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The upper body is a monkey, the lower body is a fish “Mermaid Mummy” But its true identity | NHK


At a temple in Asakuchi City, Okayama Prefecture, a dried-up mummy with the upper body of a monkey and the lower body of a fish that resembles a mermaid is carefully preserved.

A research group at a university or other institution investigated the mermaid’s true identity and found that it was not a real mermaid, but a human-made one around the 19th century.

According to this, it was confirmed that the upper body is made of paper and cloth without a skull or ribs, and the lower body is scale-shaped, which is a characteristic of the croaker fish that inhabits the coasts of Japan.

The scales were measured using “radiocarbon”, which decreases over time, and were estimated to be from the late 1800s.

A folklore analysis was also conducted, and the research group concluded that it was artificially created around the 19th century as a spectacle, not an object of worship, and then brought into the temple.

Professor Takashi Kato of the Faculty of Life Sciences, Kurashiki University of Science and the Arts, said, “Multiple ‘mermaid mummies’ have been found in Japan and overseas, but little scientific research has been conducted. By conducting similar research and comparing it, it would be good if it led to the clarification of the creators who were not understood this time.”