For kids who love animals by a kid who loves animals
Recently, we travelled from Paris, France to Sorrento, Italy. As I walked throughout the town, I couldn’t help but notice that a common symbol is one of a mermaid. The mermaid symbol can be found on maps, signs, and even jewelry. Another thing that I observed was that the mermaid symbol is sometimes labelled a siren. Curious, I decided to look into it deeper and learned that Sorrento, Italy is associated with mermaids in multiple different ways.
For starters, Sorrento is occasionally referred to as the land/city of the mermaids, and for good reason, too. In the very well known and very old (and very long) poem, The Odyssey, the main characters, while sailing past Capri, an island extremely close to Sorrento, are almost wooed to their deaths by the beautiful singing of two interesting mythical creatures called sirens. Although mermaids and sirens are commonly seen as the same in modern media: aquatic, half-fish, half-human mythical creatures, that definition only applies to mermaids. Sirens are half-bird, half-woman, and perch on cliff sides. Both sirens and mermaids are popular mythical creatures in Sorrento, albeit mermaids are the more visually depicted and liked of the two. After all, sirens are known for leading sailors to their deaths with their gorgeous singing (in myths, at least). Whether you like mermaids or sirens, Sorrento is a great place to visit.
If you are wondering what real animal is believed to have prompted mermaid sitings, you can read my previous post, 7 Animals Mistaken as Mythical Creatures.