Siren v Sea Cow: What's the difference?

Is it a mermaid? A siren? ...Wait, is it a dugong?
13 June 2017


Marine biologist, Danni Green, gets myth-busting when it comes to Sirens. 

Danielle - Probably just the old sea sirens. Back in the seafaring days (1700s-1800s) there were lots of sailors that were reporting mermaids, and there were pictures of these beautiful naked women with long flowing hair luring sailors into the sea. There is some truth to that but what they were seeing weren't actually mermaids, they were sea cows.

Chris - Dugongs?

Danielle - Dugongs, yeah. There’s some pictures of the sketches of these mermaids and you can see that it does look quite a lot like a dugong, except a bit more ladylike particularly in the bosom department.

Chris - A bit of artistic licence has gone on there.

Danielle - Yeah - artistic licence. So there is some truth to it which is why they’re called serenia as well, which is siren - sirens of the sea.

Chris - It must have been a very shortsighted sailor who managed to muddle up a dugong with a mermaid because they’re quite different?

Danielle - A bit too much rum maybe.

Carolin - Well, they’d been away from home for a very long time!


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