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A CG drawing of a Mermaid.

Merfolk are legendary aquatic creatures with humanoid upper bodies and fish-like tails comprising their lower bodies. These beings have appeared in myths, legends and fairy tales all over the world. Female merfolk are referred to as mermaids with males being called mermen.


Traditionally the fish tail only replaces the legs, however many modern day depictions show the tail starting at the waist. Merfolk are associated with perilous events such as floods, storms, shipwrecks, and drownings. In other folklore traditions they can be benevolent or beneficent, bestowing boons or falling in love with humans. They are commonly depicted as being highly attractive with long flowing hair and are often associated with the Sirens.


  • Enhanced Strength: Due to the deep sea pressures, merfolk are slightly stronger than the average humans.
  • Underwater Respiration: Merfolk can breathe in the water, by nature of their gills.
  • Fast Swimmers: By nature of being half fish, merfolk are faster swimmers then humans.
  • Supernatural Beauty: Many myths describe merfolk as strikingly beautiful creatures.
  • Siren Song: Like the sirens, many legends say mermaids possess beautiful voices lovelier than any human music. Their singing voices alone can cast a spell on listeners and draw them towards the singing mermaid, no matter what dangers lay between them.
  • Water and Weather Manipulation: According to ancient myths, when angered, merfolk can conjure and control the seas and had the power to calm storms or make them rage in gigantic waves, just by dancing in the waves. The storms they command can be fierce and capable of destroying entire fleets and coastal towns.

Origins of Merfolk Mythology

Women in the ancient world and in the Dark Ages would go to the beach and go swimming or deep sea diving. They would swim naked and then rest on a large flat rock as a group. The women would sometimes sing a song to themselves and comb their hair. Some of the women wore wooden flippers used for diving. 

Sightings and encounters

There have been many sightings and encounters over the years.

  • Many Titanic survivors claimed that they saw mermaids swimming in the water by the life boats when the ship went down. Survivors saw a yellow glow in the water and then two arms came out of the water. The mermaids then put a survivor into a life boat and then swam away.

Sightings around the world.

Mermaids have supposedly been seen or encountered in many places around the world.

  • Florida
  • Bermuda
  • The Atlantic Ocean.
  • The Indian Ocean
  • Israel, Yam
  • The North Atlantic Ocean
  • The Pacific Ocean
  • Africa
  • Hawii
  • Iceland
  • Antarctica

Further reading

"Mermaid Report Room". Lumberwoods, Unnatural History Museum

"Becoming Mermaids" American Museum of Natural History.