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.

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12
votes
9answers
4k views

Would evolution select for mermaids without breasts?

So ignoring all the other hydrodynamic inefficiencies associated with sticking a human torso on a fish body, let's just worry about those most distinct of human female features, breasts. The problem ...
6
votes
3answers
227 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
252 views

What effect would living underwater have on a mermaid's skin?

Mermaids are commonly depicted as mammalian, human-like creatures from the waist up and scaly fish-like creatures from the waist down. What properties (color, texture, etc) would their mammal skin ...
10
votes
4answers
295 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
votes
3answers
222 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
votes
4answers
212 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
votes
4answers
298 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 ...
12
votes
8answers
342 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
votes
6answers
279 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
votes
4answers
970 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

How do mermaids' ears work?

Whales and dolphins surely do not have ears similar to ours and yet they can pick up ultrasound underwater without fear of water pressure damaging the eardrum. Any idea how the mermaids with ears like ...
5
votes
4answers
256 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 ...
8
votes
4answers
3k views

How to explain a mermaid's tail morphing into legs and vice versa?

I know a tadpole can do this transformation, given enough time, so what about mermaids?
1
vote
3answers
322 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'...
12
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4answers
444 views

Would an average seawater mermaid be any larger than its freshwater counterparts?

Let's use the sea turtle and the terrapin as an example, need I say more? I used terrapin because like the mermaid which is half fish and half girl so a terrapin would serve as an excellent example. ...
4
votes
1answer
376 views

Does mermaid evolution come with buoyancy control?

I must admit this legendary or mythical creature is really fascinating and I am talking about the half fish half woman. I know most fish have the ability to control buoyancy as they can easily move ...
60
votes
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 ...
11
votes
4answers
395 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 ...
23
votes
16answers
5k views

Weapons for Mer-people

Thanks to this question on undersea fortifications, I have begun to wonder about the kinds of weapons mer-people would use when fighting one another. Normally, mermen are assumed to use tridents, but ...
1
vote
1answer
136 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 ...
10
votes
4answers
387 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 ...
5
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3answers
4k views

Would mermaids be able to sleep?

If a mermaid was a fully mammalian creature that split on the evolutionary chain about the same time as humans did, would it be likely that mermaids could sleep? Would they rest one half of their ...
25
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7answers
6k views

How to Breathe Both on Land and Under the SEA

The popular image of a mermaid is a half-fish, half-human creature breathing fine above and below the surface. The only real-life analogy to this are the amphibians - frogs, toads and salamanders. ...
16
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7answers
20k views

Do mermaids lay eggs underwater or give birth to live young?

Let's pretend these magnificent and beautiful creatures are able to reproduce asexually so we can forget about their mating habits or their partners. I have yet to witness any hard shell eggs laid ...
6
votes
6answers
446 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 ...
60
votes
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'...
5
votes
4answers
349 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
268 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
572 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 ...
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
votes
6answers
298 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 ...
50
votes
9answers
6k views

What would the fortifications of an underwater city look like?

Merpeople, along with other similar underwater humanoids, are often depicted as living in great cities beneath the waves. These cities have many positive things going for them: plenty of real-estate, ...
10
votes
3answers
3k views

How could mermaids talk with gills?

Recently I was pondering mermaids and was wondering how their respiratory systems work. Most importantly, how could their vocal chords continue to function? Secondly, how would they draw the water ...
3
votes
2answers
275 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
137 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, ...
-2
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3answers
126 views

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

If such a thing would even be possible.
13
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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
votes
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 ...
0
votes
2answers
189 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
326 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 ...
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-...
10
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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
votes
3answers
262 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
355 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 ...
13
votes
6answers
2k views

Mermaid architecture

In most representations of mermaid cities, they either live in implausible magical palaces, or in some more or less elaborate cave systems. Assuming the only difference with our world is the presence ...
9
votes
4answers
784 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 ...
53
votes
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 ...
28
votes
16answers
4k views

Cooking underwater

How would an omnivorous civilization of merpeople prepare food? Their diet would be like humans', but naturally seafood-centered. They would have typical medieval technology. How would they "fry" or "...