“There was a strong caution against skin-to-skin contact with a mermaid. According to Philodemus, our ancient Greek source, physical contact with a mermaid will cause an infection of sorts. The symptoms of this infection are hallucinations, schizophrenic voices inside your head and eventually complete insanity. The victim will believe that the mermaid has taken control of his mind, will experience horrible nightmares, and lose capacity for rational thought.