Mermaids have a rich (rather culturally diverse) folklore surrounding them. What do you envision when you hear the word “mermaid?” An illustrious beauty with long, flowing hair?
Well, consider some renditions from 19th century Japan.
These illustrations range from about 1805-1840.
Apparently, reports of mermaid encounters were quite common during this time period…though undoubtedly far less desirable than running into one of our own culturally appropriated versions of the creature.