“Mermaid” mummy in Japan could be a terrifying monkey-fish hoax, researchers say
Mermaids have fascinated people through various forms of media like books, movies and TV shows since the mythical creatures first became popular. They are usually portrayed as beautiful women with fish-like tails.
But in Japan, one mermaid mummy looks nothing like the mermaids in pictures.
According to Japanese researchers, the 300-year-old mermaid could have been made using the remains of two different animals.
Researchers in Japan are looking into the origins of a 300-year-old mummified mermaid that people have worshipped for centuries because it allegedly possessed medicinal properties. The mummy is around 12 inches (30.5 centimeters) long.
However, scientists believe the remains are made up of a monkey’s torso sewn onto a fish’s tail. To complete the “mermaid” look, whoever made the creature might have also added hair and nails from a human.
Hiroshi Kinoshita, a board member of the Okayama Folklore Society, discovered the mermaid mummy inside a box at a temple in Okayama Prefecture. Kinoshita first found out about the mummy after he discovered a picture of the unusual specimen in an encyclopedia of mythical creatures.
A fisherman allegedly caught the mermaid sometime between 1736 and 1741. According to a note left inside the mummy’s box, the fisherman then sold the mummy to the Kojima family, a rich family in Bingo-Fukuyama province.
The mummy had other owners after the turn of the Meiji Era (1868-1912). Experts have yet to confirm how the mermaid ended up inside the temple.
Mermaid with medicinal properties
Takafumi Kato, a paleontologist at the Kurashiki University of Science and the Arts, and his colleagues started looking into the mummy’s origins after Kinoshita convinced the temple to allow the research team to investigate the unusual remains.
The scientists imaged the mummy using a CT scan. Results of the CT and electron microscope analyses revealed that:
The mummy weighs 365 grams.The mummy’s eye orbits are fixed forward and there are eyebrows on the face.The mummy has two types of hair: thick straight hair and finer curly hair that grow from the head.The mummy has cuticles like those of humans and other primates on the surface of the hair.
Additionally, the mummy has a dorsal fin and caudal fin on its lower body, which is covered in scales.
The mermaid mummy somewhat resembles two mythical creatures from Japanese folklore: Amabies or mermaids with beaks instead of mouths and three distinct tail-fins and ningyos or fish-like creatures with human heads.
Both of these mythical creatures were linked to stories of miraculous health cures and increased longevity. In one famous tale, a woman named Yao Bikuni is said to have lived for 800 years after accidentally eating an entire ningyo.
The temple’s priests think of the mummy as an omen of good health. Kozen Kuida, the head priest at the temple, explained that they worshipped it in hopes of helping “alleviate the coronavirus pandemic even if only slightly.”
Previously, the mummy was put on display in a glass case at the temple for visitors to pray to. But for the last 40 years, the mummy was stored in a fireproof safe within the temple to prevent deterioration.
Two other temples in Japan have also housed similar mermaid mummies that have been worshipped like the Okayama mermaid.
Fake mermaids were often created to lure tourists
Experts think fake creatures like the Okayama mermaid were created by local people to sell to curious Western tourists.
A similar hoax called the Feejee Mermaid was sold to Dutch travelers in Japan in the 1810s and later resold to English merchants. The Feejee mermaid was eventually shipped to America where it became part of the famous collection of P.T. Barnum.
The Feejee mermaid was a three-foot-long (91 cm) mermaid believed to have been made from two different animals: an orangutan and the tail of a salmon.
The priests at the temple in Okayama Prefecture hope that the study will add to the mummified mermaid’s legacy and help it live on through future folklore.
“I hope the research project can leave scientific records for future generations,” concluded Kuida.
(Article by Zoey Sky republished from Citizens.news)
Vatican investigates potential miracle at Connecticut church
The Catholic Church is reportedly investigating a potential miracle that occurred at a church in Connecticut, reports independent.co.uk.
The supposed miracle took place at St Thomas Church in Thomaston, Connecticut, according to the Hartford Courant.
Revered Joseph Crowley, who heads St Maximilian Kolbe Parish, which
includes St Thomas Church, reported that the wafers distributed during
the observation of communion multiplied while sitting inside the
“God duplicated himself in the ciborium,” Rev Crowley
said after communion, referencing the metal storage containers used to
house the communion wafers. “God provides and it’s strange how God does
that. And that happened.”
response, the Archdiocese of Hartford began an investigation to
determine whether or not a miracle had occurred at the church.
then, the Vatican’s Dicastery for the Doctrine of Faith, a group dating
back to the 1500’s tasked with promoting and defending the Catholic
faith throughout the world, has been notified and has begun its own
A spokesman for the archdiocese, David Elliott,
issued a statement to the Hartford Courant saying that “reports such as
the alleged miracle in Thomaston require referral to the Dicastery for
the Doctrine of the Faith in Rome. The Archdiocese has proceeded
accordingly, and will await a response in due time.”
an important part of the process of becoming a saint within the Catholic
Church. Sainthood considerations typically begin five years after the
death of an exceptional Catholic.
number of criteria must be met, including “verified miracles” — Vatican
officials must determine that the miracles are a direct result of an
individual praying to the candidate saint. They must come to the
decision that the miracle was a result of the dead potential saint
interceding between the petitioner and God, causing the miracle.
Catholic Church defines a miracle as a “sign of wonder such as a
healing, or control of nature, which can only be attributed to divine
While duplicating thin bread wafers may seem like a minor
use of divine power to those unfamiliar with Catholic theology, the
Eucharist — often called communion or the lord’s supper — is arguably
the holiest and most important sacrament — or ritual — in the faith.
typically believe in the idea of transubstantiation, or the idea that
the bread and wine given during the ritual literally become the body and
blood of Jesus Christ upon consecration, as opposed to simply symbols
of his presence.
O’Neil, who goes by the moniker Miracle Hunter, authored a book called
Science and the Miraculous: How the Church Investigates the
Supernatural, spoke to the Hartford Courant and gave examples of
previous eucharistic miracles.
“There are various types of
eucharistic miracles, but the ones that are most remarkable, in my
opinion, were on some rare occasions, the host is said to bleed human
blood,” he said.
Reverend Michael McGivney, the founder of the
Knights of Columbus, ended his clerical career at St Thomas, where the
alleged communion miracle took place. He has been in consideration for
sainthood and requires one more verified miracle before he moves on to
final consideration for sainthood within the Catholic Church.
Leonard Blair explained to the Hartford Courant that “what has been
reported to have occurred at our parish church in Thomaston, of which
Blessed Michael McGivney was once pastor, if verified, would constitute a
sign or wonder that can only be attributed to divine power to
strengthen our faith in the daily miracle of the Most Holy Eucharist.
would also be a source of blessing from Heaven for the effort that the
US Bishops are making to renew and deepen the faith and practice of our
Catholic people with regard to this great Sacrament.”
“Blessed” is a title given to saint candidates who have had “verified” miracles attributed to them by the Vatican.
What hospice nurses know about the final visions of the dying
Julie McFadden is a hospice nurse who has witnessed many people’s
final moments of life. She has a unique insight into what dying people
see and feel as they approach the end of their journey, reports mirror.co.uk.
of the most common phenomena that Julie observes is that her patients
often report seeing their deceased loved ones, who come to comfort them
and reassure them that they are not alone.
Julie says that these
visions are so frequent that they are included in the educational
materials that hospice care provides to patients and their families.
recently started sharing her knowledge and experience on TikTok, under
the username @hospicenursejulie, and she has gained more than 430,000
followers and 3.6 million likes.
Julie said her patients often tell her that they see their loved ones who have already died – before they themselves pass away.
added that their deceased relatives will tell them comforting words
such as, ‘We’re coming to get you soon,’ or, ‘Don’t worry, we’ll help
According to her, it’s extremely common for dying patients
to see dead friends, relatives and even old pets, but she can’t explain
why this occurs.
“This happens so often that we put it in our
educational packets that we give to the patient and their loved ones so
they understand what’s going on. But we don’t know why it happens and we
can’t explain it,” she said.
usually happens a month or so before the patient dies. They start
seeing dead relatives, dead friends, old pets that have passed on –
spirits, angels, that are visiting them.
“Only they can see and
hear them. Sometimes it’s through a dream and sometimes they can
physically see them and they’ll actually ask us, “Do you see what I’m
Julie explained that the patients are ‘usually not afraid,’ but that they’re actually very ‘comforted’ by it.
She added: “They’re usually not afraid, it’s usually very comforting
to them and they say they’re sending a message like, ‘We’re coming to
get you soon’, or, ‘Don’t worry, we’ll help you’.
people love this, they’re very comforted by it, it’s not scary to them.
But yeah, we can’t explain it and it happens all the time.”
someone asked Julie if she thought it was a hallucination, she said that
she didn’t think so, since the patients are normally ‘pretty alert and
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