Monday, January 22, 2018
Contact us    |    Advertise    |   Help   RSS icon Twitter icon Facebook icon
    Home  ·  News  ·  Forum  ·  Stories  ·  Image Gallery  ·  Columns  ·  Encyclopedia  ·  Videos
Find: in

'Mermaid bones' on show at Japanese temple


Posted on Friday, 17 February, 2017 | Comment icon 21 comments

Ryuguji temple currently houses the remains. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 4.0 Soramimi
The remains of what some people believe to be a genuine mermaid can be found at Ryuguji temple.
Mermaids in Japan, which are more commonly known as ningyo, are rather unlike those depicted in movies and fairy tales. Far from being the glamorous fair-haired beauties of the deep akin to Ariel in Disney's 'The Little Mermaid', these mythological denizens are more like fish than women and come equipped with menacing horns and rows of dagger-like teeth.

According to reports, the skeletal remains of one of these creatures can actually be found on display at Ryuguji temple in the city of Fukuoka. The specimen allegedly dates back to the 13th century and was found after it washed ashore in Hakata Bay on the Japanese island of Kyushu.

The story goes that a shaman declared its appearance to be a good omen and its bones were buried beneath Ukimido temple in a place known as "undersea palace of the dragon god."

Today only six of the bones still exist, however it remains unclear what species they belonged to.

Some have suggested that the remains that washed up all those centuries ago were actually those of a finless porpoise - an unusual-looking marine mammal with a distinct lack of a dorsal fin.

It is certainly not outside the realms of possibility that the locals might have mistaken the decomposing carcass of one of these animals for that of a mythological creature.

Source: Smithsonian Magazine | Comments (21)

Tags: Mermaid, Japan

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #12 Posted by Black Monk on 18 February, 2017, 11:24
It says in the OP that they are the bones of a ningyo, which literally means "human fish" in Japanese. Catching one was believed to bring storms and misfortune, so fishermen who caught these creatures were said to throw them back into the sea. A ningyo washed onto the beach was an omen of war or calamity.
Comment icon #13 Posted by Setton on 18 February, 2017, 11:32
Definitely not fish bones. Some kind of mammal as oldrover says. Middle one looks like a leg bone, possible sheep but osteology really isn't my area.
Comment icon #14 Posted by White Unicorn on 18 February, 2017, 14:18
Looks like bones of a mammal to me. I think that finding old bones of what people in the mermaid believing cultures held to be bone of mermen and such should be analyzed carefully to give us more insight to what they called mermaids. It could be like the yeti hair and bones in a temple that showed it was an extinct species of bear after modern analysis.
Comment icon #15 Posted by oldrover on 18 February, 2017, 14:34
I do agree with the main point of your post. But the yeti bones weren't an extinct bear. Bryan Sykes carried out a characteristically flawed DNA analysis of some Himalayan samples which he then calimed were a match for an ancient polar bear sample (about 100 kya I think) from Svalbard in Norway. His methodology was shown to be wrong, again, and the results of later more thorough work showed them to be within the range of the two brown bear species of the area. Not a polar bear/local brown bear hybrid as he claimed. Other samples examined have been shiwn to bear, but again thise soecies known ... [More]
Comment icon #16 Posted by White Unicorn on 18 February, 2017, 14:36
Thanks for the update.
Comment icon #17 Posted by oldrover on 18 February, 2017, 14:51
No problem. It's unfortunate when someone like Sykes comes along to add some ckairty to a question, but actually justends up confusing it further.
Comment icon #18 Posted by docyabut2 on 19 February, 2017, 0:43
the ancients use to put old animal and dinosaur bones together to scare people
Comment icon #19 Posted by Setton on 19 February, 2017, 11:12
That's fascinating but it still doesn't make mammal bones into fish bones.
Comment icon #20 Posted by Black Monk on 19 February, 2017, 13:05
They're the bones of a ningyo. It says so in the article. There really is no mystery here.
Comment icon #21 Posted by capeo on 23 February, 2017, 1:14
Those are stifle joints on what seems to be a femur. It's hard to judge the scale but the the very definedcondyles are from a land mammal not an aquatic mammal. The vertebrae and chunk of skull are most certainly not from the same animal. They're far too small to come from whatever animal had those leg bones. The leg bones look like a horse femur, tibia and ilium really.


Please Login or Register to post a comment.


  On the forums
Forum posts:
Forum topics:
Members:

6085663
260514
172636

 
Scientists make tractor beam breakthrough
1-22-2018
An acoustic tractor beam could make it possible to levitate large objects within the not-too-distant future.
Weather blamed for 200,000 antelope deaths
1-21-2018
Scientists may have finally determined what caused vast numbers of saiga antelopes to die back in 2015.
Oolitic limestone is full of tiny fossils
1-21-2018
Many of today's major buildings were constructed using a material that is filled with tiny prehistoric fossils.
Undersea 'Mordor' found off coast of Australia
1-20-2018
The 'Tolkienesque' landscape is made up of 26 underwater volcanoes buried beneath seabed sediment.
Featured Videos
Gallery icon 
Brian Cox talks to Buzz Aldrin
Posted 1-18-2018 | 1 comment
Professor Brian Cox discusses space travel with legendary astronaut Buzz Aldrin.
 
Typing vs handwriting
Posted 1-16-2018 | 2 comments
Is typing on a computer better or worse for your memory then writing on paper ?
 
Can coding help avoid job automation ?
Posted 1-12-2018 | 0 comments
Taking up coding and technical skills to avoid automation may be counter-productive.
 
Dinosaur death match
Posted 1-8-2018 | 0 comments
A look at how various dinosaurs might have fared against the predators of their day.
 
Best records of 2017
Posted 1-4-2018 | 0 comments
A look back at some of the most bizarre and amazing world records of the last year.
 
 View: More videos
Stories & Experiences
Strange feeling
1-18-2018 | Different places
 
Unexplained voices
1-18-2018 | United States
 
First college apartment
12-31-2017 | Daytona Beach, FL
 
The night my niece was murdered
12-19-2017 | Delhi, Louisiana
 
Mysterious Headlights
12-10-2017 | Morgan County, Alabama
 
Possibly a child ghost
12-10-2017 | Edgewater, Maryland
 
True story about black-eyed kids
12-10-2017 | Portland oregon
 
Alien or paranormal encounter ?
12-10-2017 | United States
 
Ouija board experience
12-10-2017 | Ohio
 

         More stories | Send us your story
 
Top   |  Home   |   Forum   |   News   |   Image Gallery   |  Columns   |   Encyclopedia   |   Videos   |   Polls
UM-X 10.7 Unexplained-Mysteries.com 2001-2017
Privacy Policy and Disclaimer   |   Cookies   |   Advertise   |   Contact   |   Help/FAQ