Mermaids and Sirens, oh my…
Sirens, or Sirena as is their Latin name, are very deadly creatures. Most people think Sirens are another name for Mermaids but trust me, Ariel would not appreciate that comparison.
No one really seems to know their origins: some say that they are the daughters of the Greek river god river god Achelous, while others say they were the companions of Persephone and were given their wings by Demeter to find Persephone after Hades took her to the Underworld.
Where mermaids are generally friendly half human/half fish like creatures Sirens are completely deadly. I think that the best reference I can give for what they are like was in that ridiculous movie, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides — those creatures were called mermaids they most definitely were much closer to Sirens.
Sirens are always strikingly beautiful women, and they are as old as time. The first Sirens were more bird-like than the ones now are, they were part human and part bird, with wings that allowed them to scoop up their prey. Within the last couple hundred years Sirens began to shed their wings and grow fish-like tails in order to resemble their mermaid cousins and thus shed of their evil image.
However that is where the similarities end: Sirens have a deadly song, they use this song along with their striking appearance to lure in men, traditionally sailors and adventurers who have come into their waters. Mermaids on the other hand, contrary to popular belief, do not really sing…they just swim around seemingly oblivious to the evils around them. They are actually quiet dull creatures but I would prefer them to a Siren any day.
How to Spot a Siren:
Well aside from their strikingly beautiful appearance I would say if you’re of the male variety and happen to sailing out in the ocean and then magically see a large fish tail or a mysterious woman sitting on a rock I would say that you have a Siren on your hands. At this point my best advice for you would be to turn the other direction, and put some earplugs in…NEVER sail without them!
For women, I would say that you are pretty much safe from Sirens unless you happen to be more beautiful than they are, then they might see you as a threat that must be killed immediately.
They won’t waste their song on you, they will just try to drag you into the water and drown you…so as a general rule for everyone (just to be safe) stay away from the edge of your boat aka no Titanic stuff.
How to Defeat Them:
As I said before there really is not much you can do against Sirens but one main thing to remember about them is that they are incredibly lonely. You see Sirens, unlike Mermaids who generally live in large groups (much like fish), are solitary creatures. They might take down a ship together but other than that they are alone. Their deepest wish is to find someone who will love them and will spend eternity with them but for some reason they don’t really understand that when they take their chosen one down to their underwater lair, the person drowns. Which is why sometimes they get angry and decide to destroy a ship and kill all of its passengers for no other reason than pure spite.
So only way to defeat them is either to trick them into believing that you really love them long enough to kill them, a stab in the heart with a knife or sword is preferable. Or escape them by putting in some earplugs and ignoring their calls, most times they will leave you alone if you don’t come willingly…but not always.
As always with almost all magical creatures…DO NOT look them in the eyes, as they say the eyes are the windows to one’s soul, and trust me when I say that Sirens have some very powerful souls.
Also the El-Naddaha are their “cousins” so the same rules apply.
Dr. P. C. Howard, Preternatural Expert
-P.S. Check back next Tuesday to learn about more creatures. Also should you fear that you need to know about a certain creature ASAP, you may comment below this post asking me to include a chapter in my book.