Mermaids were said to lure fishermen to the deaths. Modern mythology portrays mermaids as friends and saviours


Planet Earth, conservation of species and the natural world


A mermaid is a legendary aquatic creature with the upper body of a female human and the tail of a fish. Mermaids appear in the folklore of many cultures worldwide, including the Near East, Europe, Africa and Asia. The first stories appeared in ancient Assyria, in which the goddess Atargatis transforms herself into a mermaid out of shame for accidentally killing her human lover. Mermaids are sometimes depicted as perilous creatures associated with floods, storms, shipwrecks, and drowning. In other folk traditions (or sometimes within the same tradition) they can be benevolent, bestowing boons or falling in love with humans.

Mermaids are associated with the Sirens of Greek mythology and with the Sirenia, a biological order which comprises dugongs and manatees. Historical sightings by sailors may have been the result of misunderstood encounters with these aquatic mammals. 

Christopher Columbus reported seeing mermaids while exploring the Caribbean, and sightings have been reported in the 20th and 21st centuries in Canada, Israel, and Zimbabwe. The US National Ocean Service stated in 2012 that no evidence of mermaids has ever been found.

Mermaids have been a popular subject of art and literature in recent centuries. Danish author Hans Christian Andersen wrote his popular fairy tale "The Little Mermaid" in 1836. They have subsequently been depicted in opera, paintings, books, films, and comics.


Mermaids are popular subjects for ships figureheads, blending the best of both worlds in an idealized form which can be made attractive. A typical figurehead is that of a woman, as a mother, protector and guide through stormy seas. The woman is fearless and brazen, a force of nature and a thing of beauty all at the same time. By adding a fishes tail, the woman becomes part of the sea, and being part of the sea combines the human motherly element with a biological affinity for the water that supports the ship - making sailors onboard that much closer to their working environment. 


  Mermaid painting, oil on canvas, Johm William Waterhouse 


A collection of famous mermaid paintings


  Mermaid on the rocks painting




Mermaid figureheads range is quality and degrees of artistry














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