Trivia Crack Answer: The Little Mermaid
About the legend of the Undines
The fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen based on the legend of Undines is “The Little Mermaid.” In the writings of Paracelsus, a Greek philosopher, the idea is put forward that each of the four elements that make up the world (fire, water, earth, and air) have spirits or creatures that embody them (salamanders, undines, gnomes, and sylphs, respectively). The undines belonged to the element of water, and eventually became depicted in their popular modern forms, as mermaids. Hans Christian Andersen adapted a previous mermaid story to create “The Little Mermaid,” and his famous story bears significant changes from the original. In Hans Christian Andersen’s tale, the Little Mermaid fails to gain the love of the Prince and is doomed to dissolve into sea foam without a soul if she does not kill the Prince, but is turned into a spirit of the air upon her death, rather than dissolving into nothing. This is considered a distinctly Christianized ending, as Hans Christian Andersen’s tale allows the Little Mermaid the chance to ascend to the Kingdom of Heaven after performing good deeds for 300 years. The Hans Christian Andersen tale has even less in common with the Disney version of the undines’ story, also called the Little Mermaid.