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Are mermaids the new vampires?

By Abigail Prendergast

[Snip] According to USA Today, books about mermaids are being released in droves, and even Twilight author Stephanie Meyer informed them about plans to pen a novel about the aquatic beings herself last year.

Mermaids have been making a splash in popular culture since the days of myth and legend, and the first known recorded piece of folklore depicting these sea maidens dates back to around 1000 B.C. In the story, Syrian goddess Atargatis falls in love with a human shepherd, only to kill him – albeit not deliberately. Humiliated and heartbroken, Atargatis jumped into a lake and transmuted into a fish. But since the water was not able to cover up her incandescent, divine beauty, she ultimately donned the form of the mermaid we know today – the human part on top, with the scaly tail and fin below her waist.

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