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Are Sirens And Mermaids The Same

author
James Lee
• Wednesday, 13 January, 2021
• 7 min read

Originally, it was only the mermaid that was a half-human, half-fish creature, and a singing voice wasn’t mentioned in early myths. Living specimens were said to have been examined by writers such as Ananias in the second century, and were described as having scales covering their entire bodies, gills, a fish-like mouth, and a scaly tail like a dolphin’s.

mermaids sirens difference between mermaid shutterstock
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Contents

It was the sirens that were known for their singing voices, supposedly of such beauty that sailors would forget what they were doing, and simply stop to listen. Ships would crash on the rocks around the sirens island, killing those who fell prey to their song.

Originally, there were only three sirens, and they started out as mortal human women who were the handmaidens of Persephone, daughter of the goddess Demeter. When they couldn’t find her they eventually gave up and went to live on the island of Anthemoessa, cursed by Demeter (who was angry at their abandonment of the search) to remain in their half-bird form.

The sirens were further cursed when they entered a singing competition with the Muses and lost the contest as well as their wings and many of their feathers. And they did; when Odysseus had his men block their ears and then tied himself to the mast of his ship, so he could listen but not interfere, the sirens hurled themselves into the sea and died as he passed.

Thomas Conclave’s “La Male Regale,” written in the 15th century, clearly refers to mermaids luring sailors to their death with their song. Strangely, it is this melding of the two creatures that has persisted throughout the centuries; according to sailors’ logs and records dating back to the 1600s, mermaids were very, very real.

However, that's pretty much where the resemblances end, because as Audubon points out, while mermaids strictly live in the water, sirens are bird-women who soar across the air, land, and only sometimes the sea. These flying creatures, mentioned as far back as The Odyssey, have otherworldly voices that tempt men with whatever they desire: Odysseus, for instance, defied warnings and asked to be strapped to his ship's hull, so he could hear the siren's song.

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(Source: imaginarycreatureauthority.wordpress.com)

Mentions of mermaids, on the other hand, date way back to the Assyrians, according to. However, the so-called “Nereid” of Greek mythology, described by the The oi Project as the sea-nymph daughters of the Aegean Sea, could have also helped inspire some later mermaid myths known today.

Well, it seems time and translation confusion may have played a part, writes Vice. Poets in later years began referring to sirens as half-women, half-fish, even though mermaids remained extremely popular, which only further muddied the waters.

As time went on, artists used the idea of a siren to symbolize lust, and the supposed dangers of female sexuality. But honestly, the two mythical creatures shouldn't be confused: One is a bird and the other is a fish.

Key difference: Mermaid and Siren are two mythical female creatures known for their beauty and luring appearance. Both have been a fascination in popular fiction literature for their beauty and alluring appearances.

The beauty of these mythical creatures made them an indispensable part of popular folklore and fiction that still has influences on audiences today. Their habitat has often been shown as oceans and islands with their mysterious appearances as actualized characters.

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(Source: www.younghollywood.com)

The uniquely odd features of these creatures make them always “wanted to hear about” in popular stories and after the arrival of cinema, they were explored beautifully on motion picture screens. Mermaids stories appeared in the folklore of many cultures worldwide, including the Near East, Europe, Africa, and Asia.

They were very beautiful, and had extreme attractive looks and facial features, as opposed to one’s normal presumption that their scales would make them look repulsive. They used to attract, hypnotize and seduce the sea sailors or navigators with their shrill and fascinating voices.

Like Mermaids, even sirens used to attract and seduce the sailors with their shrill voices by enchanting and singing different tunes. But, Sirens had wicked and evil intentions behind their motives, They used to drown the sailors into the sea.

Both these creatures had their mythical stories, mermaid and siren both were known for their beauties and different behavioral features. Hence, sirens were considered to be more dangerous with evil wicked intentions than mermaids, who were gentle and kind towards humankind.

Now that the world has advanced with the culture of increased scientific questioning people clearly distinguish between reality and myths & folk tales (See the difference between myths and folk tales), though both of them are narrated and heard with interest and entertainment. A mermaid is a legendary creature with a female human head and torso (if it's male, it's called a merman) and the tail of a fish.

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(Source: ocean.si.edu)

Originally, it was only the mermaid that was a half-human, half-fish creature, and a singing voice wasn’t mentioned in early myths. For example, I kept the idea of beautiful singing voices and expanded the franchise to include mermen.

As for Ananias, in the second century, describing mermen as having scales covering their entire bodies, gills, a fish-like mouth, and a scaly tail like a dolphin’s, we can only assume that this specimen was an early prototype on which Poseidon refused to sign off. As the reader will discover in the prologue, the sea god had definite ideas as to how his mortal children should appear.

The merfolk of Colony Island will be examined in greater detail by a forthcoming FAQ. The preceding discourse concerns is how the author envisions the merfolk of Colony Island would appear and behave.

A siren is a Greek mythology creature infamous for singing beautifully to allure the sailor and wreck their ships. At the same time, a mermaid is a being in Greek, European, and world history who is the epitome of beauty and benevolence.

Siren Pressure Contest are great for a person looking for an evil creature. A siren can make a man delightful before his death.

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(Source: www.tumblr.com)

Mermaids also have a bit of a negative impact. They can make one fall in love with them. Mermaids aren't a good fit for horror stories when compared to sirens.

They usually have a positive impact on others. They may not always lead to a man's death. The similarities between both can make it pretty obvious for a human being.

Both seduce men with their enthralling voices and gorgeous bodies. A similar thing is they both are female and have half the body of a woman.

BasisSirenMermaidOrigin Siren originated in Greek mythology. Appearance Siren has the head of a woman and the lower body of a bird.

Mermaid has the head of a woman and tail of a fish. The difference between mermaid, siren, and harpy depends on their culture.

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(Source: www.reddit.com)

Harpies are more similar to sirens than mermaids in terms of appearance. On the contrary, harpy tortures humans by robbing their food and not letting them rest or eat.

Where harpies screech to annoy a human, the other two sings in a sweet voice. Sirens were half-bird and half-woman creatures in early Greek mythology.

This misconception led to mermaids being called sirens. Mermaids are very talkative, fluent, and desire to communicate with people without hesitation but just in mythologies, books, and motion pictures.

Mermaids are beautiful creatures that lure the passing sailors and make them fall in love. Mermaids can also eventually kill the person who falls in love with them.

Mermaids eat fish, mollusks, crabs, seaweed, and sea vegetables. As per Greek mythology, a siren is a slaughterer creature who lures men through their enthralling singing voice.

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(Source: www.pinterest.ca)

Mere Lao suggests that the “fish-formed and winged Sirens shared the same cradle” in the Mediterranean. One is a vase from Regard dating from the 2nd century BC, and the second is a lamp found in Britain, dating from the 1st-2nd centuries (she does not specify BC or AD, but seeing as how it was found in Britain, I think it most likely to be AD…but don’t quote me on that).

I submit that the Celts brought the folklore of the mermaid to the Mediterranean, and it became entangled with the Greek Sirens. Regardless of which came from where, the two iterations co-existed until “the folklore Renaissance of the 1800s.” That’s right, the Victorian Era ruined the mermaids, like so many other things in life.

I have lots of beef with the Victorians, but the relevant issue here is women were taught that intimacy was shameful. Countries less effected by the Victorian era (i.e. Germany, Scandinavia, and eastward) hold truer to their traditional maidens of the deep.

Sources Mere Lao, Sirens : Symbols of Seduction (Rochester, VT: Park Street Press, 1998), 82. Ian Barnes, The Historical Atlas of the Celtic World (Edison, NJ: Chartwell Books, Inc., 2009), 27.

Heidi Anne Heiner, Mermaid and Other Water Spirit Tales from Around the World (Nashville, TN: SurLaLune Press, 2011), 1. Skye Alexander, Mermaids : The Myths, Legends, and Lore (New York: Adams Media, 2012), 34.

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(Source: facts4youonly.blogspot.com)

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Sources
1 en.wikipedia.org - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andalusian_Arabic
2 frankensaurus.com - https://frankensaurus.com/Andalusian_Arabic