Waiting for Neptune (576 Piece Wooden Jigsaw Puzzle)
- Categories: 20th Century, 21st Century, Contemporary, Level 3, New Arrivals, Puzzles For Her, Puzzles For Him, Spring, Summer, Victorian
- Type: 500+ Piece Puzzle
The mystery of mermaids dates back to the first written accounts of humanity, but how much do we actually know about these mythical sea creatures?
Sea maidens (and sometimes men) can be found in folklore and mythology from every tradition and culture globally - from Ireland to the landlocked Karoo desert in South Africa. The English word mermaid is a compound of "mere" (Old English for sea) and "maid" (a girl or young woman).
Centuries ago, mysterious sea serpents and mermaids were believed to be hidden in the world's vast oceans. Merfolk (mermaids and mermen) were just one version of half-human, half-animal legends that have captured the human imagination for ages.
Greek mythology contains stories of the god Poseidon (known as Neptune in Roman Mythology) as the merman messenger of the sea. In ancient Greece, sirens were the more infamous cousins of the generally friendly mermaids, often luring sailors to their doom.
The symbol of the mermaid is as changeable as the sea itself. In some cultures, the mermaid signifies life and fertility within the ocean. In others, she embodies the destructive nature of the water, luring sailors to their deaths — serving as an omen for storms, wild seas, and disaster.
However, many people are perhaps most familiar with the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale of "The Little Mermaid," first published in 1837 and later developed into a Disney movie of the same name. In the popular fairy story, the mermaid gives up her life under the sea for love and marries the prince.
In 1909, the Danish sculptor Edvard Eriksen was commissioned to create a statue inspired by Andersen's fairy tale. The bronze sculpture is one of Copenhagen's most popular tourist attractions today.
Could there be a scientific basis for the mermaid stories? Some historians believe that sightings of large ocean animals such as manatees might have inspired merfolk legends. These animals have a flat, mermaid-like tail and two flippers that resemble stubby arms. Up close, they don't look anything like the mermaids depicted in ancient art, but most mermaid sightings were from quite a distance, and only parts of the body were visible above the waves.
Mermaid tales may be ancient, but they are still with us in many forms. Their images can be found in art, puzzles, books, Disney movies, Starbucks — and maybe even in the ocean waves if we look close enough.
- Includes a Bonus Poster to Guide Assembly
- Number of Puzzle Pieces: 576
- Completed Puzzle Size: 22.5" X 11.5"
- Artist: © Linda Ravenscroft
- Serial #: NP22-576-475
- Wood Thickness: 4mm
- Cut Style: Victorian
- Difficulty: Level 3
- Made in the USA