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.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
3
votes
1answer
96 views

Merfolk lung system similar to dolphins

Merfolk are one of the major species in my book. However, unlike in most depictions, they're fully mammalian and lack gills. Because of this, they need to breathe air, but I still wanted them to be ...
24
votes
13answers
4k views

Fantasy Macro Economics: What would Merfolk trade for?

In the world I'm making, humans trade with a variety of species, one of which is a society of merpeople. Humans typically acquire goods and services in the form of fish, pearls, under sea flora for ...
5
votes
1answer
360 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
309 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
250 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
votes
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
340 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
302 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
11answers
436 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
292 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
419 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
vote
1answer
144 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
504 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
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'...
6
votes
6answers
491 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
votes
3answers
286 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
votes
4answers
382 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
280 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 ...
61
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 ...
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
313 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
votes
2answers
286 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
253 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
144 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
votes
3answers
133 views

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

If such a thing would even be possible.
13
votes
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 ...
4
votes
2answers
608 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
votes
2answers
193 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
votes
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
votes
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
votes
3answers
339 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
votes
3answers
276 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
361 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
327 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'...
4
votes
1answer
260 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
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 ...
4
votes
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
votes
1answer
257 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
votes
3answers
613 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
votes
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
843 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
votes
3answers
617 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
793 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 ...
34
votes
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 ...
12
votes
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
1k 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
votes
2answers
928 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
985 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 ...