy's like, I regret nothing.
But this duality that we're talking about is what you see a lot of times in mermaid myths from West Africa, the mommy Whydah, the mother water. She was a mermaid who was very nurturing and very loving.
If if you didn't cross her. Yeah, exactly. That's where the duality comes in.
I don't even know that's duality. I think that's just a complex person. Good, good. Complex character there. Yeah. Yeah. So she's great. But when you cross her she's murderous. Sure. All right. And that's what she did, actually, she had to if you were loyal to her, she would you could be wealthy from her magic mirror income. But if you betrayed her, then what this article says is she rains down fury and destruction.
Right. But that doesn't mean the H word from above.
But the duality is is an important part of it, because the the physical creature itself is two things. Sure. And they are also two things emotionally.
And so the mermaid, the Mermaid or Merman or Merfolk, as they're called in this article, are they really? Yeah. So Merfolk are half fish, half people. Right. But they're not anywhere near unique in the the pantheon of mythological creatures throughout the ages. Right. There's again, there's sirens, half birds, half women. There's there's just tons of like the the miniature half man. Half bull. Yeah. The center was what half go or horse and half man.
I don't remember. That sounds right. I think half horse.
And I was like, where did all these come from. I suspect the bestiality. And it turns out I may be right. Oh yeah. Yeah. But you find there are some scholars out there who believe that this is the product of a much more relaxed attitude toward bestiality and we modern humans have today.
Yeah, yeah. I still never saw that documentary about the horse. Yeah. It's a good zoo. Yeah. I need that fell off my radar man. It's one of those ones where they largely do recreate like the whole thing's almost recreation. Right. And I usually am not hip on those. It doesn't feel like a documentary to me, but that wouldn't change my mind about that whole technique. They did it so well.
Really. Yeah, it's rough. I bet it's rough, especially like when you think about the animals as well.
Yeah, of course. You know, there's more than just that that makes it rough. Yeah. I need to see that. Um, so I guess we can talk a little bit about some eyewitness accounts. They're all bunk, of course, but they have happened in World War Two in Japan on Indonesia's KHI Islands. Uh, supposedly they encountered a monster on the beach that had webbed hands and feet and was kind of part human part fish. Yeah.
It's like, look at these jazz hands. You can't do this.
And then back in the day, uh, some of our most revered explorers and adventurer adventurers reported seeing mermaids like John Smith and Henry Hudson and Columbus John. But he loves him. Yeah.
What was, uh, there's a good quote in here from Columbus because he wasn't too impressed. Yeah.
He said and here's the thing. I read that in his diary, he's referring to himself in the third person.
Well, that says a lot. That's odd. He's like Ricky Henderson, right. Or George Costanza. So he says that he saw some. Oh, yeah. The quotes on and you got to read the quote. He's sailing around no matter the reality. What is there in the ocean?
I think I'll take a look through my spine glass the day before when the admiral was going to the. And the admiral is himself.
Yeah, that's what I'm thinking. He was the admiral. It was Philly for sure, the day before when the admiral was going on to the Rio DeLauro. That's the river of gold. He said he saw three mermaids who came quite high out of the water but were not as pretty as they are depicted for. Somehow in the face, they look like men.
But I still thought about it. Yeah, so.
And see what they think now. And I don't know how they substantiated this is that Columbus was seeing manatees.
Yeah. Have you see manatees. Yeah. It looks nothing like a human from enough of a distance though. You're like, wait a minute, what is that. Especially if you've never seen a manatee before.
I don't think it looks human like at all from enough of a distance it's. Yeah, I can see how somebody would, especially if you believe that mermaids existed and you see a manatee, maybe it's hard for me to totally get that go there in that put my mind in that kind of frame in the frame of Christopher Columbus.
Well, just to have never seen a mermaid, to have never seen a manatee, to be high on, uh, on the Arawak scalps.
Oh, my God. I just blanked on the green marijuana or the green.
The green drink absinthe.
I don't think absinthe was around with Columbus.
Are you kidding me? No, I'm not. You shooting that stuff? I can see it.
Uh, so he maybe saw a man.
It seems like they're not so great looking after. They're not that great. What's everyone talking about? Uh, yeah. He saw one. This is like Jimmy Carter in the UFO was like you're kind of surprised when you hear this that somebody sighted it. Apparently, Reagan said he saw UFOs as well. Uh, John Smith said he saw some he liked what he saw. He liked the look of the manatees because he said he fell in love with one with long green hair.
Yeah, he said it was wasn't bad looking. It wasn't unattractive or something like that. Yeah, no, it's kind of a had he hedged his bets a little bit.
I guess he wanted to check the rest of her out. Yeah. And then he saw she had a tail like oh I can't go there.
So what's going on here. They hallucinating because they've been on the high seas too long.
That's what a lot of people say. Yeah. Um, other people say that again, they were predisposed to believing in mermaids because people thought mermaids existed. This were this was the age of exploration. So it's the beginning of the age of exploration, which means that before then the oceans were largely unexplored and there were tons of beliefs in thousand years, thousands of year old mythologies about creatures that lived in the sea. So if you thought that those things existed, then something that looked kind of like a mermaid could be a mermaid.
So that was probably I guess they were just they're just cases of mistaken identity.
They were highly suggestible. Yeah. They went on sea monsters, remember?
We did. Yeah. Yeah. It was a good one. I thought that one was going to be awful and it turned out pretty great.
That episode, yeah, I remember thinking, like, this is not going to go well, quite like this one. Yeah, I don't think this one's going pretty great. All right, let's take a break then and, uh, give each other a neck rub, OK?
And we'll come back more comfortable than ever. All right.
Station. Hey, everybody, it's us, Josh and Chuck, and we are here to talk to you about Raiser's, and specifically we want to set things straight with our Friends Dollar Shave Club, because a lot of people out there are confused with all the options you might have with Raiser's, right, Chuck?
Yeah, I mean, there's a lot of choices out there. You might not know that more blades isn't always better, but Dollar Shave Club knows. And by the way, they're in retail now, which is a big deal. Doo doo doo doo.
It's like heraldry. Big deal, don't you think? That's right.
What's the deal with the razor. So they got like a six blade. Yeah, they have a premium six blade cartridge designed for daily shavers and a four blade cartridge for less frequent Shaver's. And if you're still confused about what you should use, Dollar Shave Club has you covered.
Still, Deacy put both blades into one new starter box so you can test drive both for more information, just visit Dollar Shave Club dotcom slash stuff that is dollar shave club dot com slash stuff and check out Dollar Shave Club at your near store. You got questions. Dollar Shave Club has got answers.
Welcome to the club section. There is a dude, I love this guy.
His name is Carl Bantz and he called bands fan.
Well, I, I'm not quite sure I understand unless. Did you read the go ahead the article? Well, I'll just set it up. OK, so do name call bands.
Back in 1990, he wrote a an article in a legitimate journal, the journal Liminality and Oceanography, and they published it. And it is an entirely tongue in cheek but totally played straight account of the extinct species mermaid.
Yeah. Like where he he surmises on like for real, where they came from, what their biology was, where they were, why they left us, yet that they were warm water dwelling, that they ate human flesh, which is why they lured people to their death.
He goes so far as to say that they, um, most likely only produced one or two offspring at a time because the females of the of the species had two breasts and that was it. OK, yeah, sure.
Um, this is the thought that this guy put into this this article and the fact that he writes it totally straight. Yeah. And really gives it its due attention like it wasn't that like this is going to be a great idea. And just the idea itself is hilarious. I don't really have to put any effort into execution. He put effort into the execution and he did pretty good. I'm not knocking him. I guess I just don't see why this journal would put something like that out there.
Even I don't know. I mean, I guess they had a good sense of humor and they were maybe it was April Fool's episode or I was wondering if that was the case, too.
And I forgot to look if it was the April issue.
Hmm. Perhaps he did use the words horny skin folds, though, right? Their skin in their eyes was not smooth, smooth scale like a regular fish.
But I had, quote, horny skin folds like an armadillo.
Yeah. What's interesting is I saw another account from 1830 in Scotland. There's a kind of a town called Ben Blacula, uh, on the Outer Hebrides. Right. Which is like the outer islands. The archipelago. It's an archipelago. That's how you say that, right, archipelago? Yeah. Either way, there's a town there, string of islands, coastal. Thank you. The coastal town where in 1830, the whole town swore they saw a mermaid and tried to grab the mermaid and the mermaid swam away.
So some kid threw a rock at it and hit it in its back. And two days later they found it dead on shore.
And they felt so bad about it that they no. Right. They, uh, they buried it. They gave it a funeral with a casket and everything. Wow.
And they said that it didn't have scales, that it had like kind of rough skin instead or any skin fold.
Yeah, they didn't use that term. But this is like a thing. And 1830 in Scotland. Yeah. Pretty interesting when you read the account of it years later.
That's the band name, by the way.
Thorney Skinful. Yeah. Nice. Yeah, that is interesting.
Uh, maybe there's something there, right? That's a keep the fold of the horny skinful for clean, you know, like gets trapped in there. Gross. I don't know, maybe that's the name of the first single cleaning the folds. The other thing that Bantz did in his article was explain probably why they're extinct. Now, he he came to the conclusion they're extinct. Um, he said they were warm water so they would have cohabited or shared that their ecosystem with jellyfish.
And as humans started to fish more and more of the sea, we upset the ecological balance. Yeah, jellyfish populations were allowed to boom, which is the case. And they stung the mermaids to death because the mermaids had they lacked the blubber that would protect them, not just in cold water, but from jellyfish stings as well. So they died out from jellyfish stings.
Yeah, because their their skin was just regular skin. Right. It wasn't the horny skin folds. Yeah. So it provided no protection. Exactly. It's worth reading.
Go check it out. It's called Mermaids the BIOL. Their biology, culture and demise. You can find like the full PDF online.
Well, I think we have to address the Animal Planet snafu now.
If they would call it a snafu, they would call it a ratings bonanza. Yeah. Which, uh, what was the other. Oh, when we talked about the Megalodon when Discovery Channel aired Megalodon documentary, that appeared by all accounts to be true. Right. And was not the same thing with mermaids, but they did it twice.
They did. They did a sequel because it got, like you said, huge ratings. And this was a documentary. Well, not a documentary. It was a mockumentary that looked like.
Did you watch any clips or anything of the second one? Yeah. Yeah. I mean, it look like, you know, a show like a hunting Bigfoot crew. It's like, you know, we got this mermaid. We know where she is and we're down here hunting.
And the three thousand feet. Yeah. Below the surface. Yeah.
And they interviewed a guy that looked like Zach Galifianakis. If only it would have been Zach Galifianakis, it would have made it much better.
But, you know, then it was one of these shows where at the end in small lettering, it was right. I mean, small, but at the end of the credits, it's like this was all made up. These are actors and.
Yeah, but if you still buy it, if you go online, people are still like arguing over the legitimacy or credentials of the marine geologist Thorsten Schmidt. That's a great name. It is.
And people are like, well, if he were a real scientist, he would have been published elsewhere besides this and he's not published. And it's like that because he's not really made up. Yeah, this is like settled, right? They didn't even pretend that it was real.
So I don't I don't know if that's the case or not because, I mean, they said it wasn't on the at the end of the show, OK, but they didn't come out and say, everybody, everybody.
Oh, well, that's right. It's so actually, Noah, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration had to release and they felt they needed to release a statement after the first one saying, like, hey, um, mermaids don't exist. No evidence has ever been found. Uh, we're nowhere near the end.
And I bet they love that even. Oh, yeah. Oh, my God. Noah's making a statement about. Yeah, it's going to be all over the news.
Right. And so I guess enough people bought it and, um, bought into it that they were able to release a sequel in in the sequel. The reason they released the sequel was because Thorsten Schmidt had footage of a webbed hand like smacking the windshield. Yeah, that sounds a little like, uh, underwater sub to man sub and then swimming off. Yeah.
And so they just kept showing that over and over and over again. And so that shot was cool.
GALIFIANAKIS He did look like him doing a lot. Um, I thought you were going to say it was found out when Thorsten Schmidt showed up on an episode of Two Broke Girls the next week.
Right. Was like a waiter. Yeah. And a progressive insurance ad. It's like customer number two. Exactly. There's one other sighting I want to mention. This one is second for my favorite after the Scottish one. It was in Adam, Netherlands. Is it? I'm sure like the cheese. Yeah, OK, um, two girls were like rowing their boats and found a mermaid and took it home and dressed it up as a little girl and started to live on land, but it remained mute its whole life like it.
Yeah, but isn't that cute? That is very cute. Like you're coming home with us. Oh, you got a family, too? Yes, we got a family, too. And it's your new family.
And they just made that story up and told people and it survived, I guess. Interesting. Although they didn't they they didn't like they matriculated the mermaid into human society there. But we're talking 14, 30. So who knows what was going on. Yeah. They were eating. They probably got their hands on somebody who was like. Who knows? Yeah, and they're like, oh, mermaid, this is a mermaid. Oh, just someone who had some sort of physical attraction and made them come live with them.
Yeah. Just as a girl for the rest of their life. Like Schliersee or something. Yeah. Like we did in the freak shows. They would just call them, make up whatever animal they wanted.
That was another great episode to.
Are you just recounting the good ones while we do this one, just to remind people it gets better to being a mermaid is an actual job you can get if you back in the day in the nineteen forties and fifties, it was a big hit to go to like a sea park and have mermaid shows.
And specifically one is that Weeki Wachee Springs. Yeah, Weeki Wachee Springs, Florida, near Tampa. And it was a booming business back then. They said between half a million and a million tourists every year and including big famous people like Elvis Presley and Don Knotts.
Yeah, those are the do they mention those two would trash a place together?
Oh, I bet Don gets into the whiskey. It's all over. So, yeah, it was a huge deal back then.
They're still doing it there today. But it is a real job.
You can you can go if you're a great swimmer, like you have to know what you're doing. Oh yeah. Like it seems like. Oh yeah. You just put on that, that tail. But that tail is is heavy and awkward. Well yeah. And plus like somewhat buoyant swimming with your legs together.
Yeah. That's hard. Very difficult. Yeah. It's not an easy job from what I can tell.
So apparently once you put like they look very graceful, uh swimming around in those things, but you go put one on and get in a pool and see what happens. Right in this article I think rightly points out that the professional mermaids that you see today are like this is from years and years and years of practice. Yeah. Like they didn't just get in the water and they're like, yeah, I'm a natural.
Yeah, exactly. And a really awkward. Sure. And you also have to know how to hold your breath like a mo. Like a. Yeah, I saw that myself. Yeah, you do, and you have to learn how to swim the mermaid crawl, which is what they name it. But you know, it's not like regular swimming.
Uh, yeah, right. You know, and you could make a little dough, too. A little bit.
It said you can be hired like it's a one off for a party. What is that like? You go to like a neighborhood pool and everyone gathers around like look at the mermaid claps.
So you're like, what are you guys going to do?
I guess you can do that for the most.
Mostly what I've seen are like the shows in some like sleepy Florida town. Right. Like a gator farm.
And that was the start in the in the Weeki Wachee mermaids or like at resorts or something like that.
Yeah. Back when they used to love that kind of thing. Hmm. Uh, and some of these professional mermaids apparently use their status as a soapbox for ecology. Yeah. And efforts to keep the oceans clean. Yeah. It's pretty cool. Yeah. There seems to be a real threat of that running through the professional mermaid culture. If you like eco activists, that's a decent band name to professional mermaid culture.
Yeah. This one was rich with Bantayan names.
Horny Skin Folds. Mm hmm. Yeah.
If you want to know more about mermaids you can type that word in the search bar howstuffworks dot com. And since I said search bar, it's time for listener mail.
Actually in lieu of listener mail today, uh, we are going to ask you for something because we people also often say, like, how can I help the show? Uh, spreading the word is awesome. We always appreciate that. But one thing we haven't asked you to do in a long time is go to iTunes and leave a review.
Oh, yeah. Because that makes a big difference. If there are reviews, uh, even if they're not favorable, just to be honest, vote with your conscience, vote your conscience and, uh, yeah.
Go to iTunes, leave a review for us because just having reviews is a good thing and, um, tell a friend help spread the word. I feel like years go by before we say things like this. Yeah, well, I think literally that's the case. Yeah. It's been a long time. So we really appreciate the way the show was built on word of mouth largely. We really count on that to tell a friend, go to iTunes and leave a recommendation.
And the other thing that we also need are more jingles. Oh, yeah.
These jingles that you hear, these bumpers are from fans and listeners, musicians, very kind ones.
Yeah. And they really enjoy doing it and we love throwing them out there. So send us your jingle and we can't promise we'll use it, but we probably will. Yeah.
Because they're pretty great. Yeah. So that's all I got. Well thanks.
If you want to get in touch with us to help us out with any of this stuff, you can tweet to us at as far as podcast. You can join us on Facebook dot com slash stuff. You should know you can send us an email to Stuff podcast at HowStuffWorks dot com. And as always, join us at our home on the Web stuff you should know Dotcom. Stuff you should know is production of I Heart Radio for more podcasts, my heart radio is the radio app, Apple podcasts or wherever you listen to your favorite shows.
Introducing touch free payments from PayPal, a safe way for your customers to pay, simply download the PayPal app and display your own unique QR code for your customers to scan whether you're a market seller, tomatoes and a poodle pamper piano tuner.
Plummer signing up to accept such free payments for your business is easy, touch free QR code payments, shop safe with PayPal.
Do you ever wish there was a podcast that had real conversations like the ones you have with your friends? Well, you're in luck. Hi, I'm Erin Andrews. And I'm Charissa Thompson. And we wanted to call it Everyone Hates US, but the suits didn't like that. So meet our new podcast, Calm Down with Aaron and Carissa. Just two chicks talking about all this stuff. Others won't like this current breakout I'm having or Will is getting kicked out of dog daycare for peeing on other dogs.
It's the good, the bad, even the ugly and everything in between. Listen and follow. Calm down with Aaron and Chris out on the radio app, Apple podcast or wherever you listen to podcast.