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Questions tagged [merfolk]

For questions about aquatic creatures traditionally resembling humans but with a fish tail instead of legs, or any sort of water-dwelling humanoid.

3
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2answers
37 views

Membrane impermeable to $N_2$ but permeable to $CO_2$ and $O_2$?

I'm looking for a way to bypass the bidirectional diffusive gas exchange that happens in human alveoli, to allow aquanauts to breathe a standard Nitrogen-Oxygen air mix at very high pressures (up to ...
7
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3answers
199 views

How might a deepwater mermaid react to sunlight and heat?

One of my mermaids is on land in the daytime, and I'm just wondering what the sudden existence of sunlight and Florida heat might feel like for her, since she's from the mesopelagic zone and is ...
14
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4answers
1k views

Towers in the ocean; How deep can they be built?

Many questions on this site mention how difficult it is for merfolk to develop technologically, as there's almost nothing but rocks and kelp to work with. My solution to this is that they use these ...
5
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4answers
158 views

What materials would I use to build an underwater city?

I'm currently trying to set up an underwater race in my world—merpeople if you will—and I'm trying to figure out how their city would look. I'm basing their religion and lifestyle on native ...
4
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4answers
282 views

What would happen to a human dragged quickly from the surface to the mesopelagic zone?

My mermaids have returned, and now they're dragging semi-conscious people about 700-ish meters underwater. Is it realistic for the person to still be alive at this point? (Y'know, for about ten ...
11
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8answers
283 views

How might a highly intelligent aquatic species (mermaids) communicate underwater?

I'm trying to create basically realistic mermaids, and working on developing body language and vocalizations. I have most of the vocalizations I can think of (suggestions are still appreciated), but ...
8
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6answers
267 views

How can merfolks stream video in a way much similar to our WiFi but underwater?

Right now merfolks are totally envious of us watching a live stream video of cat(fight) via WiFi or satellite internet, ok ok I get it's not the speed but its latency... Urrrr. Nevermind that I ...
11
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4answers
368 views

How might my sea dwelling civilization defend against land-dwellers?

I've searched through a lot of merpeople related questions on this site and didn't see anything that related particularly to me as most questions have to do with underwater combat or dwellings on the ...
1
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1answer
129 views

Genetic altering to make human lungs strong enough to process water [duplicate]

I am aware that human lungs can't process water due to other reasons, but I am working on a setting that has genetically altered humans of various degrees and one of them can breathe water and air. I ...
9
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4answers
333 views

What would a vegetarian mermaid eat?

For some reason, my mermaids have gone vegetarian - ethics, the decline in fish species, or they’re just no longer in the mood for meat. The main issue: will they survive? They live in coastal ...
60
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14answers
12k views

How would merfolk society dispose of their dead? And would disposing of the bodies in the ocean have any negative effect on marine life?

I have a tribal merfolk society, living on and near a volcanic island, that is also inhabited by humans. The problem that I can't seem to figure out is: how would they dispose of their dead? Wouldn'...
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6answers
383 views

Surface Clothing for Merfolk

Underwater, merfolk see no need for clothing. It just slows them down, and the material that they need for it is expensive and hard to get. On the surface, however, the humanoids find their nudity ...
4
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3answers
250 views

Public Transit for Merfolk

In an urban fantasy type world, how exactly would public transit work for merfolk? Situation A: The merfolk are living in a big cross-species city that also has humanoids. For purposes of this ...
5
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4answers
326 views

What would a city that houses humanoids, centaurs, and merfolk look like?

In the world I'm currently working on, there are several species of sentient creatures: humans, elves, dwarves, merfolk, centaurs, and avians (winged humanoids). I need to figure out how I could have ...
5
votes
4answers
233 views

Could an intelligent race of seals craft tools effectively?

A while ago, I asked a bunch of questions about my alternate Earth timeline, which contains plausible fantasy creatures. One of the concepts I've devised more recently is a solution for mermaids (Most ...
60
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14answers
7k views

What would a medieval war against an aquatic race look like?

The setting; there’s a large population of merfolk living in the ocean, and a developing seafaring human nation on the neighbouring coastline. These merfolk are entirely aquatic. They have gills and ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

Floor Material: What would mer-society like to use for comfortable floors?

The mer-folk are typical top-half human, bottom-half fish. They can breath with either lungs or gills. Their homes are mostly below water, but some do also extend above. This allows them to do ...
7
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6answers
288 views

How would an aquatic, air-breathing species organise its spaceship interior?

It's easy to imagine how would a water-breathing aquatic race outfit its spaceship - take a normal spaceship, insulate it, fill it with oxygenated water, possibly add some enhanced turbines to pump ...
3
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2answers
257 views

Sirens without tails? Far Fetched? [closed]

I've been trying to create a story that isn't all that cliche and I found not that many books have been made with the plot surrounding mermaids. However the more I thought about it the fewer mermaids ...
4
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2answers
167 views

Are pharyngeal and cutaneous breathing possible for an aquatic mammal?

I'm working on a setting with merfolk that I'd prefer to be fully mammalian. However, they have underwater cities and I find that hard to believe for a species that needs to surface every few hours ...
1
vote
0answers
130 views

How do I write a spell for mermaids? [closed]

I am writing a world in which humanoids are turned into merpeople via a song-spell. Any ideas on how do write one? I would like it to be in a different language, maybe a mix of Tolkien Elvish, Latin, ...
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3answers
122 views

What are reasons a mer-person might speak English? [closed]

If such a thing would even be possible.
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8answers
3k views

Anatomically reasonable respiratory system for human-derived merfolk

This question considers the respiratory apparatus of an aquatic (or amphibious) species descended from engineered humans. The history of the species provides a relevant constraint. While the science ...
18
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4answers
2k views

Would merfolk's spaceship need artificial gravity?

Imagine a spaceship constructed for merfolk and it is completely filled with oxygenated water instead of air. Since they can swim around effortlessly in the water, do they even need artificial ...
4
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2answers
516 views

Could Air-Breathing Mermaids Colonize Atlantis?

I rediscovered this article recently and loved all the creative answers on how a mermaid might build underwater. This, for me, brought to mind Atlantis, the kingdom that sank into the sea. I've ...
0
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2answers
184 views

Why merfolk do not evolve dorsal fin? [closed]

Dorsal fin helps to stabilize the creature in water much like rocket with fins, how could such a cunning apex marine predator be missing a dorsal fin? Also how do they compensate for it during high ...
17
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5answers
6k views

Where Would a Mermaid's Blowhole Go?

Whenever people discuss mammalian-type merfolk, I usually see them be modeled after cetaceans like dolphins and whales. This is perfectly serviceable, but there is one piece of anatomy that I cannot ...
15
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19answers
3k views

Why might it be desirable to engineer aquatic humans?

Consider a space opera sort of universe in which there exist communities of water-dwelling humanoids. These ocean people are derived from rootstock humans, descendants of genetically engineered human-...
4
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3answers
314 views

How to keep my spaceship properly pressurized for merfolk?

take me out to the black, tell 'em I ain't comin' back DaaaahWhoosh - 2min ago Merfolk live in the deep, plenty deep exactly, around 800m below sea-level. At these depths we talk about little ...
10
votes
5answers
2k views

What would merfolk economies look like?

This is a world with underwater merfolks and other humanoids. They have opposable thumbs, so they can use tools humans can use. Lets assume there's different subspecies and races of these merfolks, so ...
2
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3answers
245 views

Evolution of vipers (merfolk)

Appearance The ''vipers'' are semi aquatic humanoids species with webbed fingers on both hands and feet, they also have 2 fins on each leg and their legs are covered in scales from the feet up to ...
6
votes
2answers
350 views

Can underwater Atlanteans make explosives without coming onto dry land?

Is it possible for under water Atlanteans to make explosives? These Atlanteans have no magic but do have gills. They look like normal people other than the gills and webbed hands and feet. They ...
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3answers
307 views

What would a Mermaid’s taste buds be like?

Assuming Homo Erectus deviated at some point in history, to become Homo Aquarus, would their taste buds have developed different due to the nature of the foodstuff available to them? Of course, there'...
5
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1answer
244 views

How different would be the gastronomy of merfolk compared to ours?

My merfolk are omnivores and can use fire, which was discovered recently. They can breath out of the water for about 45 minutes before fainting. What kinds dishes can they cook and how different ...
53
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17answers
9k views

What would an out-of-water submarine (for water-breathing mer-people) look like?

My mermen & women (fish from waist down and human from waist up, but breathe only in water) are at WWII era warfare and interested in their version of 'underwater,' meaning they want out-of-sea ...
4
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4answers
2k views

genetically engineered humans breathe underwater at extreme depths

Assume humans have the technology and motivation to genetically engineer humans capable of breathing underwater and on land. Also assume for this example mechanical technology is somewhat constrained ...
3
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1answer
246 views

How do migratory mermaids work now?

I have an euryhaline mermaid species meaning they can cope with both fresh and saltwater. This species are born in freshwater lakes at high altitudes and will swim along the river into the sea or ...
13
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3answers
541 views

Trade between humans and underwater fish people

In my high fantasy medieval world, the ocean is populated by underwater fish people and land dominated by your good old human. Different type of fish people (shark, whale, turtle, shellfish, etc.) ...
19
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10answers
5k views

What kind of weapons would still be effective under water? [duplicate]

I have a mer civilization that does have magic, with a technological advancement to about flintlock musket level, so nothing overly complicated. I need the soldiers to have effective weaponry, ...
4
votes
2answers
708 views

Mermaid Technology [duplicate]

I'm tinkering around with an idea based on a mermaid civilization unbeknownst to humanity. The problem is, I'd rather write this with a better knowledge of what's scientifically possible, as opposed ...
9
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3answers
534 views

How would merfolk store and preserve their food?

I've been reading this question about agriculture for merfolk and more specifically the accepted answer. They mention the problem of food preservation only minutely. Now I'd like to pour that thought ...
9
votes
4answers
775 views

How to set phaser to kill the mermaids?

Suppose that humans blame the occurrence of mega-tsunamis and flash floods that taking nearly a million lives annually on the terrifying mermaids living in the Mariana Trench. The Secretary-General of ...
33
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15answers
6k views

What could an aquatic civilization use to write on/with?

As the topic asks, what could an aquatic civilization use to write on/with? By aquatic, I mean they live in the oceans, breathe water, etc. -- like mermaids and such. And they are trying to create a ...
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4answers
1k views

How do merfolk develop agriculture

Let's say that a race of aquatic merfolk have managed to achieve sapience, they are basic hunter gatherers, living in relatively shallow waters of up to 100 meters deep. As I have begun designing ...
11
votes
4answers
873 views

Mermaid Land (and Sea?) Combat

I might have a bit too much saltwater in my brain. I'd like to discuss (can you do that in this format?) the ideas of combative mermaids on land. If you say my other questions, you say my bring up ...
12
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2answers
831 views

Mermaid Buoyancy: Oily Livers, Swim Bladders and Lungs

There was a good question and answer here: Does mermaid evolution come with buoyancy control? But I would like to expand the question. I got off talking with a friend, it got me thinking about ...
7
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2answers
844 views

The Mer--Let's Get Real, Shall We?

The traditional description of the mermaid is half-girl and half-fish. That, both biologically and dramatically, is just ridiculous. If the mermaid were half-fish, then why does she move her tail up ...
7
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2answers
875 views

How long would it take for humans to develop “tails” for use in water by evolution?

Ignoring the tails humans already have. Let's say it's the year 2016. Merpeople exist. They live in the ocean or rivers, breathe air, and have to surface occasionally. They also evolved from earlier ...
4
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6answers
276 views

Could amphibious creatures ever evolve hand-like parts?

Could there ever be an incentive for a fish or other aquatic being to use simple tools, like early humans did? Would it be possible for any structure of a current water-dwelling being (for example, ...
4
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2answers
333 views

Mermaid means of transportation

Assuming we're talking about a world similar to ours with the difference of the existence of mermaids, that are fishes with an upper half visibly similar to a human's, live in the sea, can survive at ...