The sea (and what lies beneath) has stirred our imaginations as far back as ancient Babylon. This is not surprising, considering three-quarters of the world is covered in water and we know very little about what those waters hold. It contains truly fantastic and terrifying creatures - from colossal squid and narwhals to hammerhead sharks and black dragonfish - so it is no surprise that legends of other mysterious beings - such as mermaids, kraken, and selkies - have enjoyed a long popularity in human folklore. Perhaps that is why copper mermaid weathervanes are one of the most popular weathervane designs.
Mankind’s Love/Hate Relationship with Mermaids
Even well-intentioned mermaids could be dangerous: men would think they saw a woman drowning and dive into the waters to save them. Still other tales suggested that mermaids didn’t understand humans can’t breathe underwater, and they would pull them down to the depths of the sea, accidentally drowning them.
However, other cultures - such as Welsh and Scottish - have mermaids befriending, and even marrying, humans. This was the stance taken by Hans Christian Andersen when he wrote “The Little Mermaid,” and our modern interpretation of mermaids is largely thanks to him. Disney turned his tale into a popular movie in 1989, cementing the image of the friendly mermaid for generations of young girls.