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A mermaid and merman by an anonymous Russian artist, 1866.

Merfolk or mer-people, with the males being mermen and the females being mermaids, are humanoid creatures who live in the ocean. They are usually depicted with the head and torso of a human and the trunk and tail of a fish, manatee, or seal.

There is no single original source for merfolk legends, which have arisen independently among nearly every seafaring culture on Earth. The oldest known written descriptions of mermaid-like creatures come from China in the 4th century BC. However, there are ambiguous references to vaguely icthyoid sentient beings in late 2nd or early 1st millennia BC sources - most notably in the ancient Greek myths of Homer and the Israelite accounts of the Philistine god Dagon.

Cultural ideas about the precise biology and behavior of merfolk include an infinite number of variations.

Merfolk in "Leg Irons, the Bitch and the Wardrobe"[]

The kingdom next door to Leffing had a coastal merfolk population, including a well-known opera singer.

Merfolk in State of Jefferson[]

Merfolk were a sentient species of the order Sirenia, related to dugongs and manatees. A noted merfolk population lived in the north Pacific Ocean off the coast of Jefferson, USA. Merfolk vocal chords were unable to reproduce sounds of human (or Sasquatch) speech, but merfolk could learn to understand terrestrial spoken languages such as English, and could learn to read and write those languages as well.

Merfolk were divided into clan systems. In the waters near the mouth of the Klamath River, the Squid Clan wielded a great deal of power and influence over the other clans. Merfolk used aquatic animals such as dolphins and killer whales in capacities akin to terrestrial watchdogs and sheepdogs.

Merfolk generally fell under the jurisdiction of the Federal government. They were instrumental in training U.S. Navy SEALs.

In Summer, 1980, the merfolk at the mouth of the Klamath came into conflict with the Karuk tribe over fishing rights to the salmonin the river. Neither side wanted to involve the Federal government, so the Karuk approached Jefferson Governor Bill Williamson to mediate. Williamson did achieve a compromise agreement, though neither side was enamored of the outcome. [1]

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