Rare fish or ancient myths, Sirens are part of one of the most neglected groups in modern zoology. Is there a possibility that hominids who adapted to abyssal conditions really exist?
“The previous day, when the Admiral [Columbus] went to the Río del Oro, he saw three sirens that appeared on the surface of the sea. They were not as beautiful as they were painted, although they had something human-like in their features.”
January 9, 1493, logbook No. 146 of Christopher Columbus’ expedition.
The remains looked like a skull that held a humanoid appearance. Perched on the beach in Kuwait in 1999, they were picked up and frozen by a villager to await further study. A toothless jaw, empty eye sockets, and part of a spine: these were the remains that reminded anyone that saw them of a creature nicknamed “Monster of Fintas,” a humanoid marine creature. It could even have possibly been a mermaid.
Denied for centuries by men of science, the existence of the mythical Sirens seems to have never been completely erased from the world’s collective imagination. Exalted in numerous stories and even in records of historical value, the lack of physical evidence led the “Mermen’s enigma” to a standstill in scientific research.
Despite knowing less than 0.1% of the species that inhabit the ocean, anthropology has turned its back on the existence of this species that populate both literary works and recent stories. Is it healthy skepticism or willful denial of the unknown?
According to his chronicles, Christopher Columbus himself observed three female figures looming over the ocean’s surface. Historical records also indicate that there once was a mermaid who lived in Harlem in the 1400s. She learned how to spin, but never learned how to communicate through human language. There is even the ingrained story of a woman named Murgen, found along the coast of North Wales, who came to be baptized and even appeared depicted as a saint in some sixth-century almanacs.
“The living being captured tonight by a group of sailors has the corresponding characteristics of a mermaid,” can be read in the logbook of the Venetian ship “Our Lord of the Storms” on January 28, 1432. “The creature is a woman with black hair and eyes, her legs are covered in hard scales that end in a single extremity shaped like a fishtail.”
The ocean, that great unknown
Every few years, corpses of animals that have not yet been classified by zoology emerge from the sea and are found beached on several different costs around the world. During Indonesia’s tsunami in 2004, dozens of rare species resurfaced from the sea’s depths due to the tectonic plates’ movement. However, the number of marine species unknown to humans exceeds any conceivable number.
Around 2,000 “new” aquatic species are discovered every year from all over the planet. From simple beings (such as viruses or bacteria) to more complex ones (like snakes, abyssal sharks, and giant squids) these new species continue to astonish the scientific community
However, Sirens seem to be forced into non-existence in the field of theoretical anthropology. Are there solid reasons to justify such snobbery?
According to the laws that rule biology, there is no reason to discard the existence of one or more species of marine mammals. A stellar example would be the presence of pinnipeds and cetaceans, whose existence was completely unnoticed by biologists for hundreds of years. In fact, the general rule seems to indicate that the vast majority of the species that inhabit the oceans’ waters cannot be reached by human knowledge.
According to the latest estimates, it will probably take scientists about seven centuries to discover all the species that are hidden in the waters’ depths, where the night is perpetual.
The great “Bloop” and the water homo sapiens
In the summer of 1997, a spectacular event moved a large part of the scientific community to tears. The submarine microphones that the United States had installed during the Cold War detected a deafening snore that reverberated through the abyssal darkness close to Chile’s coasts. During three minutes, a groan, or perhaps a call, extended itself over miles and miles of the ocean’s ancestral peace, breaking the frozen silence.
According to marine biologists, the terrible “howl” could have only been emitted by a gigantic animal. The creature would have to be at least three times larger than the blue whale, the biggest species identified on the planet. A huge creature that the scientific community had not discovered yet.
Other lesser-known examples, such as the existence of a 200-foot-long animal near the Mariana Trench, supports the possibility of large marine entities populating the ocean without biologists’ awareness.
After the “Bloop” took place at the end of the last century, many scientists became painfully aware of how limited is the knowledge that we possess about the ocean floor.
According to the chronicles that were kept during the Kennedy administration, a part of the United States’ budget was allocated between the exploration of space and the abyssal ocean. Eventually, all government funds were spent on the space race, and the ocean fell into a deep and enigmatic oblivion.
Now, it’s painfully evident that we know much more about the moon’s surface than the ocean floor, as only 3 percent of its totality has been mapped. Dozens of men have visited space (twelve of them have walked on our satellite), while only two have reached planet Earth’s deepest point. However, despite humans’ immense ignorance when faced with the ocean’s immensity (97 percent of it is still a mystery to us) and the great diversity of the species to be discovered, Sirens seem to have been deliberately excluded from any possible scientific research.
Since there are no biological rules that prevent the emergence of a mammalian species whose genetics and anatomy could be homologous to those of terrestrial homo sapiens, a mermaid relative could be swimming in the immense pond of unclassified organisms right now.