Mermaids in popular culture

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People dress in mermaid costumes for events such as parades.

Mermaids, like many other creatures of mythology and folklore, are regularly depicted in literature, film, music, and beauty


An illustration from a 1913 reprinting of Hans Christian Andersen's 1837 fairy tale The Little Mermaid
The cover of Yevgeny Zamyatin's 1913 Russian-language novel A Provincial Tale
The March 1949 issue of Fantastic Adventures features the story "The Mermaid of Maracot Deep".
Several stories in Andrew Lang's Fairy Books feature mermaids.
  • The Search for Delicious features a mermaid child named Ardis who helped a fairboy save his kingdom.
  • Sirens are creatures of Greek mythology, most famously featured in Homer's Odyssey. In ancient accounts they are typically described as being part woman, part bird. But later classical portrayals, such as Herbert James Draper's Ulysses and the Sirens, would attribute them merfolk features.
  • Moby-Dick - In Chapter 126, "The Life-Buoy", the crew of the Pequod hear human-like cries in the night. Superstitious crewmen believe they are the sounds of mermaids or ghosts, which signify a bad omen. Captain Ahab scoffs at this, saying they have merely passed a seal colony in the night. His explanation does little to calm their nerves and the next day a crewman falls to his death from the masthead.
  • Perhaps one of the best known works featuring mermaids is Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tale The Little Mermaid (1837), which has been translated into many languages. Andersen's portrayal, immortalized with a famous bronze sculpture in Copenhagen harbour, has arguably become the standard and has influenced most modern Western depictions of mermaids since it was published. The story has been retold in other films and television programs, and regularly features in collections of fairytales. It has been adapted into various media, the most famous of which is the 1989 Disney movie of the same name.
  • L. Frank Baum (creator of Oz) wrote a novel about merfolk, The Sea Fairies (1911). Later, in The Scarecrow of Oz (1915), the same characters are rescued from danger by the mermaids.
  • In E. Nesbit's Wet Magic (1913), four children hear that a mermaid has been captured by a circus, and rescue her. Their reward is to visit the hidden kingdom of the mermaids.
  • T. S. Eliot, in The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock (1915), uses the metaphor of mermaids to emphasise Prufock's plight: "I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each. / I do not think that they will sing to me."
  • H. P. Lovecraft created a grim variant of merfolk lore via The Deep Ones in the novella The Shadow Over Innsmouth. Man-fish creatures subservient to their patron gods Father Dagon and Mother Hydra, they had an affinity for intermarrying with humans and promoting the worship of The Old Ones.
  • One of the stories embedded in L. Sprague de Camp's The Goblin Tower (1968), told by the book's protagonist Jorian, is about a human king who fell in love with a mermaid. The story tells in hilarious detail of the couple's difficult efforts to physically consummate their love, which nearly ends in disaster (he nearly drowns in trying to have sex underwater, and she is nearly killed by his bodyguards in revenge). In the end, the king marries a human woman, though keeping a platonic friendship with the mermaid.
  • Mermaids appear in Poul Anderson's The Merman's Children (1979).[1]
  • In The Mermaid Summer (1988), a novel by Mollie Hunter, Eric Anderson must leave his island home when he incurs the wrath of a mermaid by speaking slightingly of her, and he can never return unless his grandchildren Jon and Anna confront and tame the mermaid.
  • In The Moon and the Sun (1997), a novel by Vonda N. McIntyre, Yves and Marie-Josephe de la Croix are siblings and natural scientists who capture and bring a mermaid to the court of Louis XIV.
  • In Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2001), J. K. Rowling writes of magical creatures in the Harry Potter world, including mermaids. They are described as in three different species: sirens, selkies and merrows. Similar to other humanoid magical creatures in this universe, they do not wield or understand magic themselves. They appear in the fourth and sixth books of the series.
  • Aquamarine (2001), a novel by Alice Hoffman, is about two 13-year-old girls who discover a sassy teenage mermaid. The novel was popular among teen and preteen girls,[citation needed] and was made into a film released in 2006 by Twentieth Century Fox that starred Sara Paxton, Emma Roberts and JoJo.
  • "The Last Mermaid" - a short story by Brendan Connell in the collection Unpleasant Tales. It relates how the last mermaid in existence was brought to the table of Carlos II of Spain.[2]
  • Sereia de Curitiba (2007) - Rhys Hughes, in the connected stories that form this book, relates the adventures of a mermaid in a variety of locations, including Brazil, Madeira, Wales, and also on the moon, where she meets a species of mermaid with the heads of fish and lower bodies of humans who surf the dry lunar seas on motorised skateboards.
  • The Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis mentions mermaids at the end of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, and Lucy sees a group of them in Voyage of the Dawn Treader and bonds silently with a young mermaid girl.
  • Forgive My Fins - This novel by Tera Lynn Childs is about a half-mermaid princess who tries to win over the school's champion swimmer with unlikely results.
  • The Forbidden Sea - Shiela A. Nielson's novel about a girl living on Windwaithe Island who tries to protect her sister from a mermaid that is living in the waters around the island.
  • Real Mermaids Don't Wear Toe Rings - Helene Boudreau's novel about an aquaphobic mer-girl who tries to find her missing mermaid mother.
  • Mermaid - Carolyn Turgeon's 2011 novel retells The Little Mermaid fairytale as a love triangle between the mermaid, the human princess, and the prince.
  • Fins Are Forever - Tera Lynn Childs' 2011 summer sequel to Forgive My Fins.
  • Just For Fins (2012) - Tera Lynn Childs' third book in the series, after Forgive My Fins and Fins Are Forever.
  • The Mermaid's Mirror - L.K. Madigan's novel about a surfer girl who finds a mermaid.
  • Meredith the Mermaid - Written by Ted Price, this is the supposedly true story of a mermaid, named Meredith Elzea, who is trapped in the landlocked American Midwest and desperately trying to escape back to the ocean so she can travel around the world to find her secret mermaid treasures.
  • The "Emily Windsnap" series by Liz Kessler, which consists of The Tail of Emily Windsnap, Emily Windsnap and the Monster From the Deep, Emily Windsnap and the Castle In The Mist, and Emily Windsnap and the Siren's Secret, is a middle-grade book series about a twelve-year-old girl who discovers she is half-mermaid and has several underwater adventures with her mermaid best friend Shona.
  • The 2010 novel Keeper includes mermaids and mentions a "mermaid mama."
  • Lost Voices - Sarah Porter's book is the first in a trilogy about abused girls who become mermaids due to a traumatic event, who sing ships to their doom.
  • The Spiderwick Chronicles series by Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black has merfolk and other water creatures like kelpies, nixies and sea serpents.
  • The Sisters Grimm series, written by Michael Buckley and illustrated by Peter Ferguson, has many characters from fantasy and fairy tales, including the Little Mermaid.
  • In the Goosebumps series written by R. L. Stine, the nineteenth book, Deep Trouble is about a boy named Billy Deep who finds a mermaid.
  • The Everworld series by K. A. Applegate has mermaids and mermen. They live underwater in the Roman version of Atlantis.
  • Ice Massacre by Tiana Warner is about a teenage girl who is sent to battle a population of hostile mermaids that's driving her people into poverty.
  • The Waterfire Saga series, written by Jennifer Donnelly, featuring four books: Deep Blue, Rogue Wave, Dark Tide and Sea Spell, is about six mermaid heroines who battle to save their hidden world.
  • Mele the Mermaid written and illustrated by Justin Alexander Cecil in 2014 (originally published under the name J.A. Cecil) is about a mermaid who refuses to kill humans like her other fellow mermaids, and is thus turned into a human herself.

Comic books[edit]

  • Namor the Sub-Mariner debuted in 1939 as the first superhero of the Marvel Universe. He was born of Homo mermanus, a race of aquatic humanoids. Namor's father was human however, giving him attributes of both races. He is able to exist both on land and at sea, possesses superhuman strength, and can fly via the winglike fins on his ankles. A prince of the undersea kingdom of Atlantis, he would later ascend to the throne as its king. He has a history of hostility towards human civilization but has also been a tenuous ally.
  • Superman - The comic book superhero Superman had a romantic love interest with a mermaid named Lori Lemaris. Her first appearance was in 1959. The name Lori Lemaris was probably drawn from Lorelei rock in the Rhine added to maris, from the Latin mare, meaning ocean. She has the initials L.L., the same as several of Superman's other love interests including Lois Lane and Lana Lang.
  • Arabelle the Last Mermaid by Jean Ache appeared as a comic strip in the daily French newspaper France-Soir between 1950 and 1962. The character returned in various magazines until 1972. Arabelle is discovered by an American plastic surgeon on a Mediterranean island. The surgeon gives her human legs, but she retains her ability to breathe underwater. With her companion, a reformed burglar, Arabelle becomes involved in a series of light, romantic adventures. [1]
  • One Piece - The manga and anime series has many mermaids, most notably Kokoro, Camie and Princess Shirahoshi.
  • Rave Master - The character Celia is a beautiful young mermaid with long blue hair. She is the younger sister of the Queen of the underwater mermaid village, Mildesta. She falls deeply in love with the main protagonist, Haru Glory.
  • Dragon Ball - In chapter 25, "A Rival Arrives!!", Master Roshi asks Goku to bring him a pretty girl, and if he did, he would train him. Goku finds a mermaid and Master Roshi tries to hit on her. She just slaps him and jumps back into the ocean.
  • Urusei Yatsura - In chapter 125, "Pool Spooks! Burning with Forbidden Love", Lum decides to help and with Shinobu’s help, they dress as two mermaids.
  • Mermaid Saga - a manga series by Rumiko Takahashi, which tells that when a person eats the flesh of a mermaid, he can gain immortality, but chances are that the mermaid's flesh will either kill him or transform him into a horrible creatures called a Lost Soul. Two types of mermaids are shown in the manga. The first may gain human appearance when they eat the flesh of an immortal girl; the second has two legs and feed on the flesh of mermaids who live in water, specifically when they are about to give birth. Besides the flesh, a mermaid's blood, ashes, and liver have different effects on humans. Mermaid's blood can stop a person's youth, but it can't stop their insides from aging. Ashes can give flowers immortality, but can only temporarily revive dead humans. A mermaid's liver was used to revive a dead girl, but gave her a need to feed on the livers of living things.
  • Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch - a manga about a group of mermaid princesses who become pop singers and use their voices as weapons against their enemies.
  • Starstruck - The character Eeeeeeeeeeluh, a psychic fish woman, has appeared in various incarnations of the science fiction comic series Starstruck, by Elaine Lee and Michael Wm. Kaluta: in the stage play, the comic book stories, a print portfolio, and posters.
  • My Bride Is a Mermaid - In this manga, the main character, Nagasumi Michishio is saved from drowning by a mermaid, Sun Seto. Afterwards, Nagasumi is forced to marry Sun.
  • 07-Ghost - The mermaid Lazette sings and plays an organ in a church. She can shapeshift her face into that of other people. If people eat her scales it allows them to breathe underwater.
  • Legendz - In the manga, Ken Kazaki's friend Ririko Yasuhara has a mermaid named Tetty.
  • Aion (manga) - This manga has several mermaids. One of them is named Sheila, The youngest of the mermaids. She falls in love with the main character, Tatsuya.
  • Akazukin Chacha - In this manga, a mermaid named Marin falls in love with Riiya. She can change into a human when her tail dries out.
  • In the manga Black Cat, one of the main characters, Eve, uses nanomachines to give herself transformation abilities, and once she transforms into a mermaid.
  • In the manga Monster Musume, one of the main characters is a mermaid named Meron Lorelei. She comes from a noble family and has an obsession with the classic fairy tale "The Little Mermaid", to the point where she wants to have a doomed love with Kimihito, the male protagonist.
  • In the manga/anime Fairy Tail, the main female protagonist, Lucy Heartfilia, uses Celestial Spirits, one of which is a mermaid called Aquarius. Also, another character, Lisanna Strauss, uses animal-based transformations, uses one trick to turn into a mermaid (in an anime-only episode). Further, in the final arc, Lucy and another character, Brandish Mu, were temporarily turned into mermaids when Aquarius took them to the Memory of the Stars to show the Truth about their mothers

Video games[edit]

  • Eliza was a second boss from Gokujo Parodius, made a cameo in Sexy Parodius in Stage 2, which a Pachinko of CR Gokujo Parodius, and Otomedius in Stage 1, voiced by Hitomi Nabatame.
  • Ariel and other characters from Disney's The Little Mermaid appear as supporting characters in the Kingdom Hearts video game series, a crossover between various Disney franchises and Square Enix's Final Fantasy franchise. Attina and Andrina, two of Ariel's mermaid sisters, make cameos in Kingdom Hearts II during its final musical number.
  • Densetsu no Stafy - In the Densetsu no Stafy game series by Nintendo, a character ironically named "Mermaid" is used to save the game. Whenever Stafy bumps the shell she lives in, the game will auto-save.
  • Feeding Frenzy and Feeding Frenzy 2 - a mermaid gives starfish for bonus points after successful levels.
  • Puyo Puyo - The Japanese puzzle game series from Compile features a mermaid named Seriri who believes that everyone is trying to eat her, due to the belief that eating mermaid flesh will grant immortality.
  • Mega Man 9 - Splash Woman's design is based on the appearance of a mermaid.
  • The Goonies II - The climax of the game involves rescuing a mermaid.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening - On Koholint Island, there is a mermaid named Martha who lives in a bay. She states that she has lost her necklace because of the ocean waves. After you retrieve her necklace from under the bridge, swim back to her bay, and give it to her, she will give you a mermaid's scale as an exchange. Later, she jumps from the surface and sits on the rock as you get closer to the shore.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass - Link encounters what he at first believes is a real mermaid, but later discovers she is a Hylian girl named Joanne who enjoys dressing up as a mermaid. She is involved in several side quests.
  • Double Dealing Character - In the fourteenth title of the Touhou Project series, a mermaid named Wakasagihime serves as the game's first boss. She has the ability to increase her strength when in water.
  • Mermaids are a new "life state" introduced in The Sims 3: Island Paradise.
  • Mermaids appears in Shantae games like Shantae and the Pirate's Curse and Shantae: Half-Genie Hero.


Annette Kellerman (left) as the titular mermaid in the 1918 film Queen of the Sea
The 1941 Dutch East Indies film Ikan Doejoeng featured mermaids.
The 1952 film Million Dollar Mermaid is based on the life of Annette Kellerman, the first actress to portray a mermaid in film.
Film Year Notes
The Mermaid 1904 Silent film by Georges Méliès and starring an unknown actress as The Mermaid. This whimsical, four-minute-long film is the first ever to feature mermaids. Georges Méliès' work would go on to inspire the movie Hugo.[3]
Siren of the Sea (or The Mermaid) 1911 Silent film starring Annette Kellerman as the first mermaid to actually swim in a costume tail in a film.
Neptune's Daughter 1914 Kellerman
A Daughter of the Gods 1916 Kellerman
Queen of the Sea 1918 Kellerman
Venus of the South Seas 1924 Kellerman
Ikan Doejoeng 1941 From the Dutch East Indies
Miranda 1948 Starring Glynis Johns
Mr. Peabody and the Mermaid 1948 Starring Ann Blyth
Million Dollar Mermaid 1952 Based on the life of Annette Kellerman
Mad About Men 1954 Sequel to Miranda
Pekka ja Pätkä sammakkomiehinä (Pekka and Pätkä as Frogmen) 1954 In this Finnish Pekka Puupää comedy, the heroes rescue a foundered mermaid and carry her to Pekka's apartment. They set her on the bathtub. Pekka's wife Justiina initially sees only her fish-tail and is initially surprised by "a big fish the menfolks have caught" and gets a knife to prepare it as a dinner, but she faints as she sees the mermaid's upper body.
Night Tide 1961 Starring Dennis Hopper and Linda Lawson
The Mermaids of Tiburon 1962 Starring Diane Webber, George Rowe, and Timothy Carey
Beach Blanket Bingo 1965 Starring Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello, and includes a sub-plot of the character Bonehead (Jody McCrea) falling for a mermaid portrayed by Lost in Space's Marta Kristen.
Head 1968 Starring The Monkees, briefly features two mermaids in the opening "Porpoise Song" sequence, surrounded by psychedelic effects.
Local Hero 1984 Marine researcher Marina (Jenny Seagrove) is suspected by her love interest of being a mermaid.
Splash 1984 Starring Daryl Hannah and Tom Hanks, Hannah plays a mermaid who falls in love with a human. She can walk on dry land when in human form, but her legs change into a fish tail whenever she gets wet. Much of the movie revolves around her humorous attempts to conceal her true identity from her lover. A made-for-television sequel, Splash, Too[4] followed in 1988, starring Amy Yasbeck and Todd Waring.
Talk Dirty To Me Part III 1984 The third and fourth films in the adult film series Talk Dirty To Me feature mermaids who come ashore to find men. As in Splash, the mermaids can walk on dry land, and their legs become tails in water. The mermaid in 1984's Talk Dirty To Me Part III was played by then-16-year-old Traci Lords. When Lords' age became public knowledge in 1986, all of her films, including TDTM Part III, were pulled from the American market to avoid prosecution for distribution of child pornography. Lords' scenes were deleted from the film and were replaced with footage featuring Lisa DeLeeuw in the mermaid role. The edited version is called The New Talk Dirty To Me Part III and is the only version of the movie currently available. In the fourth film, Taija Rae played a mermaid from the same tribe as those in TDTM Part III, though her costume design was very different from those of the previous film. In TDTM Part III, the mermaid costumes were skintight, waist-high body stockings ending in fish tails. Rae's mermaid costume in TDTM Part IV was a bulky, chest-high construct that appeared to be fashioned from leaves, plastic daisies, and foam rubber scales.
The Little Mermaid 1989 Produced by Walt Disney Studios, this portrays a variant of the story by Hans Christian Andersen about the mermaid who wished for legs. This film was followed by a prequel TV series, a direct-to-video sequel The Little Mermaid 2: Return to the Sea featuring the title character's daughter, and a DTV prequel movie in 2008.
Hook 1991 Produced by TriStar Pictures Amblin Entertainment, three mermaids appear when Peter Pan (Robin Williams) is dropped into the ocean in Neverland.
The Secret of Roan Inish 1994 Incorporates mysticism into the selkies and their fae children.
Mermaid Got Married 1994 This Hong Kong romantic-comedy (based on Splash) tells the story of a school teacher who falls in love with a mermaid who'd rescued him as a young boy. The film stars Asian cinema idols Ekin Cheng, Christy Chung, and Takeshi Kaneshiro.
Magic Island 1995 Lily, a young mermaid, befriends a group of buccaneers and joins them on their quest for Blackbeard's treasure.
Sabrina Down Under 1999 Sabrina (Melissa Joan Hart) travels to Australia's Great Barrier Reef with her best friend Gwen, a fellow witch from England, for a week-long vacation where they try to help protect a hidden mermaid colony whose habitat is threatened by ocean pollution, and by a local marine biologist, Dr. Julian Martin, determined to find the colony as his claim to fame. While Sabrina finds romance with Barnaby, a merman from the mermaid colony, Salem the cat finds a possible romance with another witch-turned-into-a-cat, named Hilary, but finds Sabrina's problems interfering with his plans.
The Thirteenth Year 1999 A teen learns that his birth mother is a mermaid after he begins to grow fins and slimy scales on his thirteenth birthday.[5]
She Creature 2001 Circa 1900, a carnival barker named Angus discovers a mermaid held captive in a tank by a disturbed old man. Angus steals the mermaid and loads her on a ship headed for America. When the mermaid is discovered, Angus's lover Lily begins to suspect that the mermaid is more dangerous than she first seemed.
Mermaids 2003 Erika Heynatz, Nikita Ager, and Sarah Laine are a trio of mermaids who solve their father's murder.
Mermaid in the Manhole  ? A Tokyo-based shock film centered around a decaying mermaid found living in the Tokyo sewer system. This is a very gruesome film; it focuses on the mermaid's decay and subsequent death from exposure to toxic environment of the sewer.
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe 2005 Mermaids appear briefly at the end of the story.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire 2005 Merpeople appear briefly during the second task.
Mermaidia 2006 In this Barbie doll direct-to-video movie, Elina travels to Mermaidia to save her friend Nalu, the merman Prince. He's been kidnapped in an attempt to learn the whereabouts of a special berry that will make the evil Laverna the most powerful fairy in Fairytopia. It's up to Elina to stop them, but she can't do it alone. She'll need the help of Nori, a headstrong mermaid who doesn't trust outsiders and wants nothing to do with Elina. Saving Nalu could require the greatest sacrifice of her life: her wings. Can she do it, or will Fairytopia fall into the hands of Laverna forever?
Aquamarine 2006 The title character is a mermaid (Sara Paxton) who is washed ashore after a violent storm. She decides to search for true love on land, and makes two good friends (Joanna "JoJo" Levesque and Emma Roberts) along the way.
Legend of Sudsakorn 2006 The main character, Charlie Trairat, is the son of a mermaid who is sent on a magical quest to find his father, a prince.
Peter Pan 2003 Mermaids appear in a small segment: the narrator says they "are not like the mermaids in stories" though Wendy is thrilled by them. These mermaids have webbed fingers and markings on their faces. Peter asks them if Captain Hook has kidnapped John and Michael, which the mermaids confirm. One of them also tries to drown Wendy.
Sirène song 2005 Short feature by Fanny Jean-Noel. A mermaid is seeking for a job.
Half Fish[6]  ? Features two con artists trying to sell what they claim to be mermaid fetuses, until an actual mermaid shows up.
Princess 2008 Starring Shileen Paton as a mermaid named Cala who lives under the pond.
Bedtime Stories 2008 A mermaid appears in the book that Skeeter gives to Bobbi and Patrick.
Hoshisuna no Shima no Chiisana Tenshi (Mermaid Smile) 2010 Japanese film starring D-Boys members Tetsuya Makita and Masashi Mikami, and Riho Iida of Love Live! fame. The story is of a girl who is found washed up on the shore in a tourist area of Okinawa, and suspected of being a mermaid.
Barbie in A Mermaid Tale 2010 In this Barbie doll direct-to-video movie, Barbie stars as Merliah, a surfing champion from Malibu. One minute she's a normal teenager and the next she learns a shocking family secret: she's a mermaid! Merliah and her dolphin friend Zuma set off on an undersea adventure to rescue her mother, the queen of Oceana.
Empires of the Deep 2011 A human falls in love with a mermaid in a fantasy world.
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides 2011 During his search for the Fountain of Youth, Jack Sparrow encounters several mermaids.
Barbie in A Mermaid Tale 2 2012 In this Barbie doll direct-to-video movie sequel, Merliah heads to Australia for the ultimate surfing competition. When the evil mermaid Eris escapes from her whirlpool, thanks to Kylie Morgan who steals Merliah's necklace, with plans to take Callissa's spot on the throne of Aquellia and get the power of Merilia, Merliah and her sea friends dive in to stop her.
Barbie: The Pearl Princess 2014 In this Barbie doll direct-to-video movie Barbie stars as Lumina, a mermaid who dreams of being a princess. As long as she can remember, she's had a magical power that makes pearls dance and glow! Lumina and her best friend Kuda, a pink seahorse, embark on an adventure to a majestic mer-kingdom. There, she uses her powers to help her friends prepare for the Royal Ball. Lumina then discovers that her magical pearls are the key to unlocking her true destiny and ultimately saving the kingdom.
Maidens of the Sea 2014 The second feature film by writer/director Kerri Kuchta, this film tells the story of a lonely sailor who discovers an island of mermaids.
The Mermaid 2016 Chinese film starred by Lin Yun and directed by the Hong Kong comedian Stephen Chow.

In one of the Toy Story Toons shorts, "Small Fry," Buzz Lightyear meets a plastic mermaid named Neptuna who always carries her trident and sits on a rock.

In the Legend of Sarila, there is a mermaidlike goddess named Sedna.


Sheet music cover for "Mermaids' Song" by Charles Kinkel, which was featured in the 1826 opera Oberon by Carl Maria von Weber

Mermaids have long been associated with music[citation needed], and much like that of Orpheus, the power of their singing voices is said to have had the ability to enthrall. Along with their legendary vanity, the hair-combing and mirrors, the association of mermaids with music is coupled with another association of a vocal nature: they are said to be able to confer verbal eloquence[citation needed], much like the Muses of the ancient Greek myths.[citation needed]

  • In the 18th century sea shanty, "The Keeper of the Eddystone Light", the singer's father is a lighthouse keeper and his mother is a mermaid.
  • Alexander von Zemlinsky's symphonic poem Die Seejungfrau (The Mermaid), first performed in 1905 but then forgotten until its second performance in 1984, is based on Andersen's detailed fairy story. Zemlinsky briefly explained its plan to Arnold Schoenberg; a more detailed matching of story and music is provided by its second conductor, Peter Gülke.[7]
  • 1985 hit by French duo Les Rita Mitsouko, "Marcia Baila", includes the verse " sirène en mal d'amour" (A lovesick mermaid). The song's video clip includes a mermaid.
  • In Finnish musician J. Karjalainen's song Merenneito ja minä ("Mermaid and Me"), he describes a wonderful tour in the underwater kingdom with a mermaid with whom he has fallen in love. In the song he is able to breathe under water due to the mermaid's magic medicine.[8]
  • Another Finnish song, Koskenlaskijan morsiamet ("Brides of Log Driver") is about a mermaid who falls in love with a skillful log driver. Unfortunately, he is already engaged to a human woman. When the mermaid sees her love riding the rapids with his human bride, she in a burst of jealousy raises a rock off the river bed, drowning them both. Seeing them drown and die, she immediately regrets her deed, and in the end of the song she is left weeping alone on the rock.[citation needed]
  • Joanna Newsom's song "Colleen" tells the story of a girl from the sea who adapts to life on land, but is plagued by dreams and memories of her past. The song is told from the girl's perspective, and it is left open to interpretation whether or not she eventually returns.[9]
  • The music video for "Cherish" by Madonna includes several merman and a merman child.
  • In the music video for "Mermaid Sashimi" by Mexican singer Juan Son, a mermaid is in a restaurant ready for being cooked.
  • The mermaiding performers of Weeki Wachee Springs appear in the 2005 music video for the track Low C by Supergrass.[10]
  • The Weeki Wachee Mermaids also briefly appear in the music video for the 2012 Kelly Clarkson song, Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You).
  • The death metal virtual band Dethklok have a song called "Murmaider," about mermaid murder. In the second episode of the animated series Metalocalypse, the band state that fish had "no good metals to listens to" so they recorded The DethWater Album. "Murmaider" appeared as the first track of the band's real album, The Dethalbum.
  • Sade appears as a lovestruck mermaid in the music video for her 1992 single "No Ordinary Love."
  • Among the outrageous claims made in the Lonely Island song "I'm On A Boat" is the claim by T-Pain that he has had sex with a mermaid. The video shows an African American mermaid in the background behind T-Pain as he sings this verse.
  • Danish bubblegum singer Ni-Ni (Nynne Qvortrup) released an album in Japan and Denmark on February 16, 2001 called Mermaid which included the song "A Mermaid's Tale."[11]
  • A recently formed high school band, Jarrod and the Mermaids, is immensely popular in the region Bay of Plenty in New Zealand. They have a distinct style of magic.
  • Lady Gaga dressed as a mermaid named Yuyi for the video for "You and I."
  • In 2007, Japanese pop group SMAP recorded a song titled "Mermaid", which was originally intended as a single, but ended up being released as the 7th track of their 2008 Platinum album, Super Modern Artistic Performance. The song was used for Japanese media coverage of select swimming events during the 2008 Summer Olympics.
  • "FT Nesli - Mermaid" sung by Turkish singer Neslihan Evrüz 2008 in English by Burak Yeter from the album Mermaid.
  • Andrew Lloyd Webber's Love Never Dies features a mermaid in the musical number "Beautiful/The Beauty Underneath".
  • In 2011, Japanese group Aldious released a single, "Mermaid". The PV had one of the girls of the band as a mermaid.
  • In 2011, Finnish symphonic power metal band Nightwish released Imaginaerum, which contained the song "Turn Loose the Mermaids".
  • In 2012, French singer Nolwenn Leroy appeared as a mermaid on the cover of her album Ô Filles De L'Eau, and in the music video of her single "Sixième Continent."
  • In 2012, American pop rock band Train released a new single titled "Mermaid" from their sixth studio album, California 37.
  • The opera The Enchanted Island features mermaids in the end.


  • Stingray (1964) includes stop-motion puppetry that features a mermaid named Marina. However, unlike typical mermaids she has no tail; instead she swims with two legs and displays the ability to breathe underwater. Both more well known, and popularly known,[citation needed] are these particular character puppets also seen in the Thunderbirds TV series that was produced 1965–1966.
  • Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea had a story called "The Mermaid" (1967, Season 3, Episode 77); at the opening of the episode one can see the mermaid unnoticed by Commander Lee Crane (David Hedison) go swimming by the S.S.R.N. Seaview submarine's monitoring window.
  • Night Gallery - Episode 46, Season 2 called "Lindemann's Catch" (1972), with Rod Serling in his opening introductions, who also introduced the The Twilight Zone series. This is a story about a sea captain whose desires as a man are again awakened as he catches a mermaid on his little boat. As she has a tail from the waist down, she isn't of course quite what he wants. He seeks out a potion to change her into a complete woman. He gives her the potion and leaves her below deck. He expects that when he returns she'll be a complete woman, but she is rather now having a fish torso. The analogy of the episode demonstrates a man's innate need for a woman- even as the captain is found grasping for her feet, now a horrendous malformed creature as she attempts to jump ship.
  • "Danny And The Mermaid" (May 17, 1978) is a pilot episode for a series that didn't get picked up. It was a 30-minute sci-fi comedy starring Ray Walston (famous for his previous successful series My Favorite Martian). Walston played Professor Stoneman, helping his student apprentice Danny Stevens (Patrick Collins) to be an oceanographer. Danny first learns of the mermaid, Aqua (Harlee McBride), a colorful blond mermaid with blue eyes and iridescent scales, when she swims by one of the portholes in their underwater lab. Later he meets her and she communicates with them through a hatch on the lab's floor.
  • Mermaid Saga is a Japanese animation series (1984–1994) in 3 to 4 volumes, depending on the country release distribution. It was based on the comic book by the same title which is a manga series by Rumiko Takahashi, which tells that when a person eats the flesh of a mermaid, they can gain immortality. In the United States, it has been dubbed into English except for its theme song which remains in Japanese. There are nine episodes in the American release (2003–2004): Mermaid (Never) Smile, The Village of Fighting Fish, Mermaid's Forest, Dreams End, Mermaid's Promise, Mermaid's Scar, The Ash Princess, Mermaid's Gaze, and Mermaid's Mask.
  • The Australian television series H2O: Just Add Water (2006) involves three teenage girls who, after encountering a mysterious island grotto, transform into mermaids whenever water touches any part of their bodies.
  • In the television series Baywatch (1989–2001), Marliece Andrada plays a mermaid in the episode "Rendezvous".
  • In the Japanese tokusatsu television subgenre Super Sentai (and its Americanized counterpart Power Rangers), there are a few mermaid-based elements:
    • Dengeki Sentai Changeman (1985) is the design theme for the heroes of which was mythological creatures – Sayaka Nagisa (Hiroko Nishimoto) transformed into a white-colored ranger called Change Mermaid. Some of her attacks were based on underwater movement.
    • The short film Hikari Sentai Maskman (1987) features a mermaid named Lelai, who is tricked into using her beautiful singing voice to create earthquakes that would destroy the world.
    • In Power Rangers: Lightspeed Rescue (2000), Blue Ranger Chad Lee befriends and falls in love with a mermaid named Marina (Kamera Walton). She appears in only two episodes, "Ocean Blue" and "Neptune's Daughter"; the second time forced to lure the Lightspeed Rangers into a trap. (No mermaid appeared in the previous original 1999 Japanese series, Kyuukyuu Sentai GoGo-V.)
    • Mahou Sentai MagiRanger (2005) - Urara Ozu (Asami Kai) harnessed the power of the water Heavenly Saint Splagel, who is a mermaid; thus, Urara's MagiMajin form is MagiMermaid (whose legs can merge to allow her to swim underwater). However, when she upgrades half way through the series into her Legend form, her body joins with her two older brothers' and younger sister's to form the Legendary Majuu MagiLion. Then in Power Rangers: Mystic Force which aired the following year, Madison Rocca (Melanie Vallejo) is the Blue Mystic Force Ranger. She draws her powers from an ancient titan who was shaped as a mermaid. Since the giant monster battle footage from PRMystic Force is taken directly from MagiRanger, Madison's giant Mystic Mermaid form mirrors that of Urara's MagiMermaid.
      • Madison's name is perhaps an intentional pun and tip of the hat since that was the name of the mermaid character played by Daryl Hannah in the 1984 film Splash.
  • In a fifth-season episode of Charmed (1998–2006), a mermaid (Jaime Pressly) enlists the help of main character Phoebe Halliwell (Alyssa Milano) against a sea witch and in wooing the mermaid's true love. Phoebe turns into a mermaid and is only turned back into a human after her ex Cole convinces her that humanity is better. In this version, mermaids are immortal, have a physical need to be by water, and most do not love. Mermaid was a Charmed spin-off developed for The WB, since the theme of mermaids was recognized to have potential for its own series, and a one-hour pilot was filmed. However, after The WB and the UPN merged into The CW channel, the resulting network passed on the show.
  • Nadia, a killer siren/mermaid-like creature (Adrianne Palicki), is the main antagonist of the television pilot Aquaman. This show was also cancelled after UPN's arrival.
  • In the Taiwanese fantasy series Legend of Heaven & Earth, which shows various stories and legends from Asian mythology, one season depicts a story similar to Hans Christian Andersen's "Little Mermaid" in which the main protagonist is the mermaid daughter of an undersea sorceress who is trapped in a conch shell for centuries until freed. While disguised as human, she explores the outside world and falls in love with one of three princely sons. The story focuses on how she manages to protect both her love and the undersea land that she comes from. The series was shown on AZN Television shortly before the network's cancellation in 2007.
  • In an episode of Flipper, Dean, played by actor Scott Michaelson, finds a mermaid (Rachel Blakely) in one of his dives. Michaelson played a merman in Sabrina Down Under.
  • In episode 14 of The Vision of Escaflowne, Dryden Fassa helps a mermaid named Sylphy return to her home.
  • In the anime Pokémon, Ash Ketchum's friend Misty appears as a mermaid with long hair decorated in white pearls with red earrings on her ears, a periwinkle-beaded necklace around her neck, an aqua-colored tail with a yellow star on her hip and pink shells used for a bra. This appearance is seen in two episodes: "The Misty Mermaid" from Pokémon: Indigo League and "Cerulean Blues" from Pokémon Chronicles.
  • Dyesebel is a drama-fantasy series based on Mars Ravelo's creation in GMA Network in the Philippines. Marina is also a drama-fantasy series in ABS CBN and Marinara is a comedy-fantasy show in GMA Network.
  • In the anime Bakugan, Klaus's guardian Bakugan, Sirenoid, is a mermaid.
  • In the anime Renkin 3-kyū Magical? Pokān, a mermaid princess appears in episode 5, "A Tiring Spell Is a Trip to the Beach/Love's Spell Is a Trip to the Beach".
  • In an episode of Faerie Tale Theatre, Treat Williams and Pam Dawber help stage a production of The Little Mermaid that follows Andersen's story much more closely than the Disney film that came out three years later.
  • In the Dexter's Laboratory episode "Ocean Commotion", while the family visit in the beach, Dee Dee (in a mermaid costume) gets kidnapped by some maniac sailors and Dexter and Moby Dick are the only ones to save her. This is a parody of Disney's The Little Mermaid, and of Moby Dick.
  • In the 2007 anime My Bride Is a Mermaid, a boy named Nagasumi Michishio is saved by a mermaid named Sun Seto, but it is the mermaids' law, when a human sees a mermaid's true form, the human or the mermaid has to be killed. The only way to solve this problem for him is to marry her.
  • Cyberchase has a mermaid character named Binary who lives in the Aquari-yum. She is green and purple and she tames several sea animals.
  • In one of the episodes from Magi-Nation, Edyn turns into a mermaid complete with aquatic fish ears, webbed hands and a mermaid's tail, and dives into the depth of the water with her friends. Some other characters are mermaids and one of them, Traptika, is very friendly.
  • In the television series Fantasy Island, mermaids are occasionally depicted as being in conflict with Mr. Rourke (Ricardo Montalban). Most notably Naya (portrayed by Michelle Phillips of The Mamas and the Papas fame), who appeared in 2 episodes in 1979 and 1980.
  • Many comedy series, such as Family Guy and Robot Chicken, satire mermaids' inability to reproduce without genitalia.
  • The wicked mermaid Cardian Amphibia only appears in "Raye's Day In The Spotlight" from Sailor Moon R.
  • In one of the episodes of Rupert, a young blond mermaid named Marina befriends the main protagonist Rupert Bear.
  • In an episode of My Parents Are Aliens, "The Tail Of The Knitted Map", Sophie morphs into a mermaid.
  • In the anime Undersea Boy Marine, Marine Boy has a friend named Neptina who is a young mermaid who has long flowing hair and wears a magic pearl around her neck.
  • In the Disney Junior series Jake and the Never Land Pirates, a young mermaid named Marina befriends the young pirates and helps them on their adventures.
  • Another Disney Junior show, Sofia the First features the mermaids Queen Emmaline and her daughters Cora and Oona. Ariel from Disney's The Little Mermaid also makes an appearance in an episode of the series.
  • In the anime Black Cat, one of the main characters, Eve, uses nanomachines to give herself transformation abilities, and once she transforms into a mermaid.
  • In the anime Rosario + Vampire, a band of mermaids makes up the school's Swim Club, where they lure the male students in to suck their life force for survival.
  • The 2010 French animation series Zig and Sharko features Marina the mermaid. Zig the hyena wants to eat her but her friend and bodyguard Sharko the shark protects her.
  • In the TV series Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Sabrina and a friend turn into mermaids in the episode "Wiccan of the Sea". A similar event happens in the movie Sabrina: Friends Forever.
  • In the anime Kero Kero Chime, the protagonists help a mermaid reach out to her prince, after gaining the ability to assume human form when dry, in three days or she will turn into sea foam.
  • In the anime Sgt. Frog, the main human male protagonist, Fuyuki, befriends a mermaid while she is in human form.
  • In the anime/manga Tokyo Mew Mew, the character Lettuce can use mew power around her legs to form a mermaid-like tail to move underwater.
  • In the anime Smile Pretty Cure, in episode 30, the heroines assume mermaid tails to battle underwater.
  • In the anime-manga Dragonball, Goku has to meet Master Roshi's demand to bring a beautiful girl to him to receive his teachings; one of the girls he brings is a mermaid, much to Roshi's surprise.
  • In Doctor Who's sixth season, a mermaid or siren-like creature appears in the episode "The Curse of the Black Spot".
  • Joanna Garcia portrays Ariel, the main character of the Disney film version, in season three of the ABC series Once Upon a Time.
  • A pod of mermaids attack The Jolly Roger in season three of the ABC Series Once Upon a Time (TV series).
  • In 2005's animated direct-to-video film Tom and Jerry: The Fast and the Furry, racer Steed Dirkly spots a mermaid on an island, but it turns out she is a Mirahna, a cannibalistic mermaid who feeds Steed to her offspring. She is a cross between a mermaid and a piranha, with a beautiful body, long orange hair, yellow sea-shells for a bra, a magenta fish tail, aquatic fish ears, and the head of a piranha.
  • In 2014, tvN's drama series, The Idle Mermaid (잉여공주).
  • In 2016, SBS's drama series, The Legend of the Blue Sea (푸른 바다의 전설).
  • The Riptide episode "Catch of the Day" (Season 2, Episode 3) involved a mermaid.[12]
  • In the manga/anime Fairy Tail, the main female protagonist, Lucy Heartfilia, uses Celestial Spirits, one of which is a mermaid called Aquarius. Also, another character, Lisanna Strauss, uses animal-based transformations, uses one trick to turn into a mermaid (in an anime-only episode). Further, in the final arc, Lucy and another character, Brandish Mu, were temporarily turned into mermaids when Aquarius took them to the Memory of the Stars to show the Truth about their mothers.
  • 2017 Chinese Drama Series on Hunan TV, The Starry Night, The Starry Sea features the love story of a merman and a young woman.

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See also[edit]


  1. ^ John Grant and John Clute, The Encyclopedia of Fantasy, "Mermaids" p 639 ISBN 0-312-19869-8
  2. ^ Unpleasant Tales, Eibonvale Press, 2010
  3. ^
  4. ^ Splash, Too (1988) (TV)
  5. ^
  6. ^ Half Fish
  7. ^ Peter Gülke, "Zemlinski: The Mermaid: An Introduction", booklet for the compact disc of Zemlinsky's Die Seejungfrau and Psalm XIII (London: Decca, 1987).
  8. ^ "Mermaid and Me". (from Google Translate). Retrieved July 18, 2015. 
  9. ^ "Colleen". Joanna Newsom Retrieved July 18, 2015. 
  10. ^ Tampa Bay Times, 2005-10-11
  11. ^ "Ni-Ni- Mermaid (CD, Album)". Retrieved July 18, 2015. 
  12. ^ Abbot, Jon (2009). Stephen J. Cannell Television Productions: A History of All Series and Pilots. (from Google Books). McFarland. p. 160. 
  13. ^ "TNA Knockout SoCal Val Little Mermaid Photoshoot". Daily Wrestling July 27, 2013. Retrieved July 18, 2015.