|Location||England, Greece, Mesopotamia, Poland, Scotland, United States, Wales,|
|Habitat||Lake, Ocean, River|
Mermen are sea spirits and, physically at least, the male equivalent of mermaids. A Merman is said to have a top half that is similar to a male human and a bottom half that is similar to the tail of a fish.
Description of Merman
Depending on which stories you read, Mermen are either benevolent, neutral, or malevolent. The legends are sometimes intriguing and sometimes frightening.
Stories of Mermen were told all the way back to the Dark Ages, when they were portrayed as rather nasty creatures. Mermaids were thought to sometimes seek a human mate because the Mermen were so unappealing.
Mermen were a part of the lore of many civilizations, including Greek, Sumerian and Nigerian. Gods such as Triton, Glaucus, Enki and Olokun were prominent in the mythology of their respective cultures.
Archaeologists have found carvings of Mermen which date back to before written history, which just shows how long we have been fascinated by this mythical creature.
Mermen, according to some legends, were said to wear red caps on their heads – these caps gave them the ability to breathe underwater. If a Merman lost his cap then he would be unable to go back to his home in the sea.
One of the Merman’s weaknesses is alleged to be silver; if one cast silver in front of a Merman he would be confused and distracted.
Other stories tell of Mermen coming ashore and kidnapping human females, marrying them against their will and taking them back to sea. These women would be enslaved for eternity.
A darker legend relating to Mermen is that they would imprison the souls of dead sailors and keep them at the bottom of the sea, meaning the souls were unable to pass over to the other side.
Mermen were also supposed to be able to lead souls to the other side, but apparently they did not always treat souls kindly…
Conversely, there are also tales of Mermen saving drowning people and returning them safely to shore. Other tales give us the idea that Mermen could guide humans – helping them to stay away from the dangers of the sea.
In the second half of the 12th century, a man from the sea was said to have been captured in Suffolk, England, and held captive in a nearby castle.
His captors held him for six months before he finally managed to escape and return to the sea.
Apparently he did not say a word to anyone while he was a prisoner, and seemed to prefer fish over any other type of food.
A figure was spotted off the coast of Moray, Scotland, in August 1814. This figure was known to locals and it was thought that seeing it was a bad omen.
On this particular occasion two fishermen managed to get a good look at the figure, describing it as black, with curly hair and unusually long arms.
In 1872, or thereabouts, Henry Reynolds saw what he first thought was a pale-skinned teenager on the coast of Castlemartin, Dyfed, Wales. He thought little more of it until he saw the figure had a brown tail which started to swish back and forth.
The body and the arms apparently looked human, although the arms and hands were shorter and thicker than they would usually be, and the creature’s nose was long and sharp.
Henry went in search of other people to corroborate his sighting, but the creature had disappeared by the time he returned to the spot.
Coney Island, New York
A number of Merman sightings were reported in Coney Island in New York in 1885. The creature was described as having long hair that reached down to its waist, and long hair on its body.
The creature was seen for about ten days, moving around in the water as if it were its natural environment. No one was able to successfully approach the creature, for it would leap into the water each time someone ventured too close.
A video surfaced in September 2015 which appeared to show a Merman being carried up a hill and being handed over to paramedics.
The video was filmed in Poland and the figure is human-shaped with a fish-like tail. It is unclear if this footage has any credibility – it could be a scene for a movie or it could, of course, just be a hoax.
exemplore.com, “Mermen: Old Legends and Real Mermen Sightings”, accessed August 25 2017,
paranormaldatabase.com, “Merfolk and Selkies”, accessed August 25 2017,
mysteriousuniverse.org, “Possible Merman Removed From Polish Lake by Hazmat Team”, accessed August 25 2017,
thinkaboutitdocs.com, “1885: Coney Island Merman Sighting”, accessed August 25 2017.