Join me in the cold, dark, life-sustaining NE Pacific Ocean to discover the great beauty, mystery and fragility hidden there.

I, Mermaid. You Too?

Northeast Pacific mermaid. Even underwater they are dedicated to marine conservation. Photo: Jacqui Engel.

So I don’t look much like the mermaids of folklore, but I am absolutely the real thing.

I, in fact, look more like a Steller sea lion when suited up in my dive gear (not that they are convinced).

This resemblance to sea lions may even soon be strengthened if the joys of menopause lead to my growing long, stiff facial hairs like their vibrissae. Hum, maybe that won’t be all bad since I will be able to sense vibrations in water from afar .  . . but back to the topic at hand.

Northeast Pacific mermaid displaying underwater euphoria. Photo: Jacqui Engel.

In having now painted anything but the image of a waifish, goddess-like denzin of the deep for you, I will likely need to provide some very strong evidence that I am indeed – a mermaid.

Not that I need you to believe me.

The important thing is for you to be able recognize if YOU are a mer-person too. In fact, a great deal is at stake if you don’t recognize it.

No doubt that you are infinitely thankful that I am here to help since there’s a lot of misinformation out there about we mer-people. You know – all that tail-like-a-fish, having no immortal soul, must marry a human stuff.

Mermaid 3

Note mermaid blissed-out expression even when only near the Ocean’s surface. Photo: Peter Jucker.

Reality is, we look pretty much like other people . . . most of the time.

However, if, for some terrible reason, we are removed from the sight and smell of the ocean for any significant period, this provides one of the two times when it is really easy to identify a mer-person.

The clues?  Agitation, a predilection to negativity, perpetual longing references to “Mother Ocean”, dry coughing, eating lots of salty chocolate, combative if blocked from getting back into or onto the Ocean and, indeed when in this state, we will deal out many a curse and could even drag someone underwater.

The only other time it is really easy to tell we are mer-people is when we have just returned from Mother Ocean. The contrast to our non-marine state is apparently extreme. We present as being deeply peaceful, patient, centered, highly eloquent, rational, and blissed-out.

Rare two-headed mermaid. Head on right = Jacqui Engel who may not be so happy with me after I post this photo.

The physiology behind this has been the subject of many scientific studies. The research shows that mer-people’s heart rate and blood pressure is reduced by 31.721% when in or on the Ocean and that the endorphin content of our blood also rises by 47.913% (give or take a thousandth of a percent). 

As a mermaid, I of course know how I feel when submerging into the Ocean or when I drift on her surface. It feels like escaping from the insanity of terrestrial human life for a while; living raptly in the moment; and returning to quiet, extreme beauty, and sensibility.

Extraordinarily rare 3-headed mermaid. Head on left = Terina Hancock. Head in middle = Natasha Dickinson. Here too there may be some issues with the other heads not being so happy with me. Photo: Jacqui Engel.

It was a surprise to me though how quickly those around me understood my mermaid needs. Many is the time I have been told “Jackie, you need to go diving” or “Jackie, I think you need to go study humpback whales today”.  Conversely, I will get to hear “You seem better today. Did you go diving?”

Why, after having gone diving, I apparently even have a much better sense of humour and a tendency to engage in a bit of self-mockery. Hum, I wonder if this might be apparent here since I did go diving yesterday?

Can you believe it?! Another 3-headed mermaid! Head on left = Jacqui Engel. Head in centre = Natasha Dickinson. Photo by mermaid with very long arms.

Does any of this sound like it applies to you? Ask those around you to confirm if you manifest the signs.  Look around your home. Do you see many marine symbols and/or artifacts? 

I suspect that there are many fellow mer-people here in the demographic of the “The Marine Detective” community.

Speaking from my own experience, it is very important that your mer-personness gets diagnosed as soon as possible.

It’s not only for your own good and the sanity of the humans around you. It’s for the health of our Ocean.

As mer-people, we above all others know the essential soul-calming, life-giving, inspiration-inducing, positive and essential source that is Mother Ocean.

While on land, make it count! Be the walking protectors for all that is dependent upon the sea.

Speak for our marine brethren who cannot speak for themselves!

Mer-people unite!


6 Responses to “I, Mermaid. You Too?”

  1. paul whalen

    I can see it’s gonna be a long winter… the mers are already showing signs there is a storm on the horizon..

  2. Good Jacqui

    LOVE THIS!!! Marine Detective you are soooo funny!!! and what GREAT photographers you have!

  3. ochrestar

    Aha! So THAT’S what it is…this explains everything. When I’m away from the ocean I’m grumpy, but when I’m on or near the ocean I’m as happy a sea cucumber that found a pile of poo. 🙂

    Great post Marine Detective!

  4. IslandMomma

    I also love this! as much as my underwater photo of bull kelp that hangs on my bedroom wall and all of my shell treasures lined up along my window sill 🙂


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