Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Mermaids and Aquatic Apes

On the face of it both the Aquatic Ape Theory and mermaids are about aquatic humans and so, from this point of view, both concepts are very similar.  But the former is a scientific theory while the latter is a myth, and also science claims that it is impossible to have a creature that is half fish and half human.  This then makes these two different concepts are as far apart as you can get, when viewed like this, but only if we assume that mermaids are really half fish and half human.
For those who don’t know what the Aquatic Ape Theory is: It explains why humans, unlike any other ape species, has lost its hair, walks upright, talks and has a large brain, through living in an aquatic environment, foraging for marine food.  The suggestion is that our ape ancestors, millions of years ago, came down from trees and began to forage for food, like shellfish and seaweed on beaches or wade in the shallows.  When wading, an ape is forced to stand upright, so evolution would favour apes who are better able to do this, as they are more able to stand upright in the water, gathering food, for a longer time.  If an ape becomes used to standing upright in the water, they may also begin to do the same on land, where they find this has an advantage.  It would certainly be beneficial to mothers with newborns who will find they have their arms free to carry their child and even feed it at her breasts while she is walking.  Also by standing upright she is able to carry marine food, in her hands, from the shallows to land for any young who have been weaned.   

 Then as the shallows are overfished, these apes would be forced to move out into deeper waters and the apes who can duck their heads underwater and hold their breaths would have an advantage.  In time, these apes will also start to swim underwater, to forage for food in even deeper waters. 

Wet fur is not a good insulator in water, so evolution would favour fatter apes as fat or blubber is used by many marine mammals, like seals, dolphins and whales, to keep warm in the water.  At the same time, ape fur is useless in the water, for insulation and a drag when swimming or even wading, this would also favour apes with less hair.  So over evolutionary time this would be the reason humans lost their fur.

Marine food is very rich in brain food like Omega-3 fatty acids and iodine, and this would allow humans to developed far larger brains than any other ape.  Learning to hold their breath underwater and learning conscious breath control, also helped in teaching humans to talk.

Even though humans became human through living in a marine environment, at some point in our more recent past humans began to leave the shoreline and began to live away from the sea.  It seems that humans didn’t become as aquatic as we see in mermaid myths.  For this reason, mermaids, with fish tails, would not be aquatic apes as some people have suggested.

Although most people tend to think of mermaids of as a woman with a fish tail, if we look at many of the mermaid sighting in the past we find in a lot of them, the mermaids have legs. So what we think of as mermaids were only ordinary women swimming in the sea.

Japanese Ama Diver

In my book and blog, “Mermaids, Witches and Amazons” and my video, “Mermaids Are Real” I have explained that I believe that mermaids are female divers like the ama and haenyo of Japan and Korea. And like in the Aquatic Ape Theory these divers forage for marine food like shellfish and seaweed in the sea.  So these divers are following a lifestyle that probably goes back millions of years.

It is also of interest that the female body is more aquatic than the male body, as the human female has less body hair and more subcutaneous fat than males, keeping their bodies warmer in the water.  This is why the traditional breath holding divers of Japan and Korea are mostly women, as their bodies are more suited to this lifestyle than men.  This would also explain why reports of mer-people in Europe and other parts of the world are mostly of females and not males, as they would have been like the ama and haenyo of today.

So why do we not read about female divers in history?  The reason it seems is that female divers or mermaids were the main breadwinners of their families and patriarchal doctrines like Christianity, Islam and Confucianism greatly disapproved of this.  The Confucian government of China banned female divers and in Europe mermaids were caught up on the witch hunts of the middle ages, and simply being a female diver was enough to condemn woman as a witch.

So in our evolution from ape to human it seems we were all mer-people living on marine food.  Though because women’s bodies are more aquatic than men’s bodies it suggests that women foraged more in the water while men foraged more on land. This only changed when some humans found they could survive foraging on land and moved away from the coast.  Then later farming was invented and the first civilizations were created.  But it seems not all people done this and continued their very ancient way of life diving for marine food.  Unfortunately this way of life was later to clash with the patriarchal doctrines who disapproved of women being the main breadwinner of the family. So not only were mermaids or female divers banned they were also written out of history.  So the only evidence for this ancient way of life is mermaid myths and legends and the survival of ama and haenyo divers that have survived to modern times.

My Video has now over 1,000,000 hits

The Aquatic Ape Theory was mentioned in the fake Animal Planet Mermaid documentary

My thoughts on this documentary can be read at. -

The first Mermaid article I wrote


Marc Verhaegen said...

- our Plio-Pleiostocene hominoid ancestors (c 20-2 Ma), including the australopiths, lived in flooded/swamp/mangrove forests, not unlike lowland gorillas wading or floating in forest bais.
- Pleistocene Homo left the trees & collected below-surface foods, including diving for shellfish & possibly seaweeds etc along the Indian Ocean, Red Sea & Mediterranean shores.
- Late-Pleistocene H.sapiens dived less, but waded more in freshwater milieus, collecting fis & fowl with spears & nets.
FYI, some recent info on AAT:
- google "econiche Homo"
- eBook Was Man more aquatic in the past? introduction Phillip Tobias
- guest post at Greg Laden's blog
- Human Evolution conference London 8–10 May 2013 with David Attenborough, Don Johanson etc.
- M Verhaegen & S Munro 2011 "Pachyosteosclerosis suggests archaic Homo frequently collected sessile littoral foods" HOMO – J compar hum Biol 62:237-247
- M Vaneechoutte, S Munro & M Verhaegen 2012 "Reply to John Langdon's review of the eBook: Was Man more aquatic in the past?" HOMO – J compar hum Biol 63:496-503
- for ape & australopith evolution google "aquarboreal"
marc verhaegen

Jr. Williams said...

Are the videos from Mermaids the Body Found faked?

Jhon Marshal said...

I visited your blog for the first time and just been your fan. I Will be back often to check up on new stuff you post!