Scientists from the University of Maine at Rockland’s prestigious Mythical Maritime Creatures Department have released a study that proves that people report more Mermaid sightings when they are inebriated.
The study, which was conducted from Memorial Day Weekend through the Independence Day Weekend is believed to be the first of its kind, and should serve as the benchmark in Mermaid Studies for years to come.
Dr. Allen Bauer, who heads up UMR’s Mythical Maritime Creatures Department, told this Modern Philosopher that the study was not only definitive, but also “a wicked good time”.
“We went out in the S.S. Ariel, which is the school’s research vessel, and cruised around areas off the coast of Maine that are known for Mermaid sightings,” Dr. Bauer explained. “We especially concentrated on Mermaid’s Cove and the Rockland Breakwater Light, which are both well known for being hot spots of Mermaid activity.
The crew was comprised of four faculty members, a research team of six students, and the boat’s three man crew. According to Dr. Bauer, before the study began, only the ship’s three crew members had ever reported seeing a Mermaid.
“That fact had us very excited, because we knew that people might doubt our findings if the scientific team admitted to having already had numerous Mermaid sightings,” Bauer told me. “Truth be told, we all wanted to believe Mermaids were real, but our inner scientists made us extremely cynical about it.”
“We did get some great photos, though,” Bauer reported. The photo on the left was taken by one of the students in mid-June.
“After those first twenty-four runs, the findings were pretty much exactly as we expected,” the good doctor shared as he used the edge of my toga to wipe his glasses. “Things got exciting, though, when we introduced alcohol to the voyage.”
On subsequent runs, which they dubbed “The Booze Cruise”, team members drew straws to see who had to remain sober and who could get tipsy.
“Once the alcohol was added to the mix, the data most certainly began to change,” Bauer reported with a chuckle. “Let’s just say that the higher one’s blood alcohol level became, the more one’s eyesight reportedly improved.”
“Apparently, the Mermaids liked to sun on the rocks near the lighthouse,” Dr. Bauer said as he fought back a smile. “Not so surprisingly, the sober members of the team did not report seeing a single Mermaid. What do you think were the odds of that?”
In the final days of the study, everyone aside from the three crew members would drink as the Ariel slowly made her rounds. The crew, who got a kick out of watching the straight laced scientists get blitzed, stopped keeping track of how many Mermaids were seen once the numbers got into the triple digits.
“I have to say it was the most fun I’ve ever had doing research,” Dr. Bauer admitted. “There is a video, which I hope never gets released, that shows the ten of us on the breakwater, supposedly dancing with Mermaids. I’m sure the crew will keep that video somewhere safe, and then break it out when it’s time to renegotiate their contracts.”
“That’s a matter of opinion,” Bauer told me with a grin on his face. “There is a chance that alcohol improves our vision and opens our minds to things logic doesn’t want us to see. Or maybe not.”
The University of Maine at Rockland is now accepting applications for the Fall of 2014. Word of warning, though…Dr. Bauer’s classes are already booked solid.