A Human-seal Hybrid?

Hybrids out of History

logo

EUGENE M. MCCARTHY, PHD GENETICS, ΦΒΚ

     
Marriage between water fairies and humans was apparently very common, if folklore that claims of seal ancestry for many coastal families is to be believed.
The Encyclopedia of Celtic Mythology and Folklore
human-seal hybridA reconstruction of the reported birth

Caution! The evidence for this cross is extremely poor.

In 1882, according to American newspapers, a woman in Lewiston, Maine, gave birth to a tertium quid, half seal and half human. The following is a notice about the event, as it appeared in column 3 of the front page of the December 28, 1882, issue of the Phillipsburg Herald, a newspaper published in Phillipsburg, Kansas (source):

    A woman at Lewiston, Me., gave birth to a monstrosity a few days ago. The lower portions of the body were shaped like those of a well-formed child, while the head and upper parts were like the young of a sea-lion. The creature had a hairy head, neck and muzzle. After it was a day or two old it barked and spat.

Lewiston is about ten miles from the southern coast of Maine.

Some scholars remark upon the claim of seal ancestry by certain coastal families—in Ireland, the Coneelys, Flahertys, MacNamaras, Sullivans, and many families on Achill Island; on the Hebrides, the MacPhees; on the Scottish mainland, the MacCondrums; on the Isle of Skye, all fair-haired people.
The Encyclopedia of Celtic Mythology and Folklore

Table of contents >>

Bibliography >>

Internet citations >>

Biology Dictionary >>

By the same author: Handbook of Avian Hybrids of the World, Oxford University Press (2006).