Princess Ariel – the Disney princess of the water. Living under the sea in the monarchical society of Atlantica, Ariel is the seventh-born daughter of the reigning family. Not fancying her chances of becoming queen any time soon, Ariel falls in love with the land-based Prince Eric.
But what would she have looked like if she hadn’t lived in the seemingly part-humanoid-friendly waters of Atlantica?
Thanks to aquatic evolutionary expert Joseph Shaw, associate professor at Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs, and illustrator Monique Steele at BuzzFeed, we can see what would happen to the famous redheaded mermaid in different conditions.
For example, if Ariel had evolved in the deep ocean, she would have looked something like this:
Disney // Monique Steele for BuzzFeed
In the deep ocean, merpeople would develop appendages to enhance their sense of touch in a world where eyes are no longer needed. Instead, bioluminescence and a good set of chompers would do the trick. And look at those teeth! You wouldn't want to meet deep sea merfolk on a long swim. Thankfully, we never have to run this risk, because they don't exist.
You can see what Ariel would have looked like if she evolved in a coral reef environment, the open ocean or the Arctic over at BuzzFeed.
Image Credit: Monique Steele / BuzzFeed