Folklore

As the anthropologist A. Asbjørn Jøn noted: "these 'marine beasts' have featured in folk tradition for many centuries now, and until relatively recently they have maintained a reasonably standard set of characteristics.

Many folklorists and mythographers deem that the origin of the mythic mermaid is the dugong, posing a theory that mythicised tales have been constructed around early sightings of dugongs by sailors."

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