I have been writing a research paper this semester on mermaids. Possibly a strange topic, yes, but I’m loving it.
As such, I have found many, many links of credible mermaid tales. Now, I am defining mermaids as any creature that can live in the water; just a woman with a tail and two arms. However, here are some of the best ones.
Humanity.org has about ten stories from around the world. Beautiful Mermaid Art has quite a few from around the world as well. However, none of them have references as to where he found them, and there is no way to contact him to ask for his references.
The story of Ne Hwas is a native American tale and probably the only one on the site.
Google books proved almost invaluable, as they provided complete text of some books, such as Fairy and Folk Tales of Irish Peasantry and Myths of China and Japan. For any Irish tales, you want to look for merrows. For the China and Japan book, look at the Island of the Blest and The Kingdom Under the Sea. I also used it to access Curious Myths of the Middle Ages, Legends and superstitions of the sea and of sailors in all lands and at all time, the Mermaid of Loche Lene and Other Tales and some partial texts such as Magickal mermaids and water creatures.
Sacred-text.com provides extensive texts from many cultures. Among them, I found Of the Pretty Girl and the Seven Jealous Women,
Surlalunefairytales.com also has a listing of many folktales. Those related to mermaids include: Fortunio and the Siren, The Mermaid of the Magdalenes, and The Story of Urashima Taro, the Fisher Lad. It also includes the text of The Little Mermaid and other mermaid tales.
D. L. Ashliman collected a number of stories on water spirits. Quite a good place to go look.
Lastly, Gutenburg is almost just as good of a source as google books, if not better. There I have found The Mermaid of Zennor, The Water-Nix and The Nixie of the Millpond.
The History of Mermaids has hundreds of mermaid sightings recorded, many of them with sources.
So that’s about all I have. Hope you enjoy. Do you know of any other great sources for folklore?
Edit: I have found another source for mermaid research called Wonders of the Deep. Haven’t read a whole lot on it, but the little bit I did get is very good. This entry about Liban (or Li Ban or St. Murgan) is one of the best I have found as well.
Edit 2: I uploaded my paper that I wrote using these sources. Please remember that if you copy it for your paper, it’s called plagiarism and is worth a failing grade in most English classes. It compares mermaids from different cultures of the world, including Europe, Asia, Africa and America. It briefly looks at mermaids’ appearance and personality variances. It also includes my biography. You can find it in my writing tab as a PDF near the bottom.