They actually use this trope as SCUBA gear.
Usually when Our Mermaids Are Different
, they still tend to be part fish, or more specifically the scaled kinds. It's less common to see a merfolk that's part shark note
or ray, or part cetacean, crustacean, cephalopod
, mollusk, etc. But they do show up in fiction, and that's what this trope is about.
Also these merfolk are still just as likely to have the Mermaid Problem
, unless they are part aquatic mammal or part shark
See also Selkies and Wereseals
, Shark Man
Compare Petting Zoo People
, Fish People
, Snake People
open/close all folders
Anime and Manga
- One Piece is full of this with a lot of the Mer-people and Fishmen (which are a different species than the Mer-people, but can interbreed). Arlong is a saw shark, Hat-chan is an octopus and Chu is an archerfish, though.
- The raiders in the first episode of Those Who Hunt Elves.
- Sea Princess Azuri is about an orca "mermaid" engaged to an eel "merman". Other characters included shrimp and catfish.
- Neptina, the mermaid from Marine Boy, is half-dolphin.
- The mer-folk in the anime adaptation of The Little Mermaid are also dolphin-tailed.
- The titular character of Squid Girl is half-human half-squid, but averts the "human upper half, fishy lower half" part of the trope. Instead, she wears a hat shaped like the top end of a squid and her hairlocks are the tentacles. Oh, and ink comes out of her mouth when she sneezes or pukes.
- Tokyo Mew Mew has Mew Lettuce, who has a finless porpoise mermaid form.
- Merpeople in Centaur no Nayami naturally evolved from aquatic primates and are fully mammalian.
- Interestingly, their tail starts from about the knees down; so they still have thighs.
- Deadline Summonner has a Scylla in Mamoru's harem. For those who don't know, a Scylla is a half-human monster with the lower half of an octopus. She's rather attractive.
- 12 Beast, by the same mangaka, features Scylla among Eita's army.
- Batman has fought Orca, a woman who transformed herself into a humanoid killer whale. Though in early appearances, she just wore a bizarre killer-whale biomechanical outfit, the logistics of which made little to no sense even in the DC Universe.
- A story called "Cilia" in a 1974 issue of Vampirella featured an octopus-mermaid of the "tentacles instead of legs" variety.
- Korilia, from the first ElfQuest: Wave Dancers series, was a similarly-designed octopus-mermaid.
Films — Animated
- Ursula of The Little Mermaid is half octopus, a form of mermaid known as cecaelia. Her sister Morgana is the same though she is much skinnier with green skin while Ursula is more full figured with purple skin.
- Some of her concept sketches had her as part Scorpion fish, a somewhat unusual choice for fish halves.
Films — Live-Action
- In Dagon most of the mutant townsfolk are Fish People with cephalopod traits. One woman is presented as a mermaid but has two long tentacles instead of legs.
- From Harry Potter, Victor Krum transfigures himself partially into a shark.
- The mermaids in the River of Dancing Gods series are all-mammal, with their "fish" half most closely resembling a dolphin.
- The Mirra from Alida Van Gores Mermaid's Song are similarly half-human, half dolphin, as were several mermaids created by L. Sprague DeCamp.
- As are the mer in John Ringo's Emerald Seas, though the cover would have you believe otherwise
- The Mer in Helen Dunmore's Ingo series are closer to half seal than anything else.
- The lower half of Kit Whitfield's Deepmen in In Great Waters resemble dolphin or porpoise tails.
- One of the Dark Lord of Dirkholme books had Dirk, the titular Dark Lord, speculating on creating a mermaid daughter with his wife (long story, but "Dark Lord" is just his day job, and he's more of a mad scientist in his spare time).
- The Cray in China Miéville's The Scar are essentially lobster-bodied centaurs.
- Nereus from The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel has eight octopus tentacles (a la Ursula) instead of a tail.
- Aquatics in Dougal Dixon's Man After Man eventually evolve into this.
- Vonda N. McIntyre's "divers" are, quite simply, humans genetically engineered for aquatic life. Her historical fantasy novel The Moon and the Sun has the similar (if naturally-occurring) "sea people." Both are entirely mammalian.
- The mermaids of Barracora, an unconventional blend of humans and fish with smooth skin.
- In Changeling The Dreaming, the Merfolk are composed of several different types. Seelie Merfolk are divided into different Houses based on various vertebrate sea creatures. Scaled fish are only a single house (albeit the largest), while sharks, eels, and rays are another, and air-breathing creatures like whales, reptiles, and dolphins are another, the last of which are most well-known to humans due to their interactions with them. Unseelie merfolk, on the other hand, are composed of the myriad of seagoing invertebrates.
- Planescape had the zoveri, a race of celestials who are octopus-mermaids as per Ursula.
- The Mystara setting is home to the kopru, a race of aquatic mind-controllers with Cthulhumanoid faces, slick eel-like bodies, and triple-finned tails that end in nasty ripping hooks.
- Dungeons & Dragons 3e had darfellans, based off of killer whales.
- Pathfinder has cecaelias, another race of Ursula-style octopus-merfolk. (The name of the species is a common modern term for such beings, believed to have been inspired by the Vampirella example.)
- It also has the grindylows, an aquatic aberration that is essentially a goblin doing the octopus-merfolk thing. Though not officially "goblinoids", they do share the same general mentality, though they hate and fear squids rather than horses and dogs. For reasons that should be obvious.
- Yu-Gi-Oh! has Mermail Abyssdine (sea slug), Mermail Abysshilde (Eel), and maybe Mermail Abyssmander (Salamander).
- BIONICLE's Barraki are based on creatures such as crabs, sharks, cephalopods, eels, and stingrays.
- Dominic Deegan has an octopus variety and a shark variety among its merfolk.
- The SCP Foundation have one of those who appears somewhat half-dolphin.
- Orkazoka, one of the Kaiju Girls of Neo Monster Island, associated with Twisted Kaiju Theater, is apparently based on the killer whale.
- Mermaid's Tail Galleries has galleries of mermaids based on mollusks & starfish amongst even weirder things (motorcycles? furniture? lawn mowers?)
- This lovely eel girl may be a somewhat bizarre case.