A mysterious pile of bones and flesh recently spotted on a beach in eastern Australia has experts scratching their heads.
Observers online have taken to calling it a “mermaid alien” because of its bizarre shape.
Queensland local Bobbi-Lee Oates was walking along Keppel Sands earlier this week when she made the discovery and posted photos online.
“We were driving along the beach looking for a campsite, and we couldn’t help but notice how much the skull looked to be in the shape of a human’s,” she told Australian media. “So we instantly stopped from the confusion as to what the hell could this be, and why does this look like a human skull?”
“It had a human-shaped skull with an elongated jawline, and hair similar to the color of a cow or kangaroo, but with hair missing in many places due to decomposition. It was exactly like a mermaid shape, but hairy, because it seemed to have a tail or limb of some sort,” Oates explained.
“We were shocked because it looked human to start with. Then we were excited because I thought we had discovered a miracle new species – we were overwhelmed and surprised.”
In marine biology, such amorphous, highly disintegrated carcasses are called “globsters” or “blobs,” and are often the remnants of dead whales or sharks. They have nonetheless never ceased to cause a stir when they wash ashore, launching renewed speculation about some unknown creature from the deep that might have been discovered.
After Oates posted the photos in the Facebook* group “Marine Biology,” speculation grew about its identity. Many noted its apparent mermaid-like shape, appending it as a “mermaid alien” because of its bizarre look. Other kept their minds in the realm of the scientific, saying it was probably a partial kangaroo skeleton, or the skeleton of a dugong, a type of marine mammal that is judged to be the likely origin of sailors’ tales of mermaids.
Rob Deaville, Project Manager for the Cetacean Strandings Investigations Programme (CSIP) at the Zoological Society of London, told British media that it “definitely looks like a small cetacean to me. I’m not familiar with the area nor which species are normally found there, so can’t really take it any further than that.”
Has anyone considered if it’s a viral ad installation inspired by “The Little Mermaid” film?