The undersea kingdom of Atlantis is an established fact in DC canon; it's where Arthur Curry [Aquaman] hails from, and that origin is the reason for his powers. However, traditional "merpeople", with tails and fins, also exist; one of Clark Kent's [Superman] most notable romances is with a girl named Lori Lemarus, who happens to be a full on mermaid. Lori mentioned there was some type of connection in an old [Post-crisis] comic, but my memory of it was vagie.

Did they evolve differently from regular Atlanteans?

Why do they still have tails?

and are their abilities different in other ways?

  • The question assumes that merfolk are Atlanteans just because they both came from the sea. Isn't that like assuming that White Martians are Green Martians, just because they both come from Mars?
    – DavidW
    Oct 31, 2019 at 17:04
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    The mer-people of Tritonis are mer-people because they were cursed (like in an "I curse you!" kind of way, not a "dang my cursed luck!" kind of way) to be that way after Atlantis sank. The people of Poseidonis, however, developed a serum that changed them to be able to survive underwater without that much alteration. IIRC, this is explained in the Atlantis Chronicles series from the early 90s. Oct 31, 2019 at 17:12
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    @RussRainford Arthur's people were the people of Poseidonis, who were changed by a serum of some sort. Poseidonis and Tritonis were the two major cities of Atlantis. Oct 31, 2019 at 17:19
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    Yes, they are called "The Trench". They come from a deep trench (hence the name) in the mid-Atlantic and were mutated into awful killer fish creatures. That's about all I know of them, though, as I didn't read much of Geoff Johns' Aquaman series. Oct 31, 2019 at 17:36
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    It's not exactly the best source, but the recent Aquaman movie did depict the multiple types of Atlanteans (ones like Arthur, more traditional merpeople, even the Trench dwellers) if you want to see a modern take.
    – JAB
    Nov 1, 2019 at 22:50

1 Answer 1


The original answer, according to Miss Lamaris's first appearance in 1959 (Superman no. 129), appears to have been that the Atlantean men had legs, while the Atlantean women had tails. (Note that they did not evolve these fishlike features but engineered them for themselves, which makes this slightly more reasonable.) Aquaman had first appeared long before, in 1941, which may have determined how the artist Bill Finger drew the visible Atlantean male below.

Superman no. 129

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