Mermaids Species in Red Sunrise | World Anvil


Sailors hallucinations, or is there more then meets the eye?

Spotted by sailors for centuries, but now they seemed to be disappeared from the seven seas. Did mermaids suffer the same fate as for instance; the Tasmanian Tiger, Passenger Pigeons, Dodos, and many others? Extinct due to the acts of man? Or is there some other cause at play here?

Mermaids by GDJ via Pixabay


Often mermaids described as the upper body of a human female, and the tail of a fish. In descriptions and artwork, they actually have the horizontally placed tail fin, known as a signature feature of an aquatic mammal, such as whales and dolphins. Not the vertically placed tail fin as seen on fish. There are some rare examples of mermaids displayed with the upper body of a human male, but those are very rare, and may be from artists' fantasy rather than from truthful descriptions by ocean travellers. Often the mermaids are displayed with long to very long free flowing hair, quite often red in colour.

Many different mermaids have been described in all kinds of skin and tail colour combinations. Sometimes to great detail, describing secondary fins, other times just talking about a tail and tail fin.

Scientific Name
Maritimum Blanda Mulier
Geographic Distribution
Possible specimen
Mermaid silhouette 2 by Mohamed Hassan via Pixabay


Mermaids are active hunters, mostly fish and other maritime animals, but they do not shy away from any land dweller that ends up in the seas, including humans. Their teeth are much sharper and pointier than one would expect with their superficial similarity to humans


Their upper body is of a similar size to the average human female. Or a bit taller. Their tail is significantly longer than the legs of a human would be. From head to tailfin mermaids measure seven to eight feet in length.


Images and descriptions of mermaids have found their way into many forms of art, from stories to drawings to paintings, and even into coat-of-arms of families and entities. And onto ships, in both the stern decorations and as sculpted figure heads.


In many stories they have interactions with sailors, sometimes they are helpful and guide sailors around uncharted reefs, or to a safe harbour. In other stories they guard treasure, such as in the Atlantis myth. But more often they are wicked soulless hunters, who use magic songs to hypnotise those poor lads that they will willingly sacrifice their bodies to the sea, where they mermaids devour their flesh.


Author's Notes

Answer to the World Anvil Summer Camp 2023 prompt: 27. A species now considered extinct.

Please Login in order to comment!
Jul 21, 2023 18:59 by Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull

I wonder what happened to them... though, you know, if they eat people it's probably for the best.

Emy x   Etrea | Vazdimet
Jul 22, 2023 08:41 by Bart Weergang

I don't know, yet. :p

Jul 22, 2023 09:52 by Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull

Hahahaha, that's a mood.

Emy x   Etrea | Vazdimet