A "mummified mermaid" that was found in Japan is being examined by researchers to try and find out where it came from. The creature has a face that looks like it's screaming, hands that are brought up to the face, and even a tail. It is said to be from the early 1700s, but there are many mysteries surrounding the eerie-looking object. Here's what scientists know so far.
The reason it is believed to be a mermaid is that the top half has a head full of hair and normal human features, but the bottom half has what appears to have scales. It has been taken to the veterinary hospital of the Kurashiki University of Science and the Arts to undergo a CT scan for more answers. Up until now, the creature has been stored in a container located at a temple in Okayama prefecture, in the southern part of Japan’s Honshu island. Inside the box with the "mermaid" was a letter, which stated that the creature was caught by fishermen using a fishing net in the Pacific Ocean, somewhere between 1736 to 1741.
Around 40 years ago, the mummified life form was taken by a temple that put it on display for others to see. But before that, it was owned by a family who then passed it down to another. Hiroshi Kinoshita, of the Okayama Folklore Society, found the "mermaid" when he was studying with Kiyoaki Sato, a Japanese natural historian who researched mysterious creatures.
Not only is a CT scan being conducted, but so is a DNA study to examine what the creature is created out of. Scientists will also be testing the antiseptic treatment that has kept the "mermaid" mummified and in good condition all these years. For many decades, mermaids have been worshiped by the Japanese. The head priest at the temple the mummified "mermaid" was kept at said, “We have worshipped it, hoping that it would help alleviate the coronavirus pandemic even if only slightly. I hope the research project can leave records for future generations.”
While there hasn't been any solid evidence yet as to what it may be, the magical creatures have been spoken about for hundreds of years, yet no solid proof of mermaids' existence has ever been shown. According to Royal Museums Greenwich, which manages the National Maritime Museum, “in some cultures, the mermaid signifies life and fertility within the ocean. In others, she embodies the destructive nature of the water, luring sailors to their deaths — serving as an omen for storms, unruly seas and disaster”.