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XNinjaRed's avatar

The Mermaid Problem

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Of course, they're fantasy creatures, so you're not supposed to look at it logically, but just try and you'll see the anatomical problems just by thinking about it!

Ami is a character by :iconapinkishblue: .
Mermaid Ami concept and Cho character by :iconxninjared: aka Me.

Request more mystical creatures for me to criticize if you know some.
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QueenMarine's avatar

* They could either give birth or lay eggs

* People are friends with animals, but they still wear furs and other animal products

* The bras are probably just an addition to make it child friendly. A lot of older art of mermiads shows them barechested

* Well, if they're bras, probably not

* Maybe they test some out to figure out their size

* It doesn't, but evolution isn't perfect. Maybe they're a vestigal organ.

* Maybe they were originally humans who evolved the fin to live in water?

* They have breasts, so probably mammals

* See above

* There are mammals will scales

* Maybe they breathe with lungs? Or their gills could be in their fins

* Hmmm, that one I don't have answer for

* Probably hidden inside their fins

Environmentalist1's avatar

“If they’re mammals, how do they have scales?”


Armadillos and pangolins are mammals with scales.

Ask pangolins. They're scaled mammals.

Davidolvera's avatar
Mammals can have scales.
Lorneglomper's avatar
I'm guessing it was disney did for the Little Mermaid to make sure kids didn't see her nipples. XD So it might've caught on cuz of that. Every other picture I've seen of mermaids,they're topless.
Aang10's avatar
I imagine they have genitals like whales do. I think they mate and give birth like whales do. I'd classify them as mammals.
simnyyy's avatar
for me mermaids scaly humanoids with tails fish eyes human teeth and hair
i just figure the lower half is dolphin which solves most of the problems

I mean sure they're normally depicted as fish but have you seen the way people used to draw dolphins?! (from traveler's tales www.strangescience.net/pics/st…   by 5th hand description fc02.deviantart.net/fs16/f/200…

or if you were lucky bestiary.ca/beastimage/img415.…
Violetvee's avatar
Didn't a Season 2 episode of Futurama address the reproduction issue? It was really funny, and the episode in question is "The Deep South." Apparently merpeople reproduce like fish.
unicornomics's avatar
Answer to #3,breasts are heavy and flop around a lot. So the same reason as humans. Also cultural/ceremonial/fashion reasons...again,just like why human women do.

Answer to 2#, The dead clams aren't using their shells,are they? Some cultures will eat their deceased so they'll always have a little bit of Uncle Donny inside them (only the Uncle Donny part is a joke,the rest is true).Sometimes they'll do it to humiliate the enemy but sometimes it's considered an honor so the person lives on in a sense.

Another perspective,we have the concept of inheritance/alternatives to burials on land,right? Maybe the clams are donating their non-longer occupied bodies to their friends? Humans have all sorts of varying cultures and traditions,why wouldn't merfolk? 
universalqueen's avatar
maybe they do external copulations
QueenMarine's avatar
I always assumed that mermaids and mermen have genitals, but they're hidden under the fin and they just bring them out when needed
Trekkie-Aspie's avatar
Maybe their genitals are retractable?  Like a cat can velvet their claws?
KingGianny123's avatar
Ah one more think,merpeople have no human face but beautiful face alien like and they are naked they don't wear bra!

KingGianny123's avatar
That's true believe me.

KingGianny123's avatar
Mermaids and mermen are mammals,they are evolved from humans, they have the tail of sea mammals.See the body found of animal planet.
QueenMarine's avatar
That was a hoax; there's even a disclaimer at the end of the documentary 
Scarecrow113's avatar
Fish sex is insertion free! Females lay eggs and males crop dust them with sperm. I suppose that's how mermaids reproduce.
Kermitthefrog223456's avatar
Ami: Why did I turn into a mermaid anyway?
Cho: Fanservice?
DolphinSilverwolf's avatar
1) it's possible they could lay eggs after mammalian copulation (look at the platypus). I'm still leaning more towards live birth, though. Dolphins have been doing it for longer than humans have been a species.

2) Clam shells persist after clams die.

3) If they're intelligent enough to use tools, the females might have bras in order to prevent massive sagging...and retain a slimmer profile to swim better. (Again, if they have breasts, that's leaning towards a mammalian base.)

4) Uh...they wouldn't.

5) I'm guessing trial and error, myself.

6) Evolution is a combination of two factors...random mutation and selection pressure. (bear with me on this.) Random mutation arises in every population. Not all of these mutations work. Those that do, however, have a better chance to succeed. That said...if merfolk are mammalian, it'd be beneficial against trauma to the chest.

7) They make sense because over time they would have adapted their population to the oceanic environment (not by choice unless they have some seriously advanced bioengineering techniques, but by the fact that traits that work tend to survive in the population). The fish tail, though, would likely be fishy on the outside.

8) I'm leaning towards mammal, based on the arrangement of body parts and the fact that mostly their tails are aligned horizontally...that's a mammalian trait. Also, there are certain birth defects where the babies develop a "tail" rather than legs. However, these defects also occur with other defects which are severely deforming and incompatible with life. If merfolk evolved, the genetic expression would preclude the non-viable traits. (Look up "sirenomelia.")

9) Not sure about the fish thing, but if the are...I'd say convergent evolution. Breasts aren't made to create milk, but rather to attract mates.

10) Certain dermatological conditions occur in humans to produce scaly skin. Mostly these are associated with disease symptoms, but again, they might have a different genetic expression.

11) There are a few locations...behind the ears would be an embryological solution, but the more likely location would probably be at the base of the lungs...the lung exchange surfaces drain both upward for gas and downward for fluid, so "drowning" still passes a fluid over the exchange surface.

12) If they did breathe like dolphins, they probably engineered their cities to have air pockets which refresh themselves via mechanical ventilation or engineered plant life (turn over the CO2 for O2).

13) Pelvic region. Again, look at dolphins.
MermaidWitch94's avatar
I once dreamt of a merman having sex with a human woman, and she was absolutely horrified at his dolphin-like penis XD
DolphinSilverwolf's avatar
And the fact that he was a MERMAN didn't faze her in the least?
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