Mermaids Are Literally ‘Women of the Sea’
Mermaids can be found in legends across the world dating back to around 2000 B.C. While many are familiar with Disney’s lighthearted production of the Little Mermaid, most underwater spirits in mystical folk tales were described not only as beautiful and enchanting, but also dangerous and murderous. These sirens of the ocean have always been portrayed with quite a contradictory personality: while on one hand they were often described as gorgeous maidens tempting lonely sailors at sea, they were also often portrayed as beasts drowning men in the depths of the deep black ocean. The conflicting personality of the mermaid has allowed her to remain intriguing still today.
The most typical storyline of a mermaid folklore across all culture involves a mermaid falling in love with a young man. If the man accepts her, she drags him down to his death in the sea, in some stories out of malice and in others simply because she forgets that mortals cannot live underwater. On the other hand if the man rejects her love, she would simply kill him. Regardless of the choice the man makes, it seems that the enchanting beauty of the legendary mermaids resulted in death for her unfortunate victim of attraction either way.