Unravelling the mystery of the 'Fiji Mermaid': Scans confirm bizarre creature discovered in Japan is part fish, part monkey, and part reptile

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A bizarre 'mermaid' that seems to beryllium portion fish, portion monkey, and portion reptile is being probed by scientists successful a bid to unravel its mysteries.

The mummy was brought backmost from Japan by an American sailor and donated to nan Clark County Historical Society successful Springfield, Ohio, successful 1906.

With a grimacing face, unusual teeth, oversized claws, fish-like little half, and downy furniture of grey hair, it's been giving depository visitors nan creeps for decades.

But now its secrets could beryllium revealed, aft nan alleged mermaid was X-rayed and CT scanned for nan first clip successful an effort to decipher its existent nature.

Joseph Cress, a radiologist astatine Northern Kentucky University, said: 'It seems to beryllium a hodgepodge of astatine slightest 3 different type externally.

A bizarre 'mermaid' that seems to beryllium portion fish, portion monkey, and portion reptile is being probed by scientists successful a bid to unravel its mysteries

The mummy was brought backmost from Japan by an American sailor and donated to nan Clark County Historical Society successful Springfield, Ohio, successful 1906

'There's nan caput and torso of a monkey, nan hands look to beryllium that of an amphibian almost for illustration an alligator, crocodile aliases peep of immoderate sort.

'And past there's that tail of a food – again, type unknown.'

He added: 'It is evidently fashioned, almost Frankensteined together – truthful I want to cognize what parts were pulled together.'

Natalie Fritz from nan Clark County Historical Society said nan oddity was a 'Fiji mermaid' – a hoax animal popularised by P.T. Barnum.

Barnum, whose life inspired nan 2017 blockbuster The Greatest Showman, exhibited a akin specimen astatine his American Museum successful New York earlier it burned down successful 1865.

In Japan itself, immoderate legends opportunity mermaids assistance immortality to whoever tastes their flesh.

At 1 temple successful Asakuchi, a Fiji mermaid was really worshipped – though it was subsequently recovered to beryllium made of cloth, paper, and cotton, dressed up pinch food scales and animal hair.

In nan US, however, specified mermaids were curiosities.

'Fiji Mermaids were a portion of collections and sideshows successful nan precocious 1800s,' said Fritz.

'We've heard immoderate stories from group successful nan community.

'Some retrieve seeing it connected show successful Memorial Hall, nan location of nan humanities nine from 1926 to 1986.

The alleged mermaid was X-rayed and CT scanned for nan first clip successful an effort to decipher its existent nature

Joseph Cress, a radiologist astatine Northern Kentucky University, said: 'It seems to beryllium a hodgepodge of astatine slightest 3 different type externally'

'There's nan caput and torso of a monkey, nan hands look to beryllium that of an amphibian almost for illustration an alligator, crocodile aliases peep of immoderate sort,' Cross said

'One woman, whose begetter was nan curator successful nan 1970s recalls that it 'scared her to death' erstwhile she would sojourn her dada astatine work.'

Fritz added that nan mummy could day backmost to nan 1870s, erstwhile records showed nan original philanthropist had served successful nan US Navy.

Dr Cress said nan CT scanning would let them to prime retired 'slices' of nan artifact and hopefully found whether immoderate portion of it had erstwhile been a existent animal.

'By doing that it gives america much data,' he said.

'Do those nostrils proceed up into what we deliberation is simply a morganatic nasal cavity, and really heavy do they go? 

'Because we tin spot it beforehand to backmost and moreover broadside to side.

'Can you spot nan receptor cavity continuing to wherever it would past link to nan brain?

'So we're doing that to each parts of this Fiji mermaid, not conscionable nan caput and facial region, but besides nan thoracic region, and past that tail end.'

The information will beryllium sent to experts astatine Cincinnati Zoo and nan Newport Aquarium to hopefully place what creatures – if immoderate – were mixed to shape nan mermaid.


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