Mermaid Photos Again

Posted by: Loren Coleman on September 25th, 2006

Beached Mermaid

Today, Cryptomundo has received more emails telling us that strange and mysterious Mermaid photos supposedly snapped in Mexico, Dominican Republic, or Malaysia are circulating on the Internet. These emails are asking for us to either identify the “Mermaid” or post the photographs on Cryptomundo.

Beached Mermaid

But we have already done this. As I mentioned a few days ago when I published several of the photos here, these images are of a taxidermy fake. The object pictured is a piece of art from American Juan Cabana, who is well-known for his smaller fake Feejee Mermaids. It probably was photographed from various angles in Cabana’s home state of Florida.

Beached Mermaid

Loren Coleman About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.

24 Responses to “Mermaid Photos Again”

  1. Nerull responds:

    As much as I would enjoy such an astounding find, (as I am sure almost all of the other readers would be) I am VERY happy that this is a fake. I would skinny dip with 4 meglaodons and a 80ft architeuthis before I would go diving with any of these around.

  2. TemplarKnight21c responds:

    I saw this a couple weeks back, and ALMOST sent it in, but decided it wasn’t worth any of our time.

  3. dreamdancernyc responds:

    It’s funny how the eyes look FAKE like those used to reconstruct faces from skulls. I was reminded of the time they discovered ‘Lucy’ and the reconstruction her skull underwent. Plain and simple, the eyes are fake which leaves me to believe the rest of it is also. The mouth area is also under question. There is a part of me that screams Florida after viewing the stills. When will people find normal hobbies to do? Whatever happened to collecting coins or stamps?

  4. eireman responds:

    The problem with this type of hoaxing is too much information. The first Nightmare on Elm Street is creepy because Freddy is kept secreted away in the shadows, never fully seen; it’s a staple of horror film directing. The same thing applies here. We see too much and too clearly and therefore it is in no way tantalizing because it’s an obvious fake. If the photographer had been a bit more judicious about his or her lighting, focus, angles, etc…, this could have been an interesting picture. I mean, c’mon people! If you’re going to try to dupe others at least take the time to do it well.

  5. busterggi responds:

    Until someone gets photos of a real traditional mermaid, a briny buxom lass with a tail, I won’t even think of considering them real.

  6. One Eyed Cat responds:

    Personally I’d call this a MerMAN rather than a MerMAID — seems a little obvious.

    Good artist but some details are a bit creepy.

    And it looks like Florida to this Tampa native.

  7. quill responds:

    I think it looks pretty realistic, but the red gums are what makes it look extra fake to me. If they were white or really pale pink I’d be more inclined to believe that this is real.

    Do we know where this corpse is now?

  8. quill responds:

    Just saw in the article that it _is_ a fake 😛 sorry.

  9. skunkape_hunter responds:

    I agree tends to look fake. Odd how the skin has that plucked chicken look to it.

    I also agree with One Eyed Cat, looks like the southern Gulf coast.

  10. mystery_man responds:

    The skin is the most realistic looking part and those ribs coming up under the skin are a nice touch. But that face is quite obviously fake. The eyes, the mouth, and that gaping black hole of a nose are are all very dodgy. I don’t know how anyone expected people to fall for this being real.

  11. fredfacker responds:

    The artist makes these out of real taxidermied animal parts. I read somewhere that it’s real fish skin, fins, etc. I think these photos were originally from one of his eBay auctions.

  12. Craig Woolheater responds:

    fredfacker is correct. This taxidemied piece was offered by the artist on eBay in an auction that ended July 22nd.

    While the artist’s description of the item is misleading, apparently he was not involved with the internet hoax. Following is his description:


    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.

    I went back to my car to get my camera. My hands were shaking as I tried to calm down to take these photos. This Mermaid or Sea monster, you be the judge, is a few inches shy of being 5 feet long. Laying on a fresh natural bed of seaweed, this creature of the sea looks out as if still alive. What killed this mystery from the depths?

    Recently in the news there was talk of another outbreak of Red Tide. Had this mermaid fallen ill from this mysterious dreaded disease from the sea?

    Looking over her gracefull body, I realized what a special creature she must had been in life. Was she the missing link between primates and fish? In time, what would evolution had shaped this creature to be?

    I sat there thinking for awhile and realized I must get this mermaid back home. I could always ponder later.

    The winner to this auction will recieve the sea creature shown in the photos below. The photos have not been altered or retouched nor are they result of photo shop. The entire body has been determined to be covered in once living fish skin with scales. I have drilled a small hole in the back of the head so that it can be hung up on a wall for display.

    Apparently, the photos were lifted from eBay and then added to composed text that then circulated the internet. has an entry concerning the internet hoax.

  13. Shihan responds:

    Whoever did this should be an FX artist in Hollywood – Pretty wild imagination! Oh – one thing, it would have been more realistic if they had given it gills instead of a nose though.

  14. fredfacker responds:

    It could be a gill-nose.

  15. One Eyed Cat responds:

    Thanks for the background information Craig. And for those trying to get a handle on where the artist said he ‘found’ the thing, St Petersburg Florida is directly across Tampa Bay from Tampa.

    Note to artist; Flat chest suggests male Mer-being rather than female.

  16. mystery_man responds:

    Not to be a nitpicker, but why would a marine, non mammilian creature have breasts? There’s no reason why a female could not be flat chested. How many female fish have breasts? This could very well be a mermaid.

  17. star responds:

    What amazes me is that anyone looking at it thinks its real, reason being, what dead animal has LIVE eyes. The eyes used by a taxadermist are made to look like the animals eyes during life, this creature is laid out to appear washed up and dead, yet we see no sign of death discoloration in the body (something which would limit its salability) and the eyes and mouth have a fresh and living color. So if its a ‘dead’ body those colors and tones don’t jibe. Any person viewing this and saying OHMYGOSHTHATSOREAL and sending it around the internet is just not rubbing their synapses together. No sunken in cadaverous look, no discolorations, healthy bright eyes and flushed lips. Nice model. Nice fake, NOT a real body. Nuff said.

  18. One Eyed Cat responds:


    Valid point, but this is one area logic likes to bend the rules.

    The old time sailors sightings were probably imagined, however their understanding of a MAID probably ruled the picture their minds formed.

  19. Benjamin Radford responds:

    A cryptozoological photo is a FAKE?

    Say it ain’t so!

  20. Popzombie responds:

    Wasn’t even a good fake. I really liked the v nose.

  21. CrimsonFox79 responds:

    I think it’s pretty cool looking even for a fake 🙂

    I always imagined, if merfolk were real, they’d look more like anthropomorphic fish creature similar to this thing, rather than looking exactly like a normal human being with a fish-tail attached.

    A lot of ancient creatures have been changed drastically over the years to fit fairy tales better than reality. Look at unicorns- they went from being small, wild, cloven-hoofed goat/deer-like creatures (like in the old unicorn tapestries) into now being commonly known as magical horned horses.

  22. Elisheva responds:

    I’d say either this ‘creature’ is in desperate need of a good dentist, or Juan Cabana is in at moderate need of a good psychiatrist.

  23. andrea777 responds:

    What if this creature had just washed up on shore having just died an hour before? Then yes, could still be fresh looking. I have came upon dead fish on a shoreline with the eyes looking the same as in life. I have seen dead fish with no decay or flies on shorelines, so to assume this creature mermaid has to have rotten eyes or bugs flying around is a false assumption.

  24. andrea777 responds:

    Oh, by the way I contacted Juan Cabana about this mermaid. He replied that the entire outer surface including all fins are authentic “once living” fish skin. The teeth he says are from a large fish. Everything is REAL except for the eyes which are glass. Juan considers this mermaid a work of art. He did not create it to try and fool anyone.

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