Scientists are still baffled by a 300-year-old mummified ‘mermaid’, but the mystery could be unraveled as they undergo new research.
Just a warning: this article contains a slightly-freaky photo of a mummified creature. Now, onto the good stuff.
Between 1736 and 1741, a creature with the face of the human and the body of a fish was reportedly caught off the coast of Japan. It resembled a ‘ningyo’ – a fish-like creature in Japanese folklore.
Legend has it, whoever tastes the flesh of a ningyo will become immortal. As tempting as that sounds, the fountain of youth is much more appealing, thank you.
The ‘mermaid’ was mummified and stored in a temple in the Japanese city of Asakuchi, but understandably, curious scientists are keen to find out more about the baffling creature.
Researchers from Kurashiki University of Science and the Arts will begin a series of CT scans on the mermaid mummy, hoping to uncover more information about its origins.
“Of course, I don’t think it’s a real mermaid,” said the man behind the research, Hiroshi Kinoshita. “I think it is made from living animals and we would like to identify them by CAT scans or DNA testing.”
It is suspected that the CAT scans will reveal that the top half of a primate’s body was sewn onto the lower half of a large fish.
A similar creature was once exhibited in a New York museum by PT Barnum, the man who inspired The Greatest Showman. But it was found to be an arts and crafts project, after it was determined that it was indeed two animals sewn together.
Considering more than 80 percent of the ocean is yet to be explored, literally anything could be down there. We kind of hope this is a hoax because the ocean is already scary enough without monkey-faced mermaids causing deep-sea havoc.