Mermaids are usually described as being extremely beautiful, with the head and torso of a human female but the lower parts of a fish.
History of Mermaids
According to the Standard Dictionary of Folklore, Mythology and Legend, Merfolk, mermaids and mermen, are supernatural beings that live primarily beneath the sea. It is in Hellenic literature that one finds the first literary description of Merfolk. Ovid writes that mermaids were born from the burning galleys of the Trojans where the timbers turned into the flesh and blood of the 'green daughters of the sea.' There are other versions of their birth, The Irish say that mermaids are old pagan women transformed and banished from the earth by St. Patrick. A Livonian folktale says they are the drowned children of an unknown Pharaoh, having met their doom in the depths of the Red Sea.
As well as their physical beauty, mermaids are said to have enchanting voices. Sailors who hear the mermaid song can become so bewitched that they think of nothing but getting closer to the beautiful music. This usually results in the death of the sailors since, devoid of thoughts for their own safety, they allow their ship to crash on the rocks.