U is for Ukranian mermaids and Undine and a giveaway for the A to Z Blog Challenge.
Off the shore of the Crimean Sea town of Miskhot in the Ukraine, there is a exquisite statue of a mermaid holding a baby. As the legend goes, there was a beautiful girl named Arzy who lived in Miskor. On her wedding day, she was kidnapped by Ali-Baba and sold to be part of a Turkish sultan’s harem. Arzy did not want to be held captive in Istanbul so she jumped into the water to escape. She transformed into a mermaid who appeared on the shore of Miskhot with a child.
Undines are mythological water nymphs who are said to live in streams, lakes, and rivers in Europe. An Undine has no soul but can become human when she and a man fall in love. But, she is doomed to die if he becomes unfaithful to her. In one story, Undine discovers her husband in the arms of another woman. Knowing that she will now die, she puts a curse on him that will cause him to die if he falls asleep.
In 1811, Friedrich de la Motte Fouqué wrote a novella called Undine in which a water spirit marries a knight in order to gain a soul. Undine was adapted into an opera by E.T.A. Hoffmann in 1814.
Arthur Rackham illustrated the 1909 edition.
There is actually a medical condition known as Undine’s (or Ondine’s) curse in which the sufferer is unable to breathe while sleeping and as a result, suffers from cardiac arrest.
Undine was a female superhero who appeared in DC Comics for a short while as one of the Elementals.
Undine was in actuality a famous writer named Crystal Marrs who happened to be a good friend of Bruce Wayne. She was kidnapped by Sandor Fane (AKA the evil Overlord.) The Overlord summoned the spirit of an Undine and transferred it into Crystal’s body giving her the super power of control over water. The Overlord tricked her into attacking Aquaman, but when she realized that Aquaman was not a villain, she became his ally.
Unfortunately, Undine and the other Elementals were only featured in four issues of DC Comics in 1978.
Have you ever read any of the DC Comics featuring Undine and the other Elementals?