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Thread: Merman? WTF?!

  1. #1

    Merman? WTF?!

    Ok. Seriously. Wtf? I just stumbled upon this. Anyone know what the hell is up with it?

  2. #2
    Under Investigation
    Merman / Mermaid Carcass Found on Beach
    Part 4: Analysis
    More of this Feature
    • Part 1: Email Text & Photos
    • Part 2: More Photos
    • Part 3: More Photos

    Comments: Is it a merman? A mermaid? Is it some sort of never-before-seen alien bloodsucking denizen of the deep, half-fish and half-vampire, that happens to bear an uncanny resemblance to the snaggletoothed Count Orlock in F.W. Murnau's Nosferatu?

    Or is it just another ersatz "sea monster" fabricated for sale on eBay?

    Nosferatu (Public domain image)
    'Merman' (As circulating via email)
    If you were thinking it's anything other than the latter, you need to dial your skeptic-o-meter up a notch. "Merfolk" are creatures of myth and legend. They don't exist. And in the unlikely event that such a creature really were discovered on a lonely beach somewhere in the world, it would make international headlines.

    The eBay connection

    The emails containing these images variously claim the specimen was found on a beach in South Africa, the Philippines, or Malaysia. These were lies made up after the fact. The first place the images turned up was on eBay, where the seller, a Tampa, Florida resident using the screen name "Seamystery," described the sale item as a "golden mermaid found dead on a lonely Florida beach." It was "a few inches shy of being 5 feet long" and lay on a "Fresh natural bed of seaweed." The circumstances of the discovery were described as follows:

    While exploring desolate areas of Fort Desoto Beach at the southern end of St. Petersburg, here in Florida, I came upon a rather startling discovery. Before me lay what at first appeared to be a very large strange fish. Shocked and amazed, I realized I had found another mermaid or sea monster.

    Another mermaid or sea monster? Yes, unlikely as it seems, "Seamystery" has auctioned off items like this before and since, including one specimen billed as a "REAL sea monkey monster corpse," which, I discovered, was also up for sale on the Web site of celebrated taxidermy artist Juan Cabana. Front and center on Cabana's home page was a photo of the "golden mermaid."

    The caginess of Cabana

    Which cinched it, as far as I was concerned. "Seamystery" is Juan Cabana and Juan Cabana was the creator of the mysterious object "found" on Fort Desoto Beach. So I wrote to him and asked, "Is this one of your creations?" To which he replied, "I got that photo from a fan of my site so I put it up. Never saw it before in my life. Looks real to me."

    Here I should point out that while Juan Cabana is well known among aficionados of "gaff art" (the construction of sideshow artifacts) and has even been publicly lauded for the quality of his work, he customarily pretends that the artifacts were discovered, not made. It's the "performance" aspect of the art, you might say. From time to time he does take credit for fabricating the objects, however, as when he appeared on George Noory's "Coast to Coast" radio show, for example, to discuss his "fantastic creations made from such elements as fish & animal remains, steel and fiberglass." And what should appear next to Cabana's name on the "Coast to Coast" Web site but a picture of the "golden mermaid" herself.

    Against all odds

    Not to beat a dead cryptozoid, but Cabana's protestations fly in the face not only of zoological science as we know it, but of the laws of probability. He did, in fact, once claim to have found another mermaid carcass on Fort Desoto Beach, the selfsame locale where the "golden mermaid" supposedly washed up.

    Even if mermaids did exist -- which, I'm sorry, Virginia, they do not -- the odds against that happenstance are beyond astronomical, as Mr. Cabana himself would have to admit.
    You are not your system specs. You are not your banners. You are not your uptime stats. You are not your downloads size. You are not your post count.

  3. #3

  4. #4
    Ahh this old chestnut, fake, as in 80's Hollywood fake.

  5. #5
    hip checks and slap shots
    as fake as my old lady's upper body goodness.
    something profound goes here

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