Friday, 5 November 2010

How Mermaids Should Be Painted

Today I dropped back into DeviantART to have a quick look through the new pictures in my inbox (currently around 10,000, if you cared!). Anyway, this utterly gorgeous and enthrallingly realistic mermaid was submitted to the mermaids club I started up (for fun, mostly, I'm a very hands off moderator...). And having dissected a fair few fish in my last few years (marine biology geek ;D ) it's something that often bugs me and I really appreciate coming across.

Mind Corpses by Mariyumi deviantart realistic mermaid creepy pale nude girl hair fish boat ship fishing

This is how mermaids should be painted. This is fantastic. You can actually see how stiff and shiny the tail fin really is on a fish, and the shiny sparkling scales and the salmonid colours. I could nitpick on the lack of anal or dorsal fins, or an underbelly or ... but it would be just that. Nitpicking. (And ugh, now I'm reminded of the sealice that tend to spread via salmon farms onto the wild fish - two or three of those monsters are enough to kill a fish. I just finished my latest Aquaculture paper...)

The seaweed is also a really nice touch. I think those are trout, but they might be salmon (both migrate to and from the ocean - which way, catadromous or anadromous, depends on the actual species). They're pretty similar anyway!

Which reminds me, the results from the FDA review in America on the transgenic salmon should be out soon. I had to Research on the topic for one presentation ;D Lots of nasty environmental implications if when they escape. They bred some monsters (size of a person) but the effects of that much growth hormone had too many other negative effects - cranial and organ disformities, aggression, higher activity (and therefore higher feed costs), reduced reproductive activity and success... Yeah. Aquaculture is currently not the Way of the Future. Especially as there aren't enough fish to create enough fishmeal to feed all the farmed fish even now.

...way off topic there. I mean, NO. IT WAS FISHY. Anyway, I was disappointed in that the artist (Maryumi) didn't have a Zazzle account , so I couldn't add the painting to my mermaid posters page.

(belatedly) Also, the one thing that drives me nuts and I forget about, and this picture also didn't do - fish do not have knees. I keep seeing all these paintings that have basically taken a woman and painted a tail over her legs. It looks so wrong - it's not optimal for swimming! If you can't get your head around fish, then look at dolphins - most mermaids are closer to the shape of a dolphin anyway.

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