Who are the NYC Mermaids?

from the left: Dr. Mermaid, Ali Luminescent, Kai Altair, and Stephan Spins

Kai Altair was born in the Mermaid Lagoon, an atoll whose exact location has never been identified. Some sources place it in the vicinity of the second star to the right (Barrie, 1911), but others suggest that it is one of the many atolls in the vast world ocean that has never been mapped. Kai is known for spending time on land with the humans of various atolls, which has motivated her to try and work with humans toward a common goal of saving the civilizations, cultures, humans, and other creatures before they are forced to leave their homes (IPCC, 2014). Despite her “ethereal vocals” and “hypnotic music” (Soundcloud, 2013), there are no confirmed reports of Kai luring sailors to their watery graves.


As her name implies, Ali Luminescent lives in the ocean’s euphotic zone, regions that are shallow enough for light to penetrate. Like many marine mammals, Ali is a migratory creature, visiting coral reefs around the world that are as brightly colored as her hair. These coral reefs are beautiful but highly threatened by global warming. Not only is their ocean growing warmer than they would like (Sheppard, 2003), the excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere mixes into the seawater, making in more acidic. High levels of acidity are bad for both corals (Hoegh-Guldberg et al., 2007) and mermaids (Dr. Mermaid, personal communication). Ali is known for her virtuosity in flow arts, stilt walking, and fire performance, which have been inspired by her travels above and below the water.


Dr. Mermaid inhabits the benthic zone of the ocean. She spends much time visiting hydrothermal ocean vents on the seafloor, wondering about the origin of life (Reeves et. al., 2014) and large scale ocean circulation (Gordon, 1986). Through her studies in physical oceanography, Dr. Mermaid has infiltrated several well-known land-based institutions of science, including the American Museum of Natural History.


Works Cited

Barrie, J. M. Peter Pan. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1911

Gordon, A. L.  “Interocean Exchange of Thermocline Water.” Journal of Geophysical Research, Vol 91, no. C4, pages 5037-5046, 1986

Hoegh-Guldberg, O. et. al. “Coral Reefs Under Rapid Climate Change and Ocean Acidification.” Science 14 December 2007: Vol. 318 no. 5857 pp. 1737-1742, DOI: 10.1126/science.1152509

IPCC, 2014: Summary for Policymakers. In: Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability. Part A: Global and Sectoral Aspects. Contribution of Working Group II to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [Field, C.B., V.R. Barros, D.J. Dokken, K.J. Mach, M.D. Mastrandrea, T.E. Bilir, M. Chatterjee, K.L. Ebi, Y.O. Estrada, R.C. Genova, B. Girma, E.S. Kissel, A.N. Levy, S. MacCracken, P.R. Mastrandrea, and L.L. White (eds.)]. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA, pp. 1-32.

Reeves, E. P. et al. “The Origin of Methanethiol in Midocean Ridge Hydrothermal Fluids” PNAS, vol 111 no. 15. 2014

Sheppard, C. R. C. “Predicted Recurrences of Mass Coral Mortality in the Indian Ocean.” Nature 425, 294-297, doi:10.1038/nature01987

Soundcloud, 2013. https://soundcloud.com/kai-altair



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