The Mermaids of Whitecap Bay are minor antagonists from the live-action film, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. They are legendary aquatic creatures with the upper body of a female human and the tail of a fish. They first appear in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides and the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at the Magic Kingdom, among other appearances.
Beautiful, conniving, and dangerous, these Mermaids will do anything to protect their homes. Whitecap Bay is the final leg of the journey for the Fountain of Youth. It is also where mermaids have been known to gather for hundreds of years, thereby striking terror in the heart of sailors and pirates alike. Drawn to the surface by a singing sailor, they entrance their prey before dragging them to the depths of the Bay to devour them. The mermaids must defend against Blackbeard and his crew as they attempt to capture a live mermaid to harvest the mermaid's tear demanded by the Fountain of Youth ritual.
In a sense, these mermaids provide both a compliment and a contrast to those in the original Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Andersen. His merfolk could not shed tears because they lacked an immortal soul; the mermaids of On Stranger Tides instead have tears that can potentially grant immortality.
- Beautiful, conniving, and dangerous, these Mermaids will do anything to protect their home in Whitecap Bay.
- Whitecap Bay is the final leg of the journey for the Fountain of Youth. It is also where mermaids have been known to gather for hundreds of years, thereby striking terror in the heart of sailors and pirates alike. Drawn to the surface by a singing sailor, they entrance their prey before dragging them to the depths of the Bay to devour them.
- The mermaids must defend against Blackbeard and his crew as they attempt to capture a live mermaid to harvest the Mermaid's Tear demanded by the Fountain of Youth ritual.
Powers and Abilities
- Mermaid Swimming: A mermaid's tail enables them to swim more swiftly than an equivalent human being and also to more-effectively perform underwater feats of agility.
- Powerful Grip: Mermaids exhibit physical strength which is higher than that of a normal human woman. They use this superhuman strength and speed for actions as complex as using lariat cords to ensnare the throats of their victims or as simple as grabbing these victims and pulling them underwater.
- Fangs: Though their torso, arms, and head appear to be those of beautiful young women, the Mermaids of Whitecap Bay have sharp canine teeth, which can extend into fangs at will. It is unknown whether these fangs are venomous or even perhaps blood-draining like those of a vampire, but they are useful when slaying prey.
- Entrancing Song: The Mermaids of Whitecap Bay can communicate in the English language, and they use this language to connect more intimately with those who may be affected by their mystical melodies. These melodies often mimic songs known to the mermaids' intended prey so as to calm them with feelings of familiarity. Such standard techniques of lulling combine with the mermaids' siren song to render their targets quite unprepared for their close-range attack.
- Mermaid's Tears: The tears of the Mermaids of Whitecap Bay are a vital component of the ritual used to gain access to the Fountain of Youth. The mermaids are very hesitant to part with them, however, and they are known to be "tough" in refusing to cry under most circumstances. As most of the Mermaids of Whitecap Bay are governed by primeval or negative emotions, their tears tend to be those of pain, anger or sorrow, however their rare tears of joy are said to be even more powerful.
- Protective Kiss: A kiss from a mermaid is known to protect a sailor from drowning.
In the film, when Elizabeth Swann was trying to warn of the cursed pirates, Lieutenant Gillette says, "Don't worry, miss, he's already informed of that. A little mermaid flopped up on deck and told him the whole story" before shutting the doors on her. His phrasing of, "Little Mermaid" here was done as an allusion to the classic fairy-tale and 1989 released Disney film of the same name.
During the quest for the Fountain of Youth, a longboat full of members of Blackbeard's crew were used as bait on a mission to lure a mermaid for her tears. Legend has it that man-made light and song attract mermaids, so the boat is lit by the beam of the lighthouse, and Scrum was forced to sing a song. Scrum sang My Jolly Sailor Bold and successfully attracted a mermaid named Tamara, who continued singing Scrum's song as other mermaids surrounded the longboat.
After Tamara revealed her true form, the mermaids began a lethal attack on Blackbeard's crew. Seeing the mermaid slaughtering pirates, Jack Sparrow set an explosion on the Bay's lighthouse to scare the mermaids away. In the aftermath of the battle, Philip Swift captured a mermaid he would later name Syrena, and several of the pirates that the mermaid attacked (including Scrum) were brought to safety. The other Mermaids would later attack and bring down Barbossa's ship and all who had still been on the ship at the time.
Mermaids appear in the game.
An unnamed mermaid was seen in the final level of the Pirates of the Caribbean world in the final level of the Fountain of Youth location (as the closest character to the world's boss) where the player must collect her tears by using cannons and then carry them to the fountain to complete the objective.
In an extended sequence to promote Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, mermaids are seen swimming underwater as Jack Sparrow says "The Fountain of Youth. What does it require?", and in which Angelica says "A mermaid, Jack." Tamara can then be heard singing "My Jolly Sailor Bold", while mermaids continue swimming, shortly before the mermaid attack battle scene follows.
In October of 2012, mermaids were added to the ride Pirates of the Caribbean to coincide with a promotional Stranger Tides themed refurbishment (including the ghost of Blackbeard and Barbossa dressing in his privateer garb). It should be noted that motifs of mermaids were present in the original ride, a plaque being found over a fountain outside of Disneyland's version of the ride which showed two mermaids alongside the talking skull.
The mermaids made their appearance in Dead Man's Cove, swimming in the water nearby the boats of guests as, "My Jolly Sailor Bold" playing in the background. On the sandbar area by the pillager skeleton, the skeleton of a mermaid was seen in a beached dinghy with the glass coffin from the film being seen in the background. The mermaid's appearances in the water were achieved by a digital projection of the mermaids swimming being played on the water's surface, made to be subtle and just show the gleam of their tales and general figures.
Ultimately this element of the ride was removed, the exact year of removal being unknown but it officially having been done in 2018, coinciding with many larger refurbishments of the attraction. The coincide with this, the mermaid skeleton and glass coffin were also removed from the attraction. The predominate motive for the removal was that the digital projection effect on the water did not work as intended, only projecting the mermaids infrequently and being barely identifiable when it did work; one rumor goes that the projector would sometimes show a loading screen or blue error screen on the surface of the water instead of the mermaids. It can also be assumed that it was in-part due to the lack up popularity of the fourth pirate's films with Blackbeard and Barbossa's privateer outfit having been removed as-well. It is also possible that the redactions of film elements were done due to the critical panning of the fifth film as the removals were made in the fallout of the film's release (the film also being the only PotC movie to not receive incorporation into the original ride).
Mermaids appear in the attraction.
Mermaids appear in this attraction in a cameo appearance. After guests go to the bottom of the ocean in search of Davy Jones' treasure, the mermaids are seen swimming nearby the Flying Dutchman as they sing a siren song.
- Main article: Syrena
Syrena is a beautiful, enigmatic mermaid portrayed by Àstrid Bergès-Frisbey. Mystery surrounds the mermaid Syrena, even down to her true name, for “Syrena” is only what she’s called by missionary Philip Swift during her captivity by Blackbeard. After her fellow mermaids attack Blackbeard’s crew at Whitecap Bay, Syrena and Philip begin to recognize a quality in each other that draws them together, allowing them to become allies against a common enemy in Blackbeard. Each discover more of their true beings, but risk their lives when they listen to the sounds of their hearts and saved each other.
- Main article: Tamara (Pirates of the Caribbean)
Tamara is a mermaid played by Gemma Ward. She took part in the battle at Whitecap Bay, fought between mermaids and Blackbeard's crew. When Scrum sings My Jolly Sailor Bold, Tamara first appears before him and seduces him. Entrancing the pirates, Tamara sings Scrum's song as the other mermaids surround the longboat full of Blackbeard's crewmen. Scrum is almost powerless to resist a kiss from the beautiful mermaid, but before succumbing, the mermaid reveals her true form. She tries to attack but is hit with an oar. The mermaids then afterwards attack the crew.
- Main article: Marina (On Stranger Tides)
Marina is a mermaid played by Jorgelina Airaldi. She took part in the battle at Whitecap Bay, fought between mermaids and Blackbeard's crew. In a scene cut from On Stranger Tides, Jack and Marina encountered each other, in which Marina slapped Jack in the face before swimming away. Though it was never directly stated, it is implied that she may have had a relationship with Jack Sparrow, which ended badly.
- The mermaids' traits are very similar to the mythical creatures called Sirens.
- A pair of mermaids also appeared in the Walt Disney Pictures logo for Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.
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