The stuffed mermaid was brought from Japan by an American sailor and donated to the Clark County Historical Society in Springfield, Ohio in 1906. With its scowling face, strange teeth, large claws, fish-like lower half, and gray fur, this creature frightened museum visitors For decades.
The mermaid is now subjected to X-rays and CT scans for the first time to reveal her secret. “It appears to be a combination of at least three different types out there,” said Joseph Kress, a radiologist at Northern Kentucky University.
The head and torso are those of an ape, and the hands are those of an amphibian, almost like an alligator, crocodile, or any type of lizard. Then there is the fishtail, again, of an unknown type.
Natalie Fritz of the Clark County Historical Society says the strange object is the “Fiji Mermaid” — a fake creature popularized by circus owner P. T. Barnum.
Barnum, whose life inspired the 2017 film The Greatest Showman, had a similar specimen on display at his American Museum in New York before it burned down in 1865.
In Japan, some legends say that mermaids grant immortality to those who taste their flesh.
The Fijian mermaid was actually worshiped in a church in Asakusa – although it later emerged that the Fijian mermaid was worshiped in a church in Asakusa. Made of cloth, paper and cotton, covered with fish scales and animal hair.
However, in the United States, these mermaids were considered curiosities. Fijian mermaids were part of collections and tourist attractions in the late 1800s, Fritz said.
Fritz added that the mummy may date back to the 1870s, when records show that the original donor served in the US Navy.
Dr Chris said the CT scan would allow them to take ‘slices’ of the find and hopefully determine if any part of it was an actual animal one day.
Do those nostrils continue into what we think of as a legitimate nostril, and how deep are they? Do we see the continuation of the ear cavity where it meets the brain?”
The data will be sent to experts at the Cincinnati Zoo and Newport Aquarium, where they will hopefully be able to determine what organisms, if any, make up the mermaid.