Suppose the mermaids share similar intelligent and technology with us, they also practise performing surgical operation like we do in hospital. Negate the issue of negligent during the operation the most critical problem is contamination that often reduce the chances of success, how can the mermaids negate or reduce the chances of infection during operation underwater? Don't tell me they do it inside dead sea! even so at least touch on how to stabilize their internal blood pressure which is similar to us!

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    $\begingroup$ Note that, as @Samuel mentioned below, mermaids can also do things above water. $\endgroup$
    – ThomasW
    Dec 2, 2015 at 8:40
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    $\begingroup$ Obviously, they go with their crab friend to a witch to give them legs, then they fall in love with a human surgeon. ;-) $\endgroup$
    – Dan
    Dec 2, 2015 at 13:43
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    $\begingroup$ See shark surgery. TL;DR: use clove oil for anesthesia, pump oxygenated water over the gills for respiration. $\endgroup$ Dec 2, 2015 at 18:56

3 Answers 3


Mermaids perform surgery like this:

  1. The patient is laid out on a table with the body part to be operated on at the highest point.
  2. A transparent sea shell is then lowered over the target area.
  3. Clean air, brought from the surface in shells, is released under the shell until the entire area is "dry". This prevents the blood from clouding the water above the wound.
  4. The skin is cut with scalpels made from razor-sharp Barracuda teeth.
  5. The patient is told to "stop screaming, as fish don't feel any pain".
    • If that doesn't help, a paralyzing sea snail poison is used to keep the patient still. Note: still, not unconscious
  6. Blood vessels are clamped shut with tiny fiddler crabs to keep the area clear of blood as much as possible.
  7. The intended surgery itself is performed with the same tools. Often it consists only of sewing shut tears in organs from battle/shark bite wounds or only exposing any infected tissue.
  8. The shell is raised slightly to flood the wound.
  9. Cleaner fish and shrimp are released into the wound to remove any dead or diseased tissue.
  10. After the cleaners lose interest, and the wound is inspected, the surgeon squeezes antibiotics out of a sea sponge into the wound, then quickly sews it shut with fine fish bone needle and thread made of processed shark cartilage.
  11. The wound is monitored for a few days by regularly holding cleaner shrimp close to it. If they get excited, anti-infection measures are taken.
  12. The patient is declared healthy or dead.

As you can see, the mermaids have domesticated and bred a host of small creatures to assist with surgery and medicine. All of these have strong anti-bacterial properties, so that they don't infect patients.

Note: If the mermaids employ technology much closer to ours but somehow don't fancy having airlocks and air-filled surgery rooms in their hospital, they would probably have transparent plastic bubbles that fit over the patients body and have built-in arm gloves. The bubble is then inflated, pumping all the water out and allowing the surgeon to work in clean air.

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    $\begingroup$ The OP says they have similar technology to us, not that they use animals to do everything $\endgroup$
    – Pyritie
    Dec 2, 2015 at 10:38
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    $\begingroup$ Then they would just have air-filled rooms in the hospital with airlocks and all the usual human stuff. yawn $\endgroup$
    – Cyrus
    Dec 2, 2015 at 10:59
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    $\begingroup$ I'm imagining Ariel singing "Come my fish friends, eat this patient's dead flesh!" $\endgroup$ Dec 2, 2015 at 21:17
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    $\begingroup$ Logged in just to +1 for The patient is told to "stop screaming, as fish don't feel any pain". $\endgroup$ Dec 3, 2015 at 2:56
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    $\begingroup$ @Pyritie: that's unfortunate for them, since our technology completely breaks down under water... $\endgroup$ Dec 3, 2015 at 7:39

A clean room makes just as much sense underwater as on dry land. Just fill a room with purified and oxygenated saline/water. Mount some pumps outside with a reserve of additional purified and oxygenated saline/water and pump it in as needed to wash away the stale and blood contaminated water.

As for maintaining vascular blood pressure,... clamps and shunts, just like on dry land.

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    $\begingroup$ you'll also want a way of generating a water current directly over the wound, so that what bleeding does happen doesn't cloud up and block the surgeon's view. $\endgroup$ Dec 2, 2015 at 14:19
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    $\begingroup$ The problem with that is that a wound underwater, supposedly, bleeds more. $\endgroup$
    – Jake
    Dec 2, 2015 at 20:27
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    $\begingroup$ @jake in body temperature water you'll bleed exactly the same - it's just more visible. However you won't clot as easily, so you may bleed for longer. Mermaids could counter that with a clotting powder or paste, for example (something based around Vitamin K should do the job). Using colder water you'll actually bleed less. $\endgroup$
    – Jon Story
    Dec 2, 2015 at 22:38

They actually do not use similar technology as we do. Their technology is based on energy and frequencies. Instead of removing a cancerous growth with a scalpel, they harness the resonant frequency of the aether and transduce it to the resonant frequency of the particular cancer virus/fungus (cancer is polymorphic) and destroy the cells in vitro. They also cure headaches in similar ways. They use the same technology to help heal damaged tissue.

Part of the reason they are not able to use technology as we understand it is because saltwater is the arch-enemy of electricity and electronics.

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    $\begingroup$ I think you mean "in situ" (in place/without removing). In vitro means in a glass petri dish. In vivo means in a living being. $\endgroup$ Dec 2, 2015 at 18:12
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    $\begingroup$ You use a lot of words that have real meanings but are apparently being used as placeholders for very different concepts. I mean, it's not even wrong. $\endgroup$
    – Samuel
    Dec 2, 2015 at 18:43
  • $\begingroup$ You've invoked handwavium at least twice (such as "aether"), and are misusing several concepts. This answer would actually have been more plausible if you had just said "they use magic/magitech", because as it currently stands, it just seems like poorly made-up science (i.e., like magic, but with less ability to invoke suspension of disbelief). Even then, I don't think it would have answered the intended question - the question seems more like a "how does it work", whereas you've provided "here's what they do" without elaborating on a (plausible and coherent!) mechanism. $\endgroup$
    – Soron
    Dec 3, 2015 at 2:11
  • $\begingroup$ That doesn't make any sense. It won't make for good storytelling! $\endgroup$
    – JDługosz
    Dec 3, 2015 at 15:48

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