Mermaids are one of the creatures that have been immortalized in people's minds and have fascinated the young and adults alike. The word mermaid came from the Middle English mere in the obsolete sense 'sea' + maid(en). It is a legendary aquatic creature with the head and torso of human female and the tail of a fish. Tales about their existence appeared as early as 1000 BC in Assyria. One of the popular legend is that Alexander the Great's sister, Thessalonike, turned into a mermaid after her death and lived in the Aegean, asking sailors one question " Is Alexander the king alive". The correct answer would be "He lives and still rules", any other answer would spur her into a rage where she transforms into a Gorgon and harbor doom upon the ship and every sailor onboard.

Even in popular culture, mermaids are depicted regularly in literature and film, likely due to the influence of Hans Christian Andersen's fairytale, The Little Mermaid. But are these creatures just a figment of humans' imagination or are they real?

A mummified mummy is preserved at Karukayado Temple outside the city of Hashimoto in Wakayama prefecture. "The 50-cm long mummy has fang-like teeth that protrude from its wide open mouth and both of its hands are raised to its cheeks, like the previous mermaid. Its lower body is covered in scales, and there appear to be the vestiges of fins on its chest, as well as a pair of nipple-like protuberances."

This last photo shows the mummy of a mermaid from the Shinto sect headquartered in the city of Fujinomiya near the base of Mt. Fuji. It was 170 cm in height and is the oldest and largest mermaid mummy, with 1,400 years for its age. The mummy has webbed hands with sharp claws and a 20-cm long tail.

(Written by Maia L)


Anonymous said...

what is this creature ?

Tripzibit said...

japanese version of Jenglot

Scififantasygeek said...


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