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In other folk traditions (or sometimes within the same tradition), they can be benevolent or beneficent, bestowing boons or falling in love with humans.
The male equivalent of the mermaid is the merman, also a familiar figure in folklore and heraldry.
Historical accounts of mermaids, such as those reported by Christopher Columbus during his exploration of the Caribbean, may have been inspired by manatees and similar aquatic mammals.
While there is no evidence that mermaids exist outside folklore, reports of mermaid sightings continue to the present day, including 21st century examples from Israel and Zimbabwe.
Her startled announcement perked up Senator Cory Booker (D- NJ) who has been navigating those same halls only a few years.
He quickly introduced a bill to blackball the offending statues.
They have subsequently been depicted in operas, paintings, books, films and comics.
It will be interesting to see whether the old legacy media even reports on it as it happens, or whether they will cook up new and more bizarre entertainments to distract the public from what might be the ultimate swindling of a lifetime.