A mysterious mummified mermaid discovered between 1736 and 1741 in the Pacific Ocean will be probed by a team of scientists to find out details about its origin and unravel the secrets that the mummy holds.
A team of researchers at the Kurashiki University of Science and the Arts will be conducting an analysis of the 12-inch large mummified creature that resembles a mermaid and has roots deeply etched in Japanese folklore and culture. It is believed that the mermaid-looking creature found on the Shikoku islands of Japan has immortality granting abilities. The legend has it that a person can become immortal if they taste the flesh of this creature.
With an eerily human-looking face, two hands, and a fish-like lower body, this mummified mermaid is currently residing in the Enjuin temple in the city of Asakuchi and will now go under various scans and analysis at the Kurashiki University of Science and the Arts, reported The Scottish Sun.
Being touted as a creature of religious importance, the mermaid was brought to the attention of scientists by Hiroshi Kinoshita of the Okayama Folklore Society. “There is a legend in many parts of Japan that a woman accidentally ate the flesh of a mermaid and lived for 800 years. Japanese mermaids have a legend of immortality called ‘Yao-Bikuni,” said Kinoshita.
The shrine of the creature also holds a letter, allegedly written by the mummified mermaid’s previous owner. According to the letter dated 1903, the mermaid was caught in a fish-catching net by a fisherman who did not know it was a mermaid and sold it off as a normal fish. The owner stated that the fish was then bought by his ancestors.
Due to the mist of doubts surrounding the origins and credibility of the folklore, scientists will perform various tests, including DNA testing. The findings of this research will be published later this year.