Well, I have to start off with a song here…
OK, I couldn’t resist!…
Having worked for the Sea World Education Department eons ago, I have a fond place in my heart for these gentle giants. I saw daily what injuries they had to endure but I also saw how resilient they were.
I am happy that they receive their day in the spotlight!
If you have never seen a manatee in person before, it is a sight to behold. They are basically big, fat, grey teddy bears.
How can you not love that ball of fluff…uh…I mean… blubber 🙂
This is why I find it amusing that they are associated with the tales of mermaids.
Legend has it that sailors at sea saw beautiful women swimming and beckoning them into the depths. In fact, even Christopher Columbus noted seeing such beauties – that is until they surfaced and he was quoted as saying they are “not half as beautiful as they are painted.”
No one really knows why sailors thought they saw beautiful women. Was it possibly due to scurvy from all the sea water they drank – or maybe visions made up by love-sick men stuck at sea for months or years.
Manatees do continue to carry on one part of the legend though – they belong to the Taxonomic Order Sirenia – named after the songstress temptresses from folklore.
To celebrate the day:
Adopt a manatee
Read a book about manatees to your family or to a group of schoolchildren at a local school, or watch John Lithgow read his book I’m a Manatee