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A Nereid in the Mississippi River

The Nereids are the fifty daughters of Nereus and Doris. They are minor sea goddesses and matrons of both sailors and fishermen.


In Greek mythology, the Nereids are Haliad nymphs and therefore minor sea goddesses. Individually, they represented various facets of the sea, such as salty brine, foam, sand, rocky shores, waves, currents, and the various skills possessed by seamen.

The fifty Nereids and their brother Nerites are the children of Nereus and Doris. They are particularly associated with the Aegean Sea, where they dwelt with their father in the depths within a silvery cave. Their freshwater cousins are known as the Naiads.

The Nereids are the matrons of sailors and fishermen, coming to the aid of men in distress and fighting perilous storms. Additionally, they take care of the sea's rich bounty. The Nereids often accompany Poseidon in his court. Together with the Tritones, they formed the retinue of Poseidon.

The most notable of them are:


The Nereids are famously beautiful for their long flowing hair as dark as midnight, sea-green eyes, and gossamer white dresses that billowed around them in the water. The most beautiful Nereid of all is Amphitrite, whose eyes were mocha-dark instead of sea-green. Poseidon himself is very proud of their beauty and was quick to take offense if someone dared to compete with them in beauty in the past.

Percy Jackson and the Olympians

Amphitrite, a Nereid

The Lightning Thief

When Percy Jackson was young, Nereids would watch him with interest at the beach in Montauk and whenever he was near the ocean because he was the first demigod son of Poseidon in a long time.

A Nereid from Poseidon's court helped Percy after he jumped off the St. Louis Arch. Percy mistakes her for his mother.

The Nereid appears again in the Mississippi River for a short while, using the help of her sisters, the Naiads, because the water was too foul for her to stay there for long. She gave Percy three Poseidon's Pearls and information about his father.

Difference Between the Naiads

Unlike the Nereids who live Poseidon's court in the sea, the Naiads live in fresh water, When Nereids leave, they glow green and vanish, while Naiads melt back into the water.



  • In modern Greek folklore, the term "Nereid" has come to be used of all nymphs, or fairies, not merely nymphs of the sea.
  • The Nereids were depicted in ancient art as beautiful young maidens, sometimes running with small dolphins or fish in their hands, or else riding on the back of dolphins, hippocampi and other sea creatures.
  • Nereid is a moon of the planet Neptune. It was named after this species.

See Also