Did you know that mermaids are native to the Lowcountry?
It’s true! There have been many sightings over the years, and they seem to be thriving now more than ever. So if you are a merm-o-phile, art or marine mammal lover or a young girl who wants to meet Ariel, Hilton Head is the place for you. Below are three instances that confirm the existence of these ocean nymphs in our area.
1. Mermaids of Hilton Head Mermaid Encounter:
On this kid-friendly magical tour, Pinky Plankton and Sailor Scruffy take you on a journey through the waters around Hilton Head to find Mermaid Nina.
This is an exciting, fun and family friendly adventure that everyone will enjoy! In 2019 this tour was named the “Best Marine Wildlife Experience in South Carolina” and in 2021 it was name the “Best Children’s Activity in South Carolina” by LUX Life Family & Visitor Attraction awards. For more info on Mermaids of Hilton Head go HERE.
Here’s Nina (below) as she swims right up to the boat to greet visitors to Hilton Head:
2. Chase Allen’s Pod/School/Herd (or whatever is the correct plural for mermaids):
Chase Allen is renowned for his coastal decor line of metal wall art but his handcrafted mermaid sculptures are by far his most iconic design. Chase’s remote studio gallery located on bridge-less Daufuskie Island. These mermaids have been featured in dozens of national magazines, Coastal Living, and Martha Stewart Living, to name a few.
Thousands of coastal homes (including Martha Stewart’s) have one of Chase’s mermaids. Don’t be surprised when you run in to one somewhere soon. Visit Chase’s website to see more of his work and how to purchase a mermaid of your own!
Below is an actual, un-doctored photo of one hanging around in Bluffton, SC.
3. Mermaid sightings by sailors:
While they weren’t made up, these sightings were most likely manatees. Back in the day, manatees were often mistaken for mermaids due to their mysterious appearance. Manatees and dugongs carry an alluring mystique, perhaps inspiring their scientific moniker – Sirenia.
Despite the fact that manatees don’t have tails like mermaids do, the legend of manatees as mermaids persists today. Who knows? Maybe it’s manatees’ siren-like call…or maybe it’s just wishful thinking! Either way, these slow-moving aquatic mammals are still pretty magical creatures and love our coastal waters.