Hawaiian Mermaids


Mermaid Michelle Marie Ihilani – Heavenly Splendor

Hawaiian Mermaids can be found throughout the Hawaiian archipelago. In my experience, Hawaiian Mermaids are friendly and can be approachable as long as they are respected in their habitat. To catch a glimpse of a mermaid, first research their resting and feeding spots and know the ocean currents in the area. The Leeward side of the islands is more predictable and more hospitable hence easier to access and see a mermaid and/or her surroundings. It is wise to attempt viewing during low-tide as mermaids tend to be in and around cavernous and rocky shoreline haunts. Wearing appropriate water footwear is helpful while traversing rocks and stones.

Finding a mermaid gossip or pod, just like finding dolphins or whales, is a hit or miss adventure so don’t be too disappointed if there isn’t a mermaid in sight, this might be an opportunity to see Green Sea Turtles or a Hawaiian Monk Seal. Like other marine life, mermaids are amazing swimmers, and move much faster than humans and faster than the shutter-speed of any camera.

Drop Into The Mermaid Cave

Fact or Fiction?

For students of history and marine science, who are interested in background on the Hawaiian Mermaid, the origin of the Hawaiian Mermaids dates back to 1837. Identified and documented by a Danish author. The author, along with a scientist and a Hawaiian royal, travelled from island to island investigating the resting habits of the visiting Nereid through firsthand accounts from local fishermen and navigators. The Hawaiian Mermaid is not indigenous to Hawai’i, and not from any of the other Oceania islands. Polynesian navigators have tracked her homeland back to Copenhagen, Denmark.

Jumping into a Sea Cave


While in the presence of a protected species such as the; Hawaiian Monk Seal (in Hawaiian, ʻīlio holo i ka uaua) and the Green Sea Turtle (in Hawaiian, Honu), please be cautious and keep your distance. Do not touch or get too close to endangered marine wildlife, for their safety and yours as well.  Anyone caught too close to a protected species is subject to fines. Photographs from a distance are a great way to capture and share your adventure.  I always ask permission before taking photographs of mermaids.

Honu and he ʻīlio holo i ka uaua are protected, please respect and appreciate these beautiful creatures at a distance:

Inside Mermaid’s Lair

Resting Site

Land pockets, sea caves or mermaid’s lair are all terms used for her resting spots. These pockets or caves have been identified on; O’ahu, Maui, Hawai’i and Moloka’i. During a recent expedition on the Leeward side of O’ahu, a fellow adventurer, photographer and friend, Stacy Underwood, captured these images.

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October 9, 2017

What a fun and informative article! Will have to keep my eye out for those mermaids…


October 10, 2017

What a fascinating article on Hawaiian Mermaids! My venture to do list will now include catching glimpses of mermaids from a distance. Greatly appreciate learning something new… Thank you!!!


October 10, 2017

What a great way to inform the reader about island mythology as well as the importance of respecting our environment, both environmental and marine! Well done!


October 11, 2017

How beautiful! I have got to take my family out to the Leeward Coast.

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