I met Karl Banse, the famous oceanographer, a few times. Back when I started college, I was an oceanography major for a brief while, but then I got introduced to embryos of marine invertebrates and got seduced into developmental biology. I had no idea that he was destined to write a scientific paper on the biology of mermaids (pdf available), or I might not have drifted over to the zoology department.
Or on second thought, I might have been propelled even faster. It turns out that mermaids are nasty creatures.
Regarding mermaid behavior, a recurrent theme is the habit of the females to haul out on beaches (usually in pairs) allegedly to lure, then seduce sailors; their voices were repeatedly recorded as being “irresistible”. Perhaps they lured- but the stark fact was that they then drowned the men and devoured their flesh. Similarly, when ships broke up in gales, the females pulled sailors down into their abodes for further disposition.
Once again, Disney betrays reality. Ariel was not accurately portrayed.