Dismissed today as fantastic legends spun by drunken sailors, mermaids, with maybe the exception of the Kraken, are the most famous aquatic cryptids. However, the purely legendary status of these creatures is, once again, called into question now that new footage shows a dead and decaying “mermaid body” washed up on the beach in Great Yarmouth in England.
The footage of a decomposing corpse captured by Paul Jones depicts a subject with a human-like upper body, complete with facial features still recognizable despite tissue damage. However, the unhuman-like lower body tapers down into a single limb fitted with a large fin.
Paul posted the images on YouTube and viewers immediately identified the subject as a dead seal, ignoring its human-like features.
While Paul’s images might not be enough to sway folks into believing in mermaids, his sighting is the latest from others around the world. And, depending on how far one wants to go back in history, Henry Hudson documented a mermaid sighting by him and his men during his famous Second Voyage around the Northeast Passage of the Arctic in 1608:
This morning, one of our company looking overboard saw a mermaid, and calling up some of the company to see her, one more came up and by that time she was close to the ship’s side looking earnestly upon the men. A little after, a sea came up and overturned her. From the navel upward, her back and breasts were like a woman’s, her body as big as one of us; her skin very white, with long black hair hanging down her back. When the mermaid finally went down under the waves, her tail was observed, which was like that of a porpoise and speckled like a mackerel.