Ancient Mermaid Mummy Kept in Japanese Vault Finally Examined by Scientists and Results are Surprising
Researchers in Japan are trying to figure out where a 300-year-old mummified mermaid that is said to have healing powers and which looks like something out of a nightmare came from. Most likely, the eerie remains are a gruesome mix of a monkey’s torso sewn onto a fish’s tail, possibly with hair and nails from a human added on top.
Scientists from Kurashiki University of Science and the Arts and other places want to share the examination’s results by the fall
The 30-centimeter-long, priceless specimen was taken out of a paulownia box on February 2 by Kozen Kuida, the 60-year-old top priest at the Enjuin temple in Asakuchi, in Okayama Prefecture. He did this in the CT scanning area of the veterinary hospital at the university.
The mermaid looked like it was screaming
The mummified mermaid was lying on an exam table, face up, with its hands over its mouth as if it were screaming. The mummy has hair on its head and scales on its lower body. It also has fangs and claws.
A note found in the same box as the “dried mermaid” says that it was caught in a fishing net off the coast of Tosa Province (modern-day Kochi Prefecture) between 1736 and 1741. The fisherman then sold it to a wealthy family. But researchers are still not sure how the mermaid got into the temple.
The project was initiated based on writings left behind by Kiyoaki Sato
A natural historian named Kiyoaki Sato, who lived from 1905 to 1998 in Satosho in the prefecture, left behind some writings. These writings were found and used as inspiration for the project by a board member of the Okayama Folklore Society named Hiroshi Kinoshita. Sato is credited for writing the first encyclopedia in Japanese about “yokai,” which are ghosts, hobgoblins, and other supernatural beings from Japanese folklore.
Kinoshita found the mermaid mummy, which is about 12 inches (30.5 centimetres) long, in a box at the Enjuin temple. He learned about the mummy for the first time when he saw a picture of the strange thing in a book about mythical creatures.