Haunting ‘mermaid’ mummy discovered in Japan is even weirder than scientists expected

A centuries-old mummified “mermaid” that scientists recently revealed to be a gruesome doll of animal parts is even weirder than previously thought, new findings show.

In 2022, researchers discovered the mermaid, which is around 12 inches (30.5 centimeters) long, lying inside a sealed wooden box within a Japanese temple, located in Okayama Prefecture. At the time, researchers thought it was made from the torso and head of a monkey sewed onto a decapitated fish’s body

The haunting hybrid, which resembles a Ningyo from Japanese mythology — a fish-like creature with a human head that is fabled to help cure disease and increase longevity — had previously been displayed in a glass case at the temple for people to worship, before being stored away more than 40 years ago. 

A letter inside the mummy’s box claims that the specimen was caught by a fisher sometime between 1736 and 1741, but it was likely created decades after that as a hoax to sell to affluent people wanting to improve their health or live longer lives. 

READ MORE: https://www.livescience.com/haunting-mermaid-mummy-discovered-in-japan-is-even-weirder-than-scientists-expected