Sea monsters have long captured man’s imagination, and real animals are often tied to these myths. When Christopher Columbus sailed across the Atlantic, he sighted what he called a mermaid near the Dominican Republic in 1493. This was the first know sighting by a European of a manatee. He did make note that they were not as attractive as he had been led to believe. Even the name of their order ‘sirenia’ comes from the Latin word that represents sirens and mermaids. It is unknown how long a man has to be at sea before he confuses a sea cow with a woman.
Scientific And Common Names