Merfolk (Family: Sirenidae)
When Nick, Laurie, Jules, Cindy and Sandspur went to the beach in the middle of the night to make the merfolk help them with luring the Giants out to the sea with song, the Mermaids kidnapped Jules and threatened to hold him imprisoned under the water forever if his friends didn't gave them a new fish that had never swim in their sea before, before the sun rise. At first they had no idea how to get a new fish, but then Nick remembered that there was some seas completely surrounded by land, and that the Merfolk couldn't have seen the fish that lived there. It showed up that Cindy's dad had a large saltwater aquarium. They went there, and while Nick distracted Cindy's dad by saying that he wanted to get a saltwater aquarium, Laurie took a fish called George from the Red Sea. But Sandspur escaped from his leash, made some noise, and forced the kids to run. When they gave the fish to the Merfolk, they returned Jules and sang, but only for a short time. Then they disappeared into the water. Nick had been recording the song on a microcassette recorder, and by rigging some equipment on the top of Jules' car, they could lure the Giants out to sea.
When the Hydras started to form sinkholes everywhere, and Nick, Laurie, Jules, Jared, Simon, Mallory and Sandspur went back to the beach to lure the Giants back to land with Nixie song, they decided to try to surf out with the Nixies in the water, because saltwater burns Nixie skin. Julian couldn't, as he had been imprisoned by the Merpeople and thus had gotten a fear for the sea. Nicholas decided to go out with Ibi, but because he'd never surfed before, he needed to practice first. It didn't go so well, he almost drowned under the water, but a Mermaid filled his lungs with air and then gave him a cap of woven sea grass which allows humans to breath underwater. The Mermaids told Nicholas that they were not going to help, because apparently they have to protect everything that lives in their ocean, including Giants, and that they wanted the land to burn. Nick was swept up to the surface again and was rescued by his stepsister.
Behind the scenes
The thought of an underwater, human-like person occur in mythologies and folklore all over the world.
The first stories of Mermaids occured in ancient Assyria around 1,000 years B.C.. In the Arabic story compendium, One Thousand and One Nights, an underwater culture appears, although these creatures are identical to humans, except the ability to breathe water. Around Ireland and the British Isles, tales were told about creatures like Murduachas, Muireartach ("Sea-witches"), Merrows, Selkies, and so on. The Greek variation is a creature called the Siren, who lures seamen to crash with their ships against the cliffs by singing otherworldy, beautiful songs.
- The Field Guide (First mentioned)
- Arthur Spiderwick's Field Guide (First appearance)
- A Giant Problem
- The Wyrm King
- Their family name, Sirenidae, comes from the word siren. Sirens were creatures from Greek mythology with the head of a woman and the wings and bodies of birds. They used their beautiful singing voices to enchant mortals and lure them to their doom. They later became depicted as mermaids. In most languages "sirena" or "sirene" or another variation of these is how mermaids are still called.
- The seaweed caps mermaids make are similar to the ones merrows use in irish mythology.
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