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Published on 30 Dec 2014 | over 3 years ago

The real life birth defect that's the root of mermaid myths. What causes it & is there a cure.

Here’s the real life origins of mermaid myths in 60 Seconds

From the little mermaid’s ariel to the Starbucks logo, mermaids are everywhere.

Even Christopher Columbus reported seeing mermaids while exploring the Caribbean.

The first mermaid stories show up in Assyria around 1000 BC. Where a goddess named Atargatis accidently kills her human lover.

Ashamed, she jumps into a lake to take the form of a fish, but the waters couldn’t conceal her divine beauty so only her lower half turned into a fish.

That first myth is the basis for mermaid myths from the Greeks to modern times.

But even the original myth probably came from a real life birth defect called Sirenomelia or mermaid syndrome.

Here a baby is born with its legs fused together, but still with two feet, making it look like a tail or fin.

Though 100 times more likely among identical twins, Mermaid syndrome is still about as rare conjoined twins

Over half the cases result in still births & the rest usually die within a day or 2 of birth, But why?

The problem is, It doesn’t just affect the legs, there is usually kidney, bladder, and heart developmental issues also.

Surprisingly it’s not a genetic disease, it happens because of a lack blood supply from the heart while in the womb.

There’s hope for survivors though, because there are 2 sets of leg bones.

The trick for plastic surgeons is to route veins & arteries for proper blood flow to each side,

And then to graft, or stretch the skin so there’s enough for each leg. And that’s ScienceN60.

Video Creative Commons Attribution Vimeo:
1) Blood Flow Mike © Ball

Video Creative Commons Attribution Youtube:
1) Lem Mee (Baby Grow in the Womb) © Lem Mee
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