Who doesn’t LOVE mermaids? I know I’m a huge fan. They are without a doubt my favorite fairy tale creature–beating out faeries and centaurs by a long shot. And why wouldn’t they? They are sleek, gorgeous, mythical creates of the deep sea waters. They can be pretty or terrifying, but always breathtaking. Their fish features enhance their human figures with sleek fins and glittering, multi-colored scales. With their sex-appeal (never-mind that their bottom half completely ridicules this attraction) and their luscious locks, mermaids have been a coveted subject of art for centuries.
According to An Encyclopedia of Fairies, Hobgoblins, Brownies, Boogies, and Other Supernatural Creatures by Katharine Briggs, mermaids were noted in British folklore as unlucky omens – both foretelling disaster and provoking it. Some mermaids were described as monstrous in size, up to 2,000 feet! A lot of ancient legends and folklore described beautiful mermaids as creatures who would purposefully tantalize men to walk off deck where they would drown them in the ocean. Other, more forgiving versions described this as the mermaids simply forgetting that regular humans could not breathe underwater. Yet, for all of these terrible recollections, to this day, we still marvel at the beauty of the fairy tale creature with a love that must be cast from a spell.