The Little Mermaid

In Peru, there is a little girl who was born with a mermaid’s tail. To you and I, that means she was born with a rare condition called sirenomelia (siren apparently being Latin for mermaid). When you have sirenomelia, you are born with your legs fused together. Like a mermaid. But also with the problem of having no external sex organs, and your entire urological system in your anus. (Then again, maybe mermaids have that too).

In the area of Peru where this little girl was born, there is a lake which is said to have mystical properties. Mermaids live in the lake. And if you go near the lake when the moon is full, perhaps have a bit of a lie down by the lake, then chances are that one of the mermaids will come out and curse you.

(But aren’t mermaids, like, all sweet and tragic?)

Anyway, so when this little girl was born, the attending doctor – I repeat, doctor – takes a look at the child and gravely asks the new mother, “Have you been to the lake recently?”

I only know this because I find myself in one of the rare moments that I watch terrestrial television, and here is a documentary on a girl who doctors think is a mermaid, and who a plastic surgeon (pictured above) makes the eminently excellent marketing decision to devote himself to curing. On television.

To which I must go back. These terrestrials are truly fascinating.

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