After seeing the Disney movie “The Little Mermaid”, I instantly wished my life was like that. My little girl imagination loved the idea of swimming under water forever, without having to come to the surface for air. Every time I went to beach as a child, I always found myself looking around for mermaids while I was splashing around.
Origin: A mermaid is a legendary underwater creature. It is said that, like Sirens, mermaids would sometimes sing to sailor and their voices would hypnotize them, causing them to wreck since they were distracted from their duties on board. The origin of mermaids dates back to around 5000 B.C.
Appearance: From the waist up, mermaids are very much like humans. Some tales speak of mermen as well as mermaids, so their appearance from waist up, would depend on their gender. Some tales show female mermaids wearing a top made out of two shells, while others describe mermaids with long hair that covered the top half of their upper body.
Another important appearance factor about mermaids, is the fact that they were said to be very beautiful. This was one major reason why so many sailors died; they were taken by the beautiful face of the sea creature.
Influences on Modern Day: Today you can find mermaids in movies such as: Walt Disney’s Little Mermaid, Walt Disney’s Peter Pan, Warner Brothers Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, and Hans Christian Anderson’s The Little Mermaid. Of course, there are also many references to the mermaid in literature. Some of those are: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling ©, and The Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Anderson.
Though most references to mermaids are quite similar, one is quite different from the rest. The Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Anderson is very different from the Disney version of ‘The Little Mermaid’. In Anderson’s version, the beginning and ending are quite different. In Marina’s world, all mermaid are allowed to visit the surface of the ocean when they turn 15. When her turn finally comes, she sees a violent sea storm, and saves a prince who was thrown from a ship. She carries him to shore, where he wakes up and thinks that a temple girl saved him. Marina falls in love with him, and bargains with the sea hag for legs, in return the sea hag takes her voice. Marina ends up living with the prince, and he starts to fall in love with her. His father has an arranged marriage for him with a princess. He refuses to marry her, because he is in love with Marina and the temple girl. The princess turns out to be the temple girl. In the end, he marries the princess and Marina is heartbroken. Her sister bargain with the sea hag, and get a knife to kill the prince and the princess, if they give her their hair. If the prince and his wife are killed, then Marina is allowed to live. Marina does not kill the prince and princess, but throws herself into the ocean, where she does not turn to sea foam, but becomes a daughter of the air.
 Wikipedia.org: The Little Mermaid (film)
 Wikipedia.org: Mermaids
 Wikipedia.org: Peter Pan
 Wikipedia.org: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (film)
 Wikipedia.org: Hans Christian Anderson’s The Little Mermaid
 Wikipedia.org: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (book)
 Wikipedia.org: The Little Mermaid (book)