Siren vs Mermaid: Half Human and Half Animal Creatures of Greek Mythology

Siren vs mermaid all you need to knowSiren vs Mermaid is a fascinating comparison between two creatures that have the same physical trait, they have the head of a human and the body of another creature. Sirens are half human and half bird whereas mermaids are half human half fish. There are quite many differences in addition to similarities between the two creatures of Greek mythology. 

Keep reading this article as we compare Sirens with Mermaids while answering all the questions related to the history of Sirens and Mermaids.

Siren vs Mermaid Comparison Table

OriginGreekGreek and Other Folklore
HabitatLand, mostly mountains, and AirWater bodies and Forests
ParentsRiver God AchelousPoseidon and Water Nymphs
PowersBeautiful SoundBeautiful Face and Body
Type of CreatureBird with Human HeadFish with Human Head
NatureEvil and DeadlySometimes Evil or Nice
GenderOnly FemaleBoth Female and Male
Known forAlluring Travelers and then Killing themAlluring men and making them their puppets
Can be KilledNoYes
Casual Interaction with the CreatureNoYes
Family and Friendly RelationsNoYes

What Are the Differences Between Siren vs Mermaid?

The main difference between Sirens and Mermaids is that Sirens have a human face on a bird body while a Mermaid has a human face on a fish body. Sirens are only found in Greek mythology whereas Mermaids are found in Greek mythology and many other folklore and myths.

What Is Siren Best Known For?

Siren is best known for their melodious voice which they use to allure passers and travelers. These creatures are one of the most interesting creatures in Greek mythology and rightfully so because they have the body of an animal and the mind and face of a human. It is surely a deadly combination and these creatures used it to their advantage. They can think like a man and have the ability to fly like a bird.

Greek mythology is based on several interesting characters and storylines that make up the start of time. Homer in his book, the Odyssey explains the character of Siren. From there the world as we know it came to know about the bird/human creature.

Sirens Explained in the Odyssey

Sirens are explained in the Odyssey as creatures of the land and air that have a very melodious voice. The Odyssey is the only book by Homer or any other Greek poet that mentions the creature Siren.

Homer explains that a Siren is a peculiar creature of nature. It is very odd and beautiful at the same time because of its appearance. These creatures are known to be very devious and evil-doing apart from being peculiar.

Homer also explains that after they lured the travelers with their beautiful singing voices, they would devour them and leave no trace behind. These creatures were therefore very stealthy in their moving and did not leave any trace behind them.

Sirens Physical Features

Sirens look like a combination of two creatures. One of the creatures is a human and the other is a bird. They have a head of a human and the body of a bird. This means that they have the brain of humans and can fly because they have wings just as birds do.

Another very important feature of Sirens is that there are only female Sirens. There is no concept of a male Siren in Greek mythology and as we know Sirens only exist in Greek mythology so only female Sirens exist in the mythological world.

The Reason Why Sirens Sing

Sirens sing for only one purpose, to allure travelers and other people into their trap. These creatures have the most soothing and attractive voice. When they start to sing, passing by people and travelers are attracted to the voice but they do not know the trap that they are falling into. When the traveler comes looking for the beautiful voice, Sirens devour them and leave no trace of their wrongdoing.

The traveler is gone forever and there is nothing anyone can do about it. Not many flesh-eating, wild creatures have a voice of an angel. These creatures are surely very different from those found elsewhere.

Sirens’ Behavior

The behavior of these creatures was evil and assertive, they were very sneaky and wouldn’t leave a trace behind what they did. In short, these creatures were cunning and keen on their words and actions. One cannot think about how deadly the creature is.

Homer in his book, Odyssey, explains how Sirens kill for pleasure, and anyone who falls into their trap is gone forever and there is no saving him.

Reasons Death Related To Sirens

Death is related to Sirens because they killed the people they allured. It was said that anyone who listened to the songs of Sirens and went into their traps would never see the light of day.

This means that death was most assuredly written for those who saw Sirens and nothing related to them would ever be found. Another myth related to Sirens was that anyone who saw a Siren even if they were not in a Siren’s trap, would be dead before nightfall.

This is the reason why death is so heavily related to Sirens in Greek mythology. Greek mythology is the only mythology that has Sirens. Some other mythologies might have creatures with deformed bodies but none of them have a head of a human and a body of a bird.

Some Important Sirens Names in Greek Mythology

There are some very important Sirens that are mentioned by Homer by name: Molpe, Thelxiepeia/Thelxiope/Thelxinoe, Aglaophonos/Aglaope/Aglaopheme, Himerope, Ligeia, Leucosia, Pisinoe/Peisinoë/Peisithoe, Parthenope, Raidne, and Teles. The stories of each of these individual Sirens are not explained anywhere.

What Is Mermaid Best Known For?

Mermaids are best known for their beauty and attractiveness. These creatures are found in most mythologies in one form or another. The sole purpose of these creatures is to allure men into their traps, take control of their thoughts and bodies, and lastly, make them do whatever they want. In the end, the mermaid would probably kill the man or would make them like herself.

These creatures are indeed a force of nature. Many cultures fantasize about mermaids and their beautiful features. Mermaids have the head of a human and the body of a fish with many scales. They, however, do have forearms like that of a normal human female.

Mermaids also only live inside water. They can come to the surface but they cannot stand or stay on land. They always need to be in contact with water somehow which is why they always keep their fish part of the body submerged inside water. Some people claim that the best way to kill a mermaid is to get it out of the water and leave her to die which would take some minutes only.

The Nature of Mermaids

Mermaids are known to be very evil and deadly but sometimes they can be very nice and caring. They are famous for alluring men into their traps by showcasing their beauty, long hair, and magical voice. They get them trapped and make them do anything they want. This is a quality that is native to them in almost all folklore and mythologies that the mermaids exist in.

Men can easily be attracted to beauty and the one attracting them can have a deadly effect on them. For this purpose, a number of people use charms to ward off the attraction of mermaids. They wear specific stones and beads, some natural herbs are also known to be efficient against the mermaids, and lastly, wearing one fish scale taken from a mermaid’s body may also help in protection against mermaids and their beauty.

A lot of times mermaids are a part of a bigger scheme. They side with the antagonists and plan elaborate schemes to murder or rob travelers or important men. This is the nature of mermaids that they will be attracted to the most superior being and that is where their utmost loyalties lie.

Physical Features of a Mermaid

Mermaids have many different physical features as compared to women or fish combined. These creatures have human heads and fish bodies in almost every mythology that they exist. They have beautiful womanly features: long hair, sharp eyes, fuller lips, and cheeks. Their upper bodies are also womanly with thin waists, forearms, and breasts.

Their fish bodies have a lot of interesting features. The fish scales are very colorful with iridescent shades so no two mermaids are of the same color. They also have fins and a tail like any normal fish. They help them in swimming in the water bodies and their human head and forearms help them in sitting outside the water.

Mermaids cannot survive outside of water which means that they cannot stay on land. At any given time a part of their body should be touching water or should be submerged in water. This is why they allure their prey inside the water because they have the utmost control inside water.

Other Mythologies that Have Mermaids

Mermaids are very famous in other mythologies of European, Asian, and African nature. These mythologies portray mermaids in the same way as Greek mythology dies. Mermaids are beautiful creatures with a human head and a fish body with a tail and a pair of fins. They have fish scales on their entire body which are of different colors.

Roman, Hindu, Greek, Chinese, Japanese, Syrian, British, Scandinavian, Korean, Byzantine, and Ottoman Folklore are some of the most famous folklore to have mermaids as a character. Sometimes the mermaids are caring and innocent in nature and sometimes they are the antagonists.


Who Were the Giants in Greek mythology?

The Giants were one of many children of the mother Earth goddess, Gaea, and the sky god, Uranus. They were huge and massive creatures that lived on Earth as well as on Mount Olympus but away from the eyes of the gods. They were the neglected creatures in mythology.

In Greek mythology, The Giants once tried to invade Mount Olympus for which they fought the Olympians. This war is an important war in Greek mythology and is named the Gigantomachy, the war between the Olympians of Mount Olympus and the Giants.

Does Greek Mythology Have Cyclopes?

Yes, Greek mythology has Cyclopes. He was one of many children of the mother Earth goddess, Gaea, and the sky god, Uranus. The character of Cyclopes exists in many different mythologies for example Roman, Mesopotamian, Egyptian, and Hindu mythology. Cyclopes are any character that has one eye so they do exist in Greek mythology.

Are Sirens Real?

No, these creatures are not real. This is a question that is asked often, however by just looking or thinking about a creature with a human head and wings of a bird, it is easy to tell that these creatures did not really exist in our world.

ConclusionSiren vs mermaid what are the differences

Sirens are creatures with a bird’s body and a human head whereas a mermaid has the upper portion of a female and the lower body of a fish. These two characters are very famous in Greek mythology but among them, only mermaids exist in many other mythologies. The creature, Siren, is native to Greek mythology only and is extensively described in the Odyssey by Homer. Both these characters are deadly because they allure their prey into remote places and then devour them.

Charms and wax in ears can be used to ward off their allurement and attraction. One has to be strictly careful when crossing their paths because once you have been attracted, you are doomed. Here we reach the end of the article about the comparison of Sirens and Mermaids. Now we know that these two are different characters with a lot of interesting things to offer.

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