Difference between Mermaid and Siren

Key difference: Mermaid and Siren are mythical beautiful female creatures, which differ in their appearances. A ‘mermaid’ is a half-woman, half-fish mythical creature; while a ‘siren’ is a half-woman, half-bird type of creature. Both used to attract the sea sailors and navigators with their alluring and fascinating nature.

Mermaid and Siren stories were common among the 16th centuries. Both were mythical myths, who looked inevitably beautiful. Also, these were imaginary creatures who belonged to the historical and mythical stories. Both the creatures dwelled near oceans and islands. These were unique and odd appearing creatures with extra ordinary body features.  Often, a mermaid and siren are considered to be the same and hence people remain confused between due to their similarities. The above article might give a clear difference among their existence and features.

A 'mermaid' was a half human and half fish type of creature. Mermaids stories appeared in the folklore of many cultures worldwide, including the Near East, Europe, Africa and Asia. Mermaids had a torso of a fish, and the upper body of a human being. They were very beautiful, and had extreme attractive looks and facial features, as opposed to one’s normal presumption that their scales would make them look repulsive. They used to attract, hypnotize and seduce the sea sailors or navigators with their shrill and fascinating voices. These were humble and kind in nature, hence mermaids were always helpful towrads humankinds.

A 'siren' was a half woman and half bird type of creature, which belonged to the Greek mythology. They were nymphs who lived on islands surrounded by cliffs. Sirens were believed to combine women and birds in various ways. Like Mermaids, even sirens used to attract and seduce the sailors with their shrill voices by enchanting and singing different tunes. But, Sirens had wicked and evil intentions behind their motives, They used to drown the sailors into the sea. This proves that, they were harmful and dangerous in nature. 

Both these creatures had their mythical stories, mermaid and siren both were known for their beauties and different behavioral features. They were the most attractive and seducing woman, hence men’s often used to get attracted towards them. These had their typical behaviors, like mermaids had golden long hairs, and often used to see themselves in mirrors or sea reflections; they always used to play with their hairs. On the other hand sirens were known for singing and seducing abilities, which attracted the males. Hence, sirens were considered to be more dangerous with evil an wicked intentions than mermaids, who were gentle and kind towards humankind.

Comparison between Mermaid and Siren:




Found origins in

In the folklore and stories of all cultures and civilization.

In Greek mythology only.

Short description

A mermaid is a legendary creature with a female human head and torso (if it's male, it's called a merman) and the tail of a fish.

A siren was represented as birds with the head of women.

They are

half woman and half fish

half woman and half bird

Types of creatures

These were aquatic creatures.

These were not aquatic creatures.


They were gentle and benevolent, and were not that evil in natures.

They had evil intentions and natures.

Nature towards Humankind

Due to their gentle and benevolent natures, they were always helped human beings.

They used to sing songs to mesmerize sailors and cause their drowning.

Image Courtesy: mysticwallpapers10.net, journalcor203amulder.blogspot.com

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who lives in a pineapple under the sea ?

I thought that sirens were mermaids, just meaner. I heard that they would attract sailors by their singing voice, but they wouldn't drown them, they'd eat them. Both ways are pretty creepy.

The grammar I've been seeing in this article and the comment section hurts my soul. However the article was slightly helpful.

what are you an English major. Perhaos English is not the writers first language. Did you think of that?

I am doing a paper on how the siren has evolved over time. Im trying to figure out where the confusion between the bird and mermaid occured so this was super helpful. But you said there were an article or a link giving more specific details to the comparison, unfortunately I cant find it.

Why when I read an out the siren it sounds like they are physically describing harpies

Wooooow very helpful

actually serins are not only a Greek myth creature ...they're are the daughters of Lilith the god of darkness in Sumerian and Syrians old myth ... before the Greek were existed actually the word(Dark) means (lil) in arabic which comes from (lil-ith)or(lily) the god of darkness.... amazing isn't it ....

I'm only twelve so I don't know much but in most kids movies sirens are basically evil mermaids that look really pretty to the people that they enchant but really if you have ever seen iceage 3 they are not pretty at all even though in iceage 3 they look more like fish I still think that sirens and mermaids are very different. They have probably made the sirens in kids movies look really fake so the children don't get scared

The true story of Mermaids is that they have green blood and feeds on Humans kust like Sirens do. So, Meemaids and Sirens have the same nature to humankind but their bodies are different


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