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July 2019 - The Children of Atargatis (Merfolk)

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This item is password protected and available to members of The Geocoin Club only. If you are a member of The Geocoin Club, you will receive the month's password in club newsletter email.

Design By: Chris Mackey 

Dimensions 50 mm Wide

Thickness4.0  3.5 mm

Finish Satin (Matte) Silver
Enameling Soft Enamel

Trackable? Yes

Has Icon Yes

July 2019 - The Children of Atargatis (Merfolk)

Design notes from Chris:  

All around the world people have told and retold stories of underwater races since ancient times of pre-recorded history.  The oldest known legends first appeared in ancient Assyria (c 1000 BC) and tell of the goddess Atargatis who transformed herself into a mermaid to flee below the waves from the shame of accidentally killing the human man she loved.  From this ancient tale have sprung thousands of stories expounding on the resulting children of Atargatis known as mermaids and mermen.  There are many tales who speak of the merfolk being temperamental and sometimes helpful or hindrance by turn.  When these tales are examined however, it appears that there is much confusion of mermaids and sirens who are vastly different although sometimes appearing very similar physically.  While some mermaids are accounted in saving drowning sailors, directing good winds, good weather and favorable signs of navigation to sailors, just as many tales are told of evil sirens luring sailors to their destruction.  Some tales even illustrate sirens pretending to be the benevolent mermaids offering help only to reveal their evil nature at the last moment.  The reclusive merfolk are often quite curious of humans however and quite favorable toward helping them as well.


Among the merfolk, the mermaids and mermen are also quite different in their natures.  Throughout history there are stories and recorded sightings of both and descriptions of their different temperaments abound.  Since most sailors were traditionally men, far more tales are told of the beauty and gentle nature of the mermaids, but in artworks throughout the world, most figures of merfolk that appeared after the Old Babylonion Period were mermen.  Mermaids are often described as being helpful to the shore-bound and sailors.  They direct them away from shallows, bad weather and other dangers.  Mermen are often described as looking quite more fish-like than mermaids and being much more protective and martial in their behavior.  Constantly being shown carrying weapons  or trophies of their conquests.  


While commonly accepted as simple folklore, merfolk have been repeatedly sighted throughout history and recordings of their sightings have been attributed to the ships logs of Christopher Columbus in 1493 off the coast of Hispaniola, the infamous pirate Blackbeard (along with multiple crew members), and in Canada near Victoria in 1870.  More recently, they have reportedly been sighted in Canada again 1967, Haifa Bay in 2009 (multiple witnesses), and most recently in Zimbabwe in 2012 where workers near water reservoirs were reportedly chased away and refused to return.  


With almost 3/4's of the world covered in water and stories of encounters throughout most of the world, it is hard to dismiss the possible existence of the Children of Atargatis.  They remain an unfound treasure in the wild and maybe, just maybe we'll finally meet them if we continue to explore our world.  Keep your eyes open as you cache the coast, rivers, lakes and waterways.  You never know when you may be the next to witness these reclusive people.

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