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Mercy Reef was a naturally formed outcropping of coral that was located in the Atlantic Ocean on the outer perimeter of the territory of Atlantis. This seemingly insignificant landmark has become distinguished as an integral part of the history of Aquaman. Aquaman (birth name Orin) was born with blond hair, an extremely uncommon characteristic among Atlanteans, so much so that it was often regarded as a birth defect. This strange perception stems from an ancient omen relating to one of Aquaman's more disreputable ancestors, the evil wizard Kordax. Because of the dark history surrounding this superstition, all those who bear the "Curse of Kordax" are usually killed in the crib. In Aquaman's case however, royal dignitaries abandoned him as an infant on Mercy Reef. It was believed that when the tide was lower and the apex of the reef broke the surface of the ocean, the rays of the sun would kill the infant. Nobody realized that Aquaman had the ability to survive in the open air as well as underwater. As the child grew, he wandered farther and farther away from Mercy Reef, ultimately finding his way to the Curry Lighthouse off the coast of Maine.