On the previous day [8 Jan 1493], when the Admiral went to the Rio del Oro, he said he quite distinctly saw three mermaids, which rose well out of the sea; but they are not so beautiful as they are said to be, for their faces had some masculine traits. – Voyages of Columbus 218
Admiral Valez (squinting): Come Leonor, we must paddle this skiff at a brisker pace. I spotted them in that thrush of trees yonder!
Leonor: Could the legends be true Admiral? Do the mermaids truly grant a man all of his earthly desires?
Admiral Valez: If the old books are to be read true, then aye. There! Do you see? They’ve poked their heads out of the water to greet us. They’re beauty has not been falsely described. Don’t you agree Leonor?
Leonor: They…uh…they look pretty fat from here Admiral.
Admiral Valez (squinting): Nonsense! These voluptuous creatures will fulfill our inner most desires. Young maidens! Please hold there. We shall come to thee!
Leonor: Uh, are you sure those are mermaids? They look like they have whiskers.
Admiral Valez: They live in the wild you fool. What method have they to make themselves up like the whores in Lisbon?
Leonor: Ok, as we’re getting closer, I don’t think those things aren’t mermaids.
Admiral Valez: Preposterous.
Leonor: No, those are definitely manatees.
Admiral Valez: Call them what you will, but unless you join me in the water, I shall be making love to all three of the lovely ladies of the sea!
Admiral Valez dives in. 20 minutes go by.
Admiral Valez: A hand Leonor. Help your Admiral back into the boat.
Leonor: Well, how was it?
Admiral Valez: I…I… may need to get my eyes checked. No regrets or anything, but…yeah…I should definitely see an optometrist or something soon.
This is a real thing…. http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2014/11/141124-manatee-awareness-month-dugongs-animals-science/