World

World's most famous mermaids

Updated 12:19 AM ET, Tue October 20, 2015
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Perhaps the most famous mermaid right now is Ariel, the star of Disney's animated version of "The Little Mermaid," by Danish author Hans Christian Andersen. The film may have been released in 1989 but Ariel remains one of the top-earning Disney princesses. Described as impulsive, adventurous and stubborn, Ariel falls in love with a male human called Eric, much to the annoyance of her father Triton. Matt Stroshane/Disney/Handout/Matt Stroshane, photographer
Andersen's "Little Mermaid" is also immortalized in a bronze statue that sits on the shores of the Langelinie in Copenhagen, Denmark.

The sculpture, a gift from Danish brewer Carl Jacobsen to the city of Copenhagen, turned 100 years old on August 23, 2013.
Nikolai Linares//AFP/Getty Images
A statue of the Mermaid of Warsaw, otherwise known as Syrenka, sits in the city's Old Town. Syrenka has long been a symbol of the city, though originally appeared on the coat of arms as a male figure with the tail of a dragon.

Designed by Konstanty Hegel in 1855, the original Syrenka statue has since been replaced with sturdier copy after a spate of vandalism. According to one legend, Syrenka is the Little Mermaid's sister and they become separated in the Baltic Sea.
Luis Davilla/Getty Images
A mermaid performs at the world famous Weeki Wachee Springs in Florida, which hosted its first mermaid show in 1947 in a specially-built theater in a natural spring.

The performers may be smiling but it's a grueling job that requires being able to move gracefully in cold water, with just a tube to rely on for air.
Weeki Wachee Springs State Park
Not all mermaids are pretty. "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" were mythical beasts with "grayish skin and long, wild, dark green hair. Their eyes were yellow, as were their broken teeth, and they wore thick ropes of pebbles around their necks." Dan Kitwood/Getty Images
This may look more familiar. The Starbucks logo has evolved since the first store opened in 1971, from a bare-breasted siren to today's more modest, long-locked mermaid.

She appears on billions of cups of coffee sold at more than 17,000 Starbucks cafes worldwide each year.
KAREN BLEIER/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
Mermaids have also inspired celebrations. Since 1983, Coney Island has held its annual mermaid parade, an event the organizers call "a celebration of ancient mythology and honky-tonk rituals of the seaside." Yana Paskova/Getty Images