I've loved Mermaids since I was a kid, I think that my first contact with them might have been the Disney's Little Mermaid movie (which I never liked because the Mermaid wanted and managed to be human in the end, in my mind it should have been the other way).

But my oldest memory is when I watched an episode of Dexter's Laboratory and Dee Dee wore a new swimsuit, which was a Mermaid outfit, then she swam in the ocean and talked with dolphins. Until this day I want a swimsuit like hers, I still don't have one, but at least they're buyable now.

So why create a shrine about Mermaids? At first I just watched a really cool Mermaid movie in this year (2023), then while I searched for more Mermaid movies I thought that it would be great to create a page with a list of them. but I changed my mind to a Shrine instead, because I wanted to try to create a Mermaid tribute Shrine with an ocean background (and I think I nailed it).

But why Mermaids and not sea folks and why the Shrine's name has the Siren word on it? I wanted to create only a Shrine about Mermaids at first, but then I remembered about Sirens and Selkies and decided to add them too but I didn't change the concept of the Shrine since 1- Most of the time, on fiction, it's harder to distinguish between Sirens and Mermaids (except when it's a bird Siren), 2- Selkies are less known, 3- Mermaids are still the most known creature of the three so I'll use it as an umbrella term. And I've named it after a Legend of Mana's quest so that's why it has “Siren” on the url.

Why like Mermaids?

Why wouldn't I?

The difference between Mermaids and Sirens:

Mermaids, according to the Myth and Folklore wiki, are: "Legendary, aquatic creatures with the head, arms and torso of a female human and the tail of a fish. Male versions are known as "mermen." and they can be either good or bad depending on which legend is portrayed.

According to the same site: "Siren (Ancient Greek: Σειρήν (Seirḗn)) is a dangerous creature that lured nearby sailors with their enchanting music and singing voices to shipwreck on the rocky coast of their island. Although they lured mariners, for the Greeks, the Sirens in their "meadow starred with flowers" were not sea deities. Roman writers linked the Sirens more closely to the sea, as daughters of Phorcys.""

A Siren was either portrayed as a beautiful woman, as a Mermaid (half human, half fish) or as a harpy (either as a bird with a human head or with a human torso and bird body). Which is different from Mermaids that always are a creature half human half fish (either as a human torso and fish tail or as fish with a human head).

While a Mermaid is a more broad term for different creatures, that appears on different myths, from different places (some example of different myths of Mermaids include, Nyngyos on Japan, Merrow on Ireland and the Selkies on Scotland, though not exactly a Mermaid). A Siren is a creature from the Greek mythology.

Famous Mermaids from different myths:

Iara: a Brazilian fresh water Mermaid that lives on the ocean river. She is described as a beautiful Mermaid with a beautiful voice that she uses to seduce men and bring them to her underwater realm. In one of her tales, Iara was a pagé's daughter and a strong warrior, which caused jealously from her brothers that tried to kill her but she managed to fight and kill them instead. Then afraid of her father reactions, she fled to the forest, but he found out and threw her in between the rivers Negro and Solimões. Where she was saved by the fish and turned into a Mermaid.

Scylla: a sea monster of Greek origin, that lives on the side of a narrow water channel, with another sea monster on the other side. She would kills 6 of the man of each ship that would pass next to her. In one of her tales she was beautiful nymph that was loved by a sea god but was cursed into a monster because of the jealously of a witch, that used herbs to transform her into a woman from waist up with a sea monster tail and dog heads attached to her waist.

Melusine: a creature of the European folklore, that was depicted as a beautiful woman that would turn into a Mermaid or a lamia (half woman half serpent). In one of her tales, Melusine was the daughter of a fairy with the King of Scotland, and had two other siblings. her mother fled of her siblings to another country after her father broke her promise to not see her while she birthed and bathed her children. Melusine was cursed by her mom, to turn into a half serpent monster at Saturdays, after she had found out about her father broken promise and locked him in a mountain.

the Merrows: Celtic Mermaids, a Merrow refers to both the female and male of the species. The females were portrayed as beautiful women with long green hair and glistening scales that would use their enchanting voice to attract men underwater, while the males were ugly, covered in green scales and aggressive. Similar to the Selkie's tale (see below), a Merrow possessed a magical item, like a cap or a comb, that she would use to live underwater and if the item was hidden by someone she was forced to stay on land and marry them but as soon as she could get her magical item back she would return to the sea.

Famous Sirens:

Odysseus' Sirens: the most famous Sirens were the ones that appeared in the Odysseus' tale. When his ship got near to the Sirens place, he put wax on his crew ears and tied himself to the mast of the ship and went on without hearing her songs. After seeing this the Sirens threw themselves on the sea and drowned.

On Selkies and Mermaids:

According to the Myth and Folklore wiki: Selkies (also spelled silkies, sylkies, selchies) or Selky folk (Scots: Selkie fowk) which means "Seal Folk" are mythological beings who are capable of doing therianthropy, i.e. changing from a seal to human form by shedding their skin. "

Different than Mermaids, a Selkie is a seal that can remove her skin, as if she was unzipping it, and transform into a human man or woman. While in human form no one can tell that they are a Selkie, and they can change back to their original form by putting their skin back.

The most famous tale about a Selkie is that of a fisherman that steals a Selkie's skin and hides it from her, forcing her to get married and having kids. Then after many years she find her seal skin and flees back to the sea, abandoning her kids.

Other sea folk myths:

The tale of the Amazon river dolphin: a legend about a Amazon river dolphin (or pink dolphin) that can transform himself into a handsome man, at night, and goes to parties where he seduces and impregnate a woman. Then, go back to the river, letting the woman to raise the kid herself. The dolphin in human form usually wears all white clothing with a white hat to cover his blowhole.

The Nymphs: According to the Encyclopedia Mythica the Nymphs are: "A numerous class of inferior female divinities, though they are designated by the title of Olympian, are called to meetings of the gods in Olympus, and described as the daughters of Zeus. But they were believed to dwell on earth in groves, on the summits of mountains, in rivers, streams, glens, and grottoes.". The Nymphs associated with water are: Oceanids, nymphs of the ocean the daughters of the god Oceanus; Nereids, nymphs of the inner sea and daughters of the god Nereus; and Naiads, nymphs of fresh water.

The Naiads were also divided into: Pegaeae, the Naiades of springs; Crinaeae, the Naiades of fountains; Potamides, the Naiades of rivers and streams; Limnades, the Naiades of lakes and Eleionomae, the Naiades of marshes.

This is a non-exhaustive list about human-like sea folks. If you want to know more, check the source material on the Credits section.

The images are mainly about mermaids, since it's hard to find images about other sea folks. They are mostly dolls from Korean sites (Netmarble, Daum, Sayclub) and were taken from different pixel blogs.

Mr Peabody and the Mermaid (1948):

The story is about Arthur Peabody (which is portrayed by William Powell, which I am a fan btw ♥), that while on vacation on a island resort with his wife, fish a mermaid. The mermaid doesn't speak human language, only sings and occasionally "hisses", but he names her as Lenore.

I don't like much Lenore's personality (though I enjoyed William Powell's acting but I am biased), but what is cool about this movie is how old it is and it features a real woman using a fishtail and pretending to be a mermaid (I mean the actress of course). And I thought that swimming in mermaid tails were something new, I am always learning with these old movies.

Also the underwater scenes are breathtaking, all of them.

Miranda (1948):

In this movie, Dr. Paul Martin goes fishing on a holiday (without his wife) and while doing this, he is caught by the mermaid Miranda, which keeps him as a prisoner until he agrees to bring back her to his house in London. And since she is a mermaid she pretends someone who can't walk and uses a wheelchair to move around and long dresses to cover her fishtail.

This movie is great because it doesn't feature magical mermaid that just grow legs being on land, and I liked how much personality Miranda has. But on the downside, it doesn't show much mermaid swimming scenes and also Miranda's tail don't look like a wearable fishtail.

Mad About Man (1954):

This movie is Miranda's sequel. The story is about a schoolteacher, Caroline, who goes on vacation on a old house next to the beach (that belonged to her grandparents I think) and meets up Miranda there, which coincidentally look like her long lost twin even though she was supposed to be her great grandma or something. After that, they both agree that Miranda takes the place of Caroline so she can go experience life on land again and Caroline can go to another trip.

I think that this movie surpasses the other in everything. First it's colored, second it features more mermaid swimming scenes (and it even features a second mermaid, Miranda's friend) and it also features a amazing underwater cave that is connected to Caroline's house (10/10 I would love to live there).

Splash (1984):

This movie is amazing and I was surprised that it has a low score, which prevented me from watching it before (which I regret).

The story is about how Allen Bauer, meets again a mermaid girl on the same beach that he almost drown while on vacation with his parents as a kid. Then, he proceeds to start dating after falling in love with first sight with her.

The mermaid girl, initially a naked mute girl (she can grow human legs while dried and grow her fishtail again while wet), slowly learns how to adequate herself in human society while dating the protagonist (she even names herself Madison since her mermaid name is unpronounceable in human language).

I think Madison is my ideal little mermaid (she isn't some dumb girl who wanted to forget her origins by becoming human) and the ending is perfect! Is the kind of ending that I wanted to the Disney's Little Mermaid film as a kid.

Aquamarine (2006):

Even though this movie is probably well known, here goes the synopsis. The story is about two girls childhood friends, that were spending their last vacation together (since one of them is going to move to another city), when they find a teenage mermaid (Aquamarine) at their local swimming pool. Turns out, the mermaid can grant their wish if they can help her fall in love.

I knew this movie as a kid, and I would watch glimpses of it on TV but I never watched it before because I couldn't tolerate the two human girls Lol. Then I only managed to watch it after reading the book which the story was based on (that I wouldn't recommend btw). I think that even though it isn't the best mermaid movie, it's worth to watch just for the 00s teen movie vibes (unlike the book, that is plain bad).

Ponyo (2008):

Long after I've had watched this movie I realised that it's a retelling of the Little Mermaid (yes, Ponyo is a mermaid and I felt stupid after taking so long to realize it). The story goes: Ponyo (real name Brunhilde) lives with her father and sisters underwater when one day she sneaks off and gets lost, only to be saved by a 5 year boy named Sosuke, which keeps her a his pet fish/friend. The similarity to the Little Mermaid is obvious, mermaid girl wanted to be human then befriends human boy.

Though not my favourite Ghibli movie, it's fun and interesting to watch, also the theme song can get stuck in your head for hours. ぽにょ ぽにょ ぽにょ さかなのこ 🎶

Song of the Sea (2014):

The only movie about selkies in this list (and the only one that I've watched, so if you know more films about selkies let me know ♥). The story is about how a half selkie girl and her human brother goes to save the fairy race, years after her selkie mother had disappeared on the sea.

This movie is one of these rare animated movies that isn't american or japanese (I say rare because I think that's hard to find another country doing animated movies that are good). I liked the movie and only got bothered by the fact that the myths in this movie are a mix and match of various Irish folktales, instead of actual myths (but I may be nitpicking too much).

Sea folk names I took from movies, anime/mangas, games and mythology. The names marked with a * are male and the rest are female.

Mermaid names:
  • Amanda
  • Anko
  • Aqua
  • Aquamarine
  • Aquereine
  • Ariel
  • Ban
  • Darryl
  • Flameshe
  • Flosshilde
  • Glaucus*
  • Gran Hadeburg
  • Hadeburg
  • Havis Husky
  • Iara
  • Irenes
  • Leah
  • Lenore
  • Luca
  • Lusa Lí Madison
  • Mamare
  • Marina
  • Miranda
  • Muirgen
  • Mélusine
  • Obeaune
  • Pia
  • Ponyo
  • Retatsu
  • Scylla
  • Sigelinde
  • Tamao
  • Thessalonike
  • Touna
  • Triton*
  • Undine
  • Wakasa*
  • Wellgunde
  • Woglinde
  • Yumei
  • Zelbess
Selkie names:
  • Bronagh
  • Kópakonan
  • Saoirse
  • Ursilla
Siren names:
  • Aglaope
  • Aglaopheme
  • Aglaophonos
  • Elle
  • Himeropa
  • Kanade*
  • Leucosia
  • Lorelei
  • Ligia
  • Molpe
  • Monique
  • Parthenope
  • Pisinoe
  • San
  • Seiren
  • Shiho
  • Teles
  • Thelxiepia
  • Thelxione

Some of my favourite sea folk (mostly from videogames, I didn't add anyone from movies since I've added them on the movies section) and a short bio of them. You may also recognise some names from the sea folk names list. This list may contain spoilers of the respective media.

Elle, Monique and Flameshe (Legend of Mana): Elle and Monique, sirens and Flameshe a mermaid, are supporting characters on video game Legend of Mana. They are friends who appears on a series of quests together. A interesting concept on the story is that a siren which doesn't sing wither and die, also her singing can cause shipwrecks.

Irenes and Zelbess (Chrono Cross): They are both mermaid sisters (though Zelbess is only mentioned in the story). I really like the concept art of Irenes and how she "runs" standing straight on her tail and leave a trace of bubbles behind (it's way better than the transformationg in land thing).

Marina (Rudra no Hihou): She is a mermaid and her homeland is a underwater mermaid village, which funny enough is only habited by males. Marina keeps her mermaid tail while "walking" on land but there's nothing special about her though.

Mutio (Ao no 6gou): They are manmade race of humans and fish, that look like nymphs, of this short OVA series called Ao no 6gou or Blue submarine no 6. Even though Mutio is the race name, a unnamed Mutio girl is called Mutio in some sites. What I liked about them is their design, and how it's a new idea for the generic fishtail mermaid (which I like, but a different idea is also refreshing).

Mermaids lifestate (The Sims 3): Not a unique character, but a race of playable mermaids. I think this game needs no further introduction, so my only nitpicking its that you can't build a house underwater and mermaids don't really do anything other than grow their tails on the beach/pool.

San and Kanade (Rosario+Vampire II season): San and Kanade are both bird sirens. I really like them, even though San is a minor character and Kanade is a minor villain, but, it's really to find siren descripted this way in fiction. Also they have really cool singing powers that can injury/kill other people.

Tideborn race (Perfect World): Tideborn is a mermaid race and Perfect World is a bit old MMO. They have a really pretty mermaid form (con is that the mermaid form doesn't have customization), cool fin-like ears, purpulish skin and you can actually swim in mermaid form to travel between cities (which is great because the game map has a lot of water and it has monster battles too), also their hometown is astonishing. I really like this game and played it a lot when I was a teen, so that only that I dislike about this race is that the were added after I stopped playing.

Yumei and Shiho (Valkyrie Profile): Yumei is a half human half mermaid and Shiho is a "siren" (which quotes because she actually is a blind girl with a beautiful voice who acts as a song-maiden, which is a moral raiser of an army), I think that Shiho should be considered as a siren because she has her powerful singing, even though she is human. Yumei concept is interesting because she has human legs covered in scales instead of a fishtail, but her in-game model is of a normal mermaid.