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This is a warning about mermaids. Stay away from mermaids; those things are dangerous.

OK, for those of you who want to know more, here are the details.

One thing a lot of people get wrong about mermaids is that they tend to think of them as half human and half fish. In fact, no part of a mermaid is human and no part of a mermaid is fish, in the same way that no part of a stick insect is stick. Evolutionarily speaking, mermaids are closer to sea slugs than to any kind of vertebrate. You can think of them as a highly differentiated form of sea slug with a unique camouflage.

Another thing to know about mermaids is that they're like bees and ants in that they have different body forms for different social roles. The ones you hear about, the ones that look like a woman with a fish's tail, let's call them the foragers. They gather food and bring it back to the nest. Now, they have a special ability whereby as long as you — you being the victim — are touching the mermaid, you can survive underwater. You don't need to breathe, you won't be harmed by the pressure, etc. Which is how they catch their food. As soon as you have a firm grip on the mermaid, the mermaid is going to plunge. And then you're trapped. If you let go, you die. If you don't let go, you still die, but it takes longer.

What happens next is that the mermaid is going to hand you over to the queen. Now, the queen mermaid does not look like a woman with a fish's tail. More like a huge squishy slimy blob with tentacles that sits on the ocean floor and does nothing much except lay eggs. And you're going to be attached to one of those tentacles. Your genitals will actually be physically fused into her body. Eventually the rest of you will be fused into her body as well, but it takes a while so you'll have time to be aware of the process. And in your final moments, you might reflect on the fact that after she's absorbed all the nutrients your body contains, she will turn them into eggs and make more mermaids to lure more unwary victims to the same fate.

As I was saying: stay away from mermaids; those things are dangerous.
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