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Faux Images – Mermaid Skeleton

by Brett M. Christensen


Message circulating via social media features photographs of what appears to be a mermaid skeleton being excavated by archaeologists.

Brief Analysis

The message is a hoax. The mermaid skeleton images are the result of digital manipulation and were entries in a Worth1000 Photo Effects contest.


Mermaid Skeleton Hoax 1

Amazing !!! Can’t believable

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Ancient skeleton of a mermaid before the Flood 8 millenniums ago was found near Sozopol Beach by Professor Dimitrov. This “news” blew prostarnstvoto Internet. Zevzecite comment that vampires after Dimitrov’s time to start dealing with mermaids, writes Novinar.

The photo first appeared on the wall of a journalist Petar Genchev Facebook, but minutes after it is shared by dozens of others, impressed by the impressive growth of the former female fish.

Mermaid Skeleton Hoax 2


Detailed Analysis

This message, which features images depicting what appears to be the skeleton of a mermaid being unearthed by archaeologists, is currently circulating on Facebook.  An earlier version featuring some of the same images claims that the skeleton was found near Sozopol Beach, Bulgaria by one Professor Dimitrov.

The images have generated considerable online debate, with many commentators suggesting that the images prove that the mythical mermaid was a real creature after all.

But, sadly for mermaid enthusiasts, the pictures do not show a real mermaid skeleton. The mermaid images are the result of some rather clever digital manipulation.
The main image was an entry in a Worth1000 Photo Effects contest named “Archaeological Anomalies 13” and was created by a contributor “the1calledDANO“. The entry was created using the following source image:

Mermaid Skeleton Hoax - Original Image

Some prankster has later added the supposed “Professor Dimitrov ” to the image to go with the made-up Bulgarian excavation story. The fake story, presented as a news article, was published on in June 2012.

The second skeleton image comes from an earlier Worth1000 contest in the same series, Archaeological Anomalies 3 and was created by contributor, “Ultraviolet“.  The entry used the source image included below:

Mermaid Skeleton Hoax - Second Original Image

The picture of the mermaid skeleton posed on a rock circulates in other contexts as a standalone image.

Mermaidsfairiesgiants and other mythical creatures have captured the imagination of humans for centuries.  Sophisticated image manipulation software such as Photoshop has made it relatively easy to create seemingly genuine pictures of such creatures. And the Internet is the perfect vector for distributing fake images.

Importance Notice

After considerable thought and with an ache in my heart, I have decided that the time has come to close down the Hoax-Slayer website.

These days, the site does not generate enough revenue to cover expenses, and I do not have the financial resources to sustain it going forward.

Moreover, I now work long hours in a full-time and physically taxing job, so maintaining and managing the website and publishing new material has become difficult for me.

And finally, after 18 years of writing about scams and hoaxes, I feel that it is time for me to take my fingers off the keyboard and focus on other projects and pastimes.

When I first started Hoax-Slayer, I never dreamed that I would still be working on the project all these years later or that it would become such an important part of my life. It's been a fantastic and engaging experience and one that I will always treasure.

I hope that my work over the years has helped to make the Internet a little safer and thwarted the activities of at least a few scammers and malicious pranksters.

A Big Thank You

I would also like to thank all of those wonderful people who have supported the project by sharing information from the site, contributing examples of scams and hoaxes, offering suggestions, donating funds, or helping behind the scenes.

I would especially like to thank David White for his tireless contribution to the Hoax-Slayer Facebook Page over many years. David's support has been invaluable, and I can not thank him enough.

Closing Date

Hoax-Slayer will still be around for a few weeks while I wind things down. The site will go offline on May 31, 2021. While I will not be publishing any new posts, you can still access existing material on the site until the date of closure.

Thank you, one and all!

Brett Christensen,