The mermaid is a mythological creature of fairy tales and legends said to be half-woman and half-fish that still fascinates body artists and their clients. The mention of “sea people” or “sea folk” date back thousands of years to almost a millennium before the Common Era around 1,000 BC but only rose to prominence in Western culture during the late middle ages. This was when the European empires expanded their reach over the oceans.
As sailors sailed across the seas they would often return from their journeys with stories about sightings of sea folk or mermaids. A common depiction is that of a mermaid sitting on a rocky outcropping in the ocean combing her long hair and gazing into a mirror. While exquisitely beautiful mermaids were also perceived to be dangerous due to the threat of drowning if a sailor should follow her into the ocean. Some believed that the mermaids intentionally lured the hapless sailors with their beauty and with their songs to wreck their ships upon rocks. There are many tales of relationships between mermaids and sailor but they almost always end in tragedy.
Legends and myths about mermaids have endured for thousands of years. The Greeks were one of the great sea-faring empires of antiquity and sailed and explored the Mediterranean. They encountered mermaid-like creatures named sirens that lured men away from their ships. They were beautiful but deadly. According to Greek mythology, sea folk were said to be born from a union between sea gods, such as Poseidon and Zeus, and mystical sea creatures.
Mermaids have been depicted in popular culture since the mid 19th century. One of the most well-known and loved mermaid tattoos is that of Hans Christian Andersen`s “The Little Mermaid”, which was immortalized with a bronze sculpture in Copenhagen harbor.
Mermaids are also sometimes seen in heraldry another growing tattoos choice. Traditionally depicted with a comb and mirror and represents eloquence in speech as well as femininity, grace, elegance and beauty. The official Coat of arms of Warsaw features a mermaid carrying a shield and wielding a sword. The personal coat of arms of Canada`s Governor General also features two mermaid-like spirits.
Mermaid tattoos can be designed a variety of ways. The mermaid can be depicted as a pop symbol like Ariel the mermaid or it can be more traditional. The traditional look of a mermaid would be alluring with flowing locks, hypnotic gaze and bare breasts. She could also be shown wearing a crown or holding an object. A tattoo of a mermaid looks particularly attractive in blue and green ink.