11 Facts You Probably Never Knew About Mermaids

Mermaids are my favorite magical creatures.

They're beautiful, they live in the water and they don't have to talk to anyone if they don't want to—what could be better than that?

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But as much as we love mermaids, there's so much most of us don't know about these mysterious and captivating beings. If you want learn more about these mystical individuals, scroll below for 11 facts you probably never knew about them.

1. Some of the earliest legends of mermaids come from ancient Syria. The ancient story dates back to about 1000 B.C., a little over 3,000 years ago! In the Syrian story, a goddess named Atargatis wanted to be transformed in a fish, but when she dove into the water, only her bottom half was transformed. The resulting figure prompted our modern tales of mermaids.

2. Mermaids weren't always thought of as the beautiful creatures that we envision today. Many times, sailors would mistake manatees for mermaids, resulting in descriptions that labeled the aquatic creatures as ugly and fat.

3. The existence of mermaids was never questioned during medieval times. There were hundreds of accounts of mermaid sightings and they were depicted without question in historical accounts of aquatic animals, claiming their place alongside whales and other known sea creatures.

4. Mermaids were often considered to be a bad omen. If they were spotted by sailors at sea, it usually meant that the voyage was headed for trouble.

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5. Mermaids are often compared to Greek sirens, who are said to posses extraordinary levels of beauty. These depictions of mermaids are more treacherous, however, as their primary goal is entrancing men with their beautiful singing voice.

6. In addition to being the coolest characters in the ocean, mermaids also have superpowers. The four main powers that are usually attributed to mermaids are immortality, telepathy, hypnosis, and the ability to see the future.

7.  As if having superpowers wasn't cool enough, mermaids are also believed to have created the ocean gemstone, aquamarine. It has been said that aquamarine is made from mermaid tears, and it therefore has the ability to protect sailors while they are on the ocean.

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8. There are believed to be four types of mermaids. Traditional mermaids are only able to reside in the ocean, but all other types of mermaids are able to live in the sea and on the land. Irish shedding mermaids, or selkies, are able to shed their tails in favor of human legs, shape shifting mermaids are able to change into human form and back to mermaid form at any time, and merfolk have a more human shape that allows them to live on the land and in the sea. Thankfully, this means that our chances of meeting a mermaid are much better than we thought!

9. A mermaid's kiss is pretty magical. It has been said that a kiss from a mermaid gives the ability to breath underwater. It's unclear if the receiver of the kiss simply inherits this magical ability or if they sprout gills somewhere on their body, so I would be careful if you're ever thinking about accepting a mermaid kiss.

10. A mermaid's tail changes color based on her mood. The tales are unique to every mermaid, and they depict the mermaid's personality and her feelings at any given moment. That's definitely an improvement from our simplistic mood rings!

11. Mermaids love to accessorize. Some of their favorite jewelry pieces are shell crowns, pearl necklaces, conch hats and kelp bracelets.


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