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Creepy 100-year-old "mermaid" from Japan turned out to be a "Frankenstein's monster": what scientists have learned

Dmytro IvancheskulNews
The Fiji Mermaid is made up of parts of different animals. Source: Fiji Mermaid Project/Joseph Cress/collage by OBOZ.UA

The ominous 29-centimeter mummy of a "mermaid" that was purchased in Japan more than 100 years ago turned out to be created, like Victor Frankenstein's monster, from parts of three separate species. Scanning of the relic revealed that the mummy has the body of a fish, the head of a monkey, and the paws of a lizard.

This was reported by Live Science with reference to the head of the study, radiologist from the University of Northern Kentucky (USA) Joseph Kress.

The mummy, known as the "Fiji mermaid," was once acquired in Japan by an officer of the US Navy. Along with it, he received a document stating that the discovery dates back to the mid-nineteenth century. In 1906, the officer brought it to America and gave it to the Ohio Historical Society.

It was only after more than 100 years that scientists first decided to investigate it with the help of modern technology and conducted X-ray and computer scans of the remains.

Fiji Mermaid

According to Kres, this literally allowed scientists to look inside her.

Initial research revealed that the mummy consists of the decapitated body of a fish, to which the head and torso of a monkey were attached. In addition, the mummy had clawed paws, which were assumed to belong to the Komodo Barbary sheep (Varanus komodoensis).

Fiji Mermaid

The scan also revealed stakes placed inside the creature to prevent it from falling apart.

Now, scientists intend to study the individual parts of the "Frankenstein's monster" in more detail and create computer models that will be sent to zoologists to determine what kind of animals this "mermaid" was made of.

Fiji Mermaid

It should be noted that in 2022, scientists studied another "mermaid" that was found in a hidden box in a Japanese temple. At the time, the researchers suspected that the 30.5 cm long "mermaid", which is approximately 300 years old, also consists of parts of various animals, but later it turned out that it was made of fabric, paper, and cotton, secured with metal pins and skillfully painted.

Various animal parts, including mammalian fur and fish skin, were attached to the outside of the doll.

Both mermaids resemble ningyo, mythical fish-like creatures with human heads that, according to legend, could grant a person long life. According to one story, a Japanese woman who ate such a creature lived for 800 years.

Researchers suggest that the "mermaids" could be made on purpose to sell them to wealthy people who wanted to prolong their lives.

Earlier, OBOZ.UA told about what researchers found when they subjected the bodies of "1000-year-old aliens" from Mexico to laboratory tests.

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