mermaid mummy discovered in Japan: Frankenstein’s monsters aren’t just for Halloween, as a team of American scientists recently discovered.
Experts at Northern Kentucky University (NKU) were tasked with analyzing the remains of a mummified “mermaid,” and what they found was terrifying.
The mummy was brought to America from Japan more than 100 years ago after it was donated to the Clark County Historical Society in Springfield, Ohio.
It entered the Society in 1906, but the documentation provided with the rare specimen indicates that it dates back to the mid-1800s. This means that for around 170 years, the true identity of the 29cm creature has remained a mystery.
However, thanks to modern technology, the NKU team finally came to the conclusion that the “mermaid” is actually a composite appearance of a monkey, fish, and lizard.
Joseph Kress, who led the project, told Live Science that he and his colleagues used X-rays and CT scans to examine the creature’s corpse.
“It allowed us to see [the mummy] in almost every dimension, hoping to see what was inside,” he explained.
They concluded that the “mermaid” consisted of the head and torso of a monkey sewn onto the body of a fish, and the “hands” were the clawed feet of a lizard – most likely a Komodo dragon.
The scans also revealed a pair of wooden sticks hidden inside the creature’s corpse – one from head to tail and one across the shoulder blades – which were likely inserted to keep the monster in one piece.
Kress and his colleagues are currently working to reconstruct a more detailed model of the mermaid and its individual components, Live Science reports.
Once the models are completed, they plan to send them to zoos and aquariums to help confirm the different parts at the species level.
However, this example may not be the only “mermaid” that has been rejected in recent times.
In March 2022, researchers analyzed a similar sample found in a hidden box in a Japanese temple.
They also expected the creature, which was 30.5 cm long and dated to the mid-1700s, to be a hybrid of ape and fish.
However, tests conducted in February this year revealed that the creature is actually made of cloth, paper, and cotton.
It was painted with sand and charcoal and held together with metal pins, while various animal parts were attached to it, including fish skin and mammal hair.
Experts believe the two “mermaids” are modeled after Ningyu – demonic fish-like creatures with human heads and sharp claws from Japanese mythology.
According to legend, a nun named Yaubikuni lived for 800 years and retained her youthful appearance after eating Ningyo.
Her immortality made these creatures a symbol of longevity, so it’s likely that fraudsters tried to recreate mermaids to sell to wealthy immortality seekers.
However, at least the owners of these two specimens did not make the mistake of trying to eat them.