After nearly 300 years, scientists have finally solve the mystery of a “mummified mermaid” found in the Pacific Ocean off the Japanese island of Shikoku between 1736 and 1741 and kept in a temple in the Japanese city of Asakuchi for about 40 years.
Measuring 12 inches, this creature has a grimacing face, pointed teeth and hands, and hair on its head and forehead, which gives it a fairly close human appearance – yet its lower half clearly resembles a fish.
According to a report published by “The Sun“, the locals have been worshiping that creature for years, believing that it gives immortality to anyone who tastes its flesh.
Now, researchers from the Kurashiki University of Science and Arts took this mummy to perform tests and CT scans in an attempt to reveal its secrets.
They discovered that the creature was completely artificial, designed in the late nineteenth century, and there is no evidence that it has a skeleton, but is made of paper. cloth and cotton.
The researchers did found that its jaws and teeth were taken from a fish, and the hair on its head originally came from a mammal.
According to Hiroshi Kinoshita, from the Okayama Folklore Society, the statue had a religious significance as Japanese mermaids were associated with the legend of immortality, as it was believed that if someone ate their flesh, they would never die.
A legend in many parts of Japan says a woman accidentally ate mermaid meat and lived to be 800 years, Kinoshita said.
“I heard that some people, believing in the legend, used to eat the scales of mermaid mummies,” he continued, adding he believed this mummy was made at some point during an era of Japanese history extending from 1603 to 1867.
He concluded by saying that the legend of mermaids still exists in Europe, China, Japan, and other countries around the world.