Every guy in the world knows mermaids are super-hot, even if we can't quite figure out how compatible the whole "the birds and the bees" thing is when it comes time to hit the sack. Eh-hem.
All scaly tails aside, though, these sexy sirens of the sea are some of the most enchanting creatures of ancient folklore, and have wriggled their way from the ocean depths to the movie screen on more than one occasion. Whether they're the benevolent mermaids of "Peter Pan" or the nasty maneaters of "Harry Potter" or the new "Pirates of the Caribbean," these half-lady/half-fish hybrids have been a source of male fascination for centuries.
Unlike lame-ass water nymphs or selkies, mermaids are great singers, frequently topless, and are usually ready to help a pure-of-heart sailor brother out if he gets in trouble. How many could make for romantic companions in real-life though? Our top 5 candidates:
5. Aquamarine (Sara Paxton), 'Aquamarine' (2006)
Sara Paxton, former teen sensation and distant relative of actor Bill "Game over, man!" Paxton starred in this young adult comedy as one of those cool convertible mermaids that can grow legs out of water (during the day). She makes a deal with two young girls (Joanna "JoJo" Levesque and Emma Roberts, close relative of Julia) to help her find love in exchange for a wish. Sounds like a win-win situation, especially if you're the dude on the receiving end of some blissed-out, innocent "holding hands and kissing"-style teen love… we guess.
Turn Ons: Shell phone, true love, shallowness (the water kind)
Turn Offs: Arranged marriage, shallowness (the emotional kind)
4. Charlotte (Winona Ryder), 'Mermaids' (1990)
Oh Winona Ryder, you were so cute back in your heyday that we will totally bend the laws of this article to include you, since technically you were not an actual mermaid in this film. No, this "mermaid" is a 1960s Jewish teen girl obsessed with Catholicism (and the local hunk caretaker of the convent) and perpetually at odds with her tramp mother. The making of "Mermaids" was no fairy tale, however, since lead actress Cher, flush with post-"Moonstruck" power, fired two consecutive directors and the original Charlotte, actress Emily Lloyd, in the middle of shooting. Now THAT's a mermaid you don't wanna mess with.
Turn Ons: Crosses, wine, Greek myths
Turn Offs: Promiscuity, the song "I Got You Babe"
3. Ariel (Jodi Benson), 'The Little Mermaid' (1989)
Oh man, she wants to be "part of your world" so bad. If it's skeezy to lust after Disney animation's most scantily-clad animated princess, then we'll join the generation of pervs who have found Ariel positively to dive for. Based on the Hans Christian Andersen fable, Ariel was given a sporty seashell bikini, red hair, and those big beautiful blue eyes. The girl's got some pipes, too, so maybe a sensual night of underwater karaoke will get her fin flapping.
Turn Ons: Princes, legs
Turn Offs: Long John Silver's, Red Lobster, BP oil rigs
2. Syrena (Àstrid Bergès-Frisbey), 'Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides' (2011)
She comes from the same pack of vicious, fanged kill-babes that drag more than one sailor to their doom in the latest adventure of Captain Jack Sparrow. However, Syrena has a soft spot for Philip Swift (Sam Claflin), the missionary and lone nice guy among Blackbeard's men, and the two of them form an unlikely bond that transcends traditional man/fish relations. Although the rest of her mermaid sisters seem pretty evil, Syrena is the exception that proves the rule.
Turn Ons: Purity, helpfulness
Turn Offs: Kidnapping her, tying her to a tree, stealing her tears
1. Madison (Daryl Hannah), 'Splash' (1984)
To quote another relic of the 80's, Robert Palmer, Hannah's gorgeous mermaid is simply irresistible. Ron Howard's fantasy may have launched Tom Hanks on an unsuspecting populace, but it was the image of Hannah sprawled out on the beach in her aquatic birthday suit that really stayed with us. Like Syrena, Madison (named after the Avenue in New York, awww) can grow legs when she's on dry land, so for all the gentlemen looking to get frisky steer clear of Jacuzzis, romantic walks in the rain, etc.
Turn Ons: Televisions, Bloomingdales
Turn Offs: Being dissected, Blade Runners