Thursday, December 27, 2012

A Special Gift

In a recent Gizmodo 'Winter Break' article by Kyle Wagner, we learn that wild dolphins at an Australian resort will occasionally give gifts to humans. So, if a dolphin ever offers you a squid, be sure to smile and say thank you!

Merfolk, have you ever been offered a gift by a dolphin? If so, tell us about it!

Just Add More Water

I did an article on the Australian television show, H2O: Just Add Water in my February 15, 2012 blog post. In that article, I mentioned being part of a Twitter live chat with Phoebe Tonkin who played Cleo (center in the photo) on the show. At the time, I could not locate the text of the chat.

Recently, I was able to locate some of the tweets from the chat which took place on October 17, 2009 by scrolling back in Twitter over 3 years. I don't have everyone's contribution, but I do have quite a bit. The names of other members of the chat have been shortened for privacy.

At this point, let me say that I have no proof that it was the real Phoebe Tonkin. I'd like to believe it was.

The chat turned out to be quite long, so I am putting it in a separate page. Hope you enjoy it!

Learn more about Phoebe Tonkin at this web site. Some good information, though perhaps not a good choice of color scheme.

Reader Question

Q: In which H2O episode did Emma dye her hair bright red?

A: That was in the season one episode 'Red Herring'. As Emma was in mermaid form at the time her hair was dyed, the color came out exceptionally bright. It turned out to work in the girls' favor, as Zane failed to recognize Emma when he saw her in the water.

Best wishes and starfishes,
-Mermaid Cynthia
cynthia (at)

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Thursday, December 20, 2012


Yes, it was one year ago today (December 20, 2011) that the first Cynthia Mermaid blog post went online. It has been a great year of splashing, reading, interviewing, and more splashing!

The first installment was a short post entitled 'Music for Mermaids'. In the past year, a total of 77 articles have been posted and total page views is now over 23,700. Over 3,300 blog pages are viewed each month. Big hugs and splashes to each mermaid, merman, and mer-fan out there for visiting, whether occasionally or as each post is put online.

During the past year, the top ten countries reading this blog have been: United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Russia, Germany, Philippines, India, France, and Thailand. Google is the number one referring site, followed by Facebook and MerNetwork.

The most popular search term that has lead readers to the blog is, of course, 'mermaid'. Second place is held by 'mermaid pictures'. The most popular mermaids are Mermaid Kariel (by search) and Mermaid Shelly (by page view).

When results for individual blog post views are tallied, the clear winner is 'Ocean Minds and More' (Feb 12, 2012). Second place is the recent post 'Rare Whale' (Nov 9, 2012), and third place is 'News Shell 6' (August 30, 2012). Do let me know how you came to find these, and what specifically picqued your interest.

As we begin our second year, I would like to wish everyone a happy and healthy holiday! I would like to encourage more feedback from my readers. What is on your mind? What questions should we cover? Who should we interview? My email address is at the bottom of each blog post.

The Best in Sci-Fi and Fantasy

Annalee Newitz has compiled a list of the Best Science Fiction and Fantasy Books of the past year. Each book is discussed in enough detail for one to make a buying decision.

Look for Ms. Newitz's list in her article on io9. She asks readers to contribute their choices for the best of 2012 in the comments section.

One of the listings of particular interest is Wonders of the Invisible World by Patricia McKillip. This book contains 16 stories from the past few decades.  From high fantasy to fairy tales to magical realism, there should be something here for everyone. The mermaid on the cover is another clue that this might be one to consider.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane

Due out in June of 2013, The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman already has fans excited. While this novel shows no signs of merfolk, the artwork and quotes presented in a recent article by Irene Gallo show a quality work in progress.

The artwork is by Dave McKean, a frequent collaborator with author Neil Gaiman.

This is not a kid's book, tho it is a story of childhood, memory and magic. It is also a story of survival. We may wish to follow future articles on this novel, to see if we can gather more information.

Best wishes and starfishes,
-Mermaid Cynthia
cynthia (at)

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Saturday, December 15, 2012

Giant Squid

Giant Squid Suckers

A giant squid has been captured on video for the first time in its natural habitat. Squid fans should make their way to the recent article by Jason Robey on the Discovery Channel web site. The video footage will be presented by The Discovery Channel and NHK in January 2013.

A Discovery news report video from August 18th, 2010 appears at the end of the article, 'Animals: Giant Squid Legend Lives'.

Take the Giant Squid Quiz as well, and see how much natural history knowledge you have in the Giant Squid category.

Mer-Palooza 2013

The Mer-Palooza mermaid convention staff has confirmed that Mer-Palooza 2013 will be held August 9-11, 2013. Mark those calendars! I will provide further details as I get them.

You can also keep up with Mer-Palooza news at their web site.

A Correction

In my recent interview with StaySea Mermaid, the wrong web site address was given for Terresentials. This is the correct link, and I have also updated the interview page. Be sure to pay them a visit.

News Wanted

If you are a mermaid or merman and have a special event coming up, please send me the information for inclusion in an upcoming blog post. I am also interested in products for the merfolk community. What do you have to offer? Be sure to include a short description and web site address.

Best wishes and starfishes,
-Mermaid Cynthia
cynthia (at)

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Sunday, December 9, 2012

More Robots

Robotic Sea Turtle

In past blog posts, we have talked about a robotic fish and a robotic water snake. Well, those humans are at it again. In a recent article on Gizmodo, we are introduced to a robotic sea turtle developed at ETH Zurich University. The robot moves quite well underwater, but you would never mistake it for the real thing.

What could be next?  Robotic mermaids?

Record-Breaking Robot

After a journey of 9,000 miles on the surface of the Pacific Ocean, the Wave Glider autonomous robot known as Papa Mau landed in Australia on November 20th. Along the way, it gathered a wealth of scientific data. For the full story, check out this article by Daniel Terdiman for C|Net.

Are Mermaids Real?

Once again, we have a news story in which the US government is reported to have announced, "Mermaids are not real."  In response to this, more than one reader commented, "If the government says they are not real then they are real!"

Take a look at the article and watch the video at Yahoo News and share your opinion.

Best wishes and starfishes,
-Mermaid Cynthia
cynthia (at)

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Sunday, December 2, 2012

StaySea Mermaid

Today I have the pleasure of speaking with StaySea, a mermaid from the west coast of the US. Merfolk, As StaySea tells her story, you may discover that you have traveled a similar path of discovery. StaySea will certainly inspire us all. Join me in welcoming her to the blog!

Cynthia: Good afternoon, StaySea. Tell us a little about yourself.
StaySea: My mermaid bio: My full name is StaySea Oceanosea, I was born on a long beach and raised on the shores of a garden isle. I’m also known as Beach Blossom, crunchy kelp bulbs are my favorite snack and I received my early mermaid education at All Saints by the Sea.

The reality: I was born in Long Beach, CA and lived on the beach on the north shore of Kauai (known as the Garden Isle) as a child. Being born a flower child, my mother wanted to name me Beach Blossom, but thought I would hate it - instead I loved it and adopted the nickname! Oceanosea is a play on my father's last name, O’Shaughnessy. When I was little I really did love eating kelp bulbs straight off of the beach. I refrain from doing so now. I’m not sure that they are safe to eat, knowing that the ocean isn't clean, though my mouth salivates every time I see one! I am a hula dancer and I teach hula fusion dance and live with my wonderful husband by the sea, right around the corner from the nursery school I attended as a guppy, All Saints by the Sea, in Montecito, an enclave of Santa Barbara, CA.

Cynthia: How did you first get into mermaiding?
StaySea: I have felt that I was a mermaid as long as I can remember. I have always lived near the sea and derived endless hours of joy from playing in water or just being by the sea shore. I feel a deep connection with sea life, whales often come to me in profound dreams, as do sharks and dolphins. Though I never took swimming lessons as a child, I could swim faster and could hold my breath longer than anyone I knew. Ironically I failed the swimming test in high school because I didn't know proper surface swimming strokes. Swimming underwater came naturally to me and even though I had to take swimming class and learn surface strokes I still prefer to swim underwater, it just feels right. I feel like a mermaid in other ways as well, I am a creature of solitude and feel like an outsider in the human world. I find solace in the wild sea, and a desire to escape to it, a world that accepts me as I am, a being of few words (usually). People often do not know how to take me, find me to be an enigma, but also feel more calm and peaceful being in my presence, like being near the sea.

The movie Splash resonated with me deeply. After seeing it I started drawing mermaids and writing short stories about a girl learning of and revealing her true identity as a mermaid and returning to the sea. I never thought about the costuming factor. I didn't need a tail to be a mermaid. That was until 2008, when I learned of Hannah Mermaid. Her image was on the page of a petition to save the dolphins of The Cove. I clicked on the image and was forever changed when I watched the video of her swimming with whales. It rocked me to the core and made me cry. I felt like I had found my calling, to swim in the sea as a mermaid while promoting ocean conservation. Within a few months I made my first tail and began my journey of outwardly expressing my true self.

Cynthia: What kind of performances do you do?
StaySea: I perform underwater for photography and film productions, and also appear for most any kind of event, be it a fundraiser, promotional event, corporate event or children's party. I perform mermaid dances in the water, and for children's parties I perform mermaid hula to sea inspired songs.

Cynthia: Tell us about your work in ocean conservation.
StaySea: I do what I can personally to lessen the negative impact on the sea, knowing that all of our actions ultimately affect the ocean. I am conscientious about the products I use - only baking soda and vinegar to clean my house and Oasis detergent and dish soap (which is actually beneficial to plants). Skincare is my special interest, as it is highly unregulated. I suggest reading up on the subject at (link updated Dec 13) - it is a great resource to learn about the ingredients in skin care, what is in it, how it is produced and the effects of both on your body and the environment. I use only organic oils - coconut, shea butter and cocoa butter - on my skin. Each time I’m on the beach I pick up trash, which, unfortunately, over the years there seems to be more and more of it to pick up. I use a glass bottle for my water. I write to companies that use wasteful packaging. We must first reduce, then reuse, then recycle.

I am a fan of various ocean conservation organizations on facebook and share their efforts on my mermaid page. Being a mermaid is a great way to capture children’s imaginations and reinforce the need to take care of the sea. This year I volunteered at SB Earth day celebration. Earth Day began because of a huge oil spill off the coast of Santa Barbara, so I thought this event was fitting for a mermaid. My husband thought up the idea to have a fish wish booth. We used recycled and reused paper and printed fish for children to color and cut and put in the sea. The children wished something positive for the ocean as they put their beautiful fish into the “sea” (a background we painted). This correlated perfectly with my beliefs and overall message. Not only do we need to take care with our actions, but our thoughts as well. We need to use our collective thoughts to heal the sea. Rather than be defeatists, we need to think positively and visualize a healthy ocean. We also posted information on ocean safe products, amazing ocean facts, and how our actions affect the ocean around our booth. It was a huge hit and so much fun, hundreds of kids came through our booth and made fish wishes, got sea stamps and took photos with me while my husband, “Captain Rook”, sang ocean songs.

Cynthia: Have you been to any of the mermaid gatherings?
StaySea: No, I haven't, but they look fun and hope to attend one in the future. It is so great to have this wonderful mermaid community. I am continually inspired by all the creativity out there. It is funny to me that some think mermaids should be one way or another. Mermaids come in as many shapes, sizes and types as there are people. I am so tickled by the variety out there, it makes my heart sing! I love it all, from the most natural to the kitsch and everything in between - variety is the spice of life!

Cynthia: You were in Hawaii recently?
StaySea: Hawaii is the home of my childhood and heart, so I make a regular pilgrimage there. It is always so hard for me to leave, it is where I belong, swimming in the beautiful warm sea every day. On this trip I swam with honu (green sea turtles) and my husband and I did some underwater video and photography. It is such an amazing thing to swim in the sea as a mermaid, it is pure joy to live it and am thrilled that we can create art from it. We’re just scratching the surface, it is technically and physically challenging, but we can’t wait to do more! He is so creative and a great photographer and director, I feel so very blessed that we are on this journey together.

Cynthia: Do you have any special/amusing stories from your mermaid adventures?
StaySea: I love that being a mermaid brings so much joy to others, but I’m just not always up for making a spectacle of myself. We usually seek out remote locations for video and photography sessions. The last few days of our trip I wanted to shoot by a pier for some cool underwater background, but the pier was on a busy beach. I prepared myself mentally for the mob scene, but I was able to get into the water without much notice, which was pleasantly surprising. What I didn't think about were the people on the pier itself. The mob scene happened once I swam near the pier! Then one large group after another would discover me and freak out each time and ask me if I would pose for photos and perform for video. I felt compelled to oblige and do flips and dives because of their smiles and joy and so I wore myself out before we did any underwater work!

Cynthia: What else you would like to share with us?
StaySea: I just want to get the message out to everyone that we need to keep our thoughts positive, daydream regularly, play often, visualize more, observe less. We are all co-creators in this magical thing called life, our thoughts and dreams are driving this ship, so dream and live BIG!

Cynthia: Thank you very much, StaySea! Look for StaySea on Facebook as well as her web site.

Best wishes and starfishes,
-Mermaid Cynthia
cynthia (at)

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