Mermaids and sirens are mythical creatures with the upper body and faces of women, but lower bodies of birds or fish. While they often get confused because of their similarities, there are some notable differences between the two.
- Mermaids are half woman and half fish, while sirens are typically depicted as birds with the head of a woman.
- Mermaids are commonly portrayed as gentle and benevolent, helping sailors and others traveling through the seas, whereas sirens are believed to have evil intentions, luring sailors to their deaths with their enchanting songs.
- Mermaids can be found in the folklore and stories of many cultures and civilizations, while sirens are primarily found in Greek mythology.
Mermaids are often mentioned in the folklore of many civilizations and cultures as beautiful aquatic creatures that are half woman and half fish. They are depicted as gentle, helpful beings, sometimes even falling in love with humans. The first mermaid is believed to be Atargatis, who jumped into the sea to transform herself into a mermaid after accidentally causing the death of her lover. Despite their lack of concrete existence, mermaids remain a part of art and culture in the form of cartoons, books, movies, and various other items.
Sirens, on the other hand, are mythological characters found in Greek mythology. They were said to be nymphs who lived on islands surrounded by cliffs, enchanting sailors with their voices and music. The appearance of sirens varies, with some stories depicting them as birds with human heads, while others portray them as half woman and half fish like mermaids. This inconsistency in appearance, as well as the fact that the word for mermaids in some languages is “siren,” contributes to the confusion between the two. However, sirens are typically portrayed as singing songs to attract sailors, causing them to lose their sense of direction, leading to shipwrecks and drowning.