- Yeah... probably.68%(17)63%(31)Vote58%(14)
- Nah... they'd be some crazy color, nothing remotely like humans.32%(8)37%(18)Vote42%(10)
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How do you think mermaids evolved? I think it's easier to go with the assumption that they share the common ancestor of humans and monkeys and so on, and are Great Apes like us, and just so happened to develop the tail because they live underwater. As opposed to: they are fish that somehow evolved human hands and tiddies and hair and whatever. And we already have a lot of mammals that live their whole or the majority of their lives in the water (whales, manatees, seals, etc.), and no fish that live on land.
I don't know very much at all about evolution but a few things stick out to me:
1. As I understand it humans get our skin tone almost exclusively from melanin, and this is true for many animals too. How much that affects mammal mermaids would, I guess, depend on where you want to imagine they split off from humans in the line of evolution.
Maybe they're what happened to those mysterious dead ends, like the Neandrathal or the Paranthropus boisei. Wouldn't that be interesting?
What would she look like after 10 million years underwater?
2. How much time do they spend in the deep ocean vs. how much time do they spend on land? It seems they spend a lot of time above sea, like seals and sea lions do, because of how much they interact with sailors. In folklore of the British Isles mermaids warn sailors of bad weather, and appear to doomed sailors as an omen. One was even baptised! A mermaid named Lí Ban. There are stories of mermaids swinning up rivers and in lakes, and one even visited a human village. So it may make sense that they could have darker skin like seals.
3. Another interesting clue: in Chinese folklore (apparently anyway - the source is some non-Chinese 19th century book - take it however you will) there is a story about a man who marries a mermaid. She is described as looking exactly human, except that her body is covered with fine hair. A little like some of those pre-human species that went extinct, huh?
So I guess my conclusion is that they coud have a range of skin tones, like humans and like seals and sea lions, in that all our species range from pitch-black through the browns (and in the case of the marine mammals, greys) to almost colourless white. Perhaps they are covered in fine hair, too. Like...