Overthinking Mermaids

 Top-half human, bottom half fish; beautiful creatures of the sea.

     I’ve seen t-shirts in the mall that say “I’m done adulting, let’s be mermaids” or “I’d rather be a mermaid”. Things like that. In theory though, if you look up the growth of the human body, factor in the living environment, and compare that to, say an idealized version of something like the little mermaid, you’re bound to get something a bit more grotesque and have a different lifestyle than what you signed up for. 

     To start, the average growth rate for human hair roughly half an inch per month, for a total of about six inches per year. That’s assuming you take proper care if the hair on your head, shampoo and condition, trim the ends every three months to allow healthy hair to grow, brush out the tangles, oh, and you wouldn’t be able to color it. It’s Au Naturale for you. Don’t forget Vitamin D, which is obtained from sunlight, stimulate your body’s cellular growth, and by extension, your body’s ability to grow new hair follicles. Your hair follicles are pores on your head that hold and keep all your hair into your skin. They determine if your hair is thin, thick, or grows back at all. Balding is reversable with treatment, but if you’re a mermaid, I don’t think there will be many pharmacies to check into about that. Since there’s no way to obtain viable hair care products underwater, you’re kind of out of luck on that front. You’d have to find a way to clean off all the natural oils from the day, and anything else that’s in the water, that happened to find its way to you. 

     Since we’re on the subject of the head, you’ve probably heard something around fifty percent of your body heat escaped through your head and neck. That’s what was drilled into my head growing up every time I wanted to leave the house without a hat or scarf on when it was decently overcast. The ocean’s temperature can range anywhere from the mid-eighties at the surface, to around thirty degrees at the bottom. The lower you choose to live in, since the world is now your ocean, the colder it gets. Don’t forget you’ll have to go topside every once in a while to get air, since you still have lungs. You can choose to live near the surface, but keep in mind, there’s no sunscreen to put on for you spending too much time in direct sunlight. I think most can agree that a bad sunburn isn’t much fun to have. So now you have to find your Goldilocks happy-medium, but remember that bit about the lower you go, the colder it gets? For your body to maintain the heat balance within itself, it has to have the same internal temperature as the temperature of its surroundings. If your body is warmer than your surroundings, your body will begin to transfer out heat to bring the temperature of your surrounding area up. Now, the average body temperature, which is considered normal, is in the high nineties, with a temperature caused by infection or illness being over the one-hundred-degree mark. However, the highest temperature the open ocean provides is in the mid-eighties, and that’s in direct sunlight. This means your skin is at risk of frying after too long, as we may know from not wearing enough sunblock at the beach. There’s slightly more than a ten-degree difference there, and that might not seem like much, but when your internal temperature drops below ninety-five degrees, your organs stop working at one hundred percent and you start to incur hypothermia. Hypothermia happens when your body becomes too cold to function properly, and slowly begins shutting down. Which, you know, can be fatal. 

     So, with not being able to keep proper hygiene and risk of hypothermia, you might be thinking, what else is there? Well, there’s one more thing I’d like to mention, and that’s the fact that you’re probably the only mermaid in the entire ocean. Even if there was another mermaid out there, there’s also roughly one hundred and forty million square miles of ocean you’d have to explore to try and find that other person. Even if you did find that person, you both might not speak the same language. There are some seventy-one hundred languages spoken around the world, and though there are several popular ones, there’s no guarantee that whomever you find knows any of them. If you never find that other person, then it’s just you by yourself. As nice as that might seem at first, eventually you’ll get pretty lonely having no one to talk to. You can choose to live around habitats that house several different varieties of ocean life, but fish are relatively unable to communicate, aside from abruptly swimming away.

Regardless of how crummy life on land can be at times, it’s still nice to talk to family, friends, or hang out with your pet. Going to a park or a mall can be relaxing and therapeutic, and no matter what bad situation you’re in, it won’t be like that forever. Maintain a positive outlook and attitude, and good things are bound to come your way.  

     Thank you so much for taking the time to read my blog! If you’d like to know where I got some of my information, I’ve included the links to the websites below!  

Information obtained and used in this blog were from the following sites: 

www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/321673 

https://courses.lumenlearning.com/suny-ap2/chapter/energy-and-heat-balance/

www.britannica.com/science/seawater/Temperature-distribution 

https://coral.org/coral-reefs-101/coral-reef-ecology/how-coral-reefs-grow/

https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/001982.htm

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hypothermia/symptoms-causes/syc-20352682

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ocean

https://www.ethnologue.com/guides/how-many-languages

Also, a special thank you to my husband for proof-reading my work! Thank you, hun!

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