Circulating photographs of a strange sea-creature are claimed to depict the body of a mermaid or alien found on a beach.
The photographs do not depict a real mermaid or alien. Instead, they show a sculpture by artist Juan Cabana.
Subject: Strange Creature
The mermaid found on Malaysian island:
These images have been circulating via email, forums and blogs since 2006. They supposedly show a strange mermaid-like creature found washed ashore.
This variant claims that the mermaid was found on a Malaysian island. Alternative versions of the message relocate the discovery to other parts of the world.
Yet another version of the message claims that the creature is actually of extraterrestrial origin:
An alien was found by a fisherman in Teluk Bahang. Newspapers aren’t allowed to publish it. Some mayb seen it b4. I dont know the percentage of original. Dont ask me what happen to the alien or where is the alien now either. Im curious to know it as well.
Not surprisingly, however, the mermaid is not a real, flesh and blood creature, but instead a sculpture by the talented artist, Juan Cabana. A series of photographs of the mermaid can be found on the artist’s website along with an entire menagerie of other strange and wonderful creations.
Mr Cabana has sold this mermaid and other creations via eBay auctions under the name “SeaMystery”. According to information previously available on the auction website, the winning bid for the mermaid was recorded at $1,550.00 US.
Cabana does not specifically state that his creatures are sculptures in his eBay descriptions. Instead, he creates fictional cover stories to go with the sculptures that include such information as how and where the particular creature was supposedly washed ashore and subsequently discovered.
In an enlightening Small WORLD PodCast interview, the artist claimed that he gave the items a cover story to create excitement about the sale and add an element of fun.
He said that he at first made clear in his auction listings that he had actually made the objects but that approach “seemed like it was boring”. Adding a story, he says, generates a lot more excitement. He assumes that most potential buyers will understand that the stories are tongue in cheek. Within the context of their original eBay listings, this assumption is not unreasonable. However, when the pictures and stories “escape” into cyberspace and get passed around out of their original context, they are apt to deceive many recipients.
It should be noted that the images are taken from the eBay listings and distributed without Mr Cabana’s permission or knowledge.
The artist uses a variety of materials to create his mermaids and monsters, including animal skulls, fish and animal skin, steel, plastic and fibreglass.
Importance NoticeAfter 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 YouI 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 DateHoax-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!