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Mermaids are mythological aquatic females with a human head, arms, and torso and the tail of a fish. Male mermaids are known as mermans. Mermaids feature in the myths and legends of many cultures worldwide. They also happen to feature prominently in one of our favourite online slots!
But where do they come from? Who invented mermaids? Do they exist? There's a Mermaids Movie, Mermaids Shows and even a Mermaids swimming suit. But why do they feature in one of Microgaming´s most popular games- Mermaids Millions?
"Mer" is French for sea, so the word has Latin roots (La Mar). Maid is of course a girl, or young lady.
Mermaids allegedly enchant people and the gods by singing to them. Stories abound of ships being wrecked due to the sailors being mesmerised by these creatures from the deep. They are known to swim men down to their underwater fiefdoms.
Mermaids often forget that men and omen cannot breathe underwater, unwittingly drowning them, while other tales talk of beautiful aquatic creatures drowning men out of spite, while other stories describe benevolent and beautiful undersea creatures.
A popular Greek legend describes how Alexander the Great's sister, Thessalonike, is turned into a mermaid after she died. She swam through the Aegean Sea, it is believed and when she came across a ship, she always asked the men: "Is King Alexander alive?" , to which they had to reply: "He lives and reigns and masters the world".
This would please Thessalonike and she would ensure safe passage for the sailors in calm seas.
But beware! Hell hath no fury like a mermaid - any other reply and she would fly into a fit of rage and blow up a fearsome storm, with only one outcome: death to all hands.
In British folklore, Mermaids are unlucky, and appear before disasters. Mermaids often tell sailors of doomed ships of their impending death, and to some they inform them thay they will never see land again. A Mermaid sighting can also be a sure sign of rough storms.
Some mermaids have been described as huge, up to 2,000 feet in size. They are able to swim up fresh water rivers to lakes.
In some legends, mermaids are beneficent, curing disease and saving lives.