On This Day In History: January 9

Mermaid?  Or Manatee?

On this day in 1493, Italian explorer Christopher Columbus, sailing near the Dominican Republic, sees three mermaids, which he described later as "not half as beautiful as they are painted."  In fact, they weren't mermaids at all--they were manatees.  Mermaids are breathtakingly beautiful, mythical creatures that according to legend can take on mortal shape and marry human men.  Manatees are marine plant eating mammals that weight between 800 and 1,200 pounds. 

Now judge not, lest we be judged.  Haven't we all made that same mistake at some point?  I wonder what they were serving on the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria?


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