Merpeople - or merfolk - are legendary aquatic creatures originating primarily from the folklore of Eastern Europe. They are sentient, semi-humanoid beings that possess upper bodies similar to that of humans (though possibly with inhuman features such as webbed hands and gills) and the lower bodies of fish. This is not always the case, however, as some examples of merpeople are fully humanoid, having arms and also legs and various fish traits displayed all over their bodies. Merpeople are commonly differentiated by their gender; females are called mermaids whereas the males are called mermen.
Merfolk have been romanticised in both history and modern media, stated to be physically beautiful and benevolent creatures. Many legends and stories have told of human interactions with mermaids, such as sailors being lost at sea only to be rescued by mermaids and even falling in love with them. In modern times, there have even been supposed sightings of merpeople in the oceans surrounding Canada and Zimbabwe, but no concrete evidence has been uncovered to prove their existence.