The photo has been shared on one Facebook page with the comment, “Mermaid!?”, and on another with the caption: “Skeleton of a Mermaid”.
It’s been online for at least seven years. In June 2012 a Bulgarian website published the photo with a report that it was an “ancient skeleton of a mermaid discovered by a professor”.
Photoshopped image entered in design contest
A reverse image search reveals that the image has been manipulated, with two different photos – one of a fish skeleton, another of a human skeleton – put together to make the fake mermaid skeleton.
The original human skeleton was published on an archaeology blog on 21 October 2011. There it is labelled as BI South, Haymarket, and described as a person “carefully buried just to the south in the foundation trench of an early eighteenth-century house on Haymarket” in Ireland.
The photoshopped mermaid first appeared online as an entry in Archaeological Anomalies 13, an image manipulation contest on DesignCrowd. It’s credited to a designer with the screen handle the1calledDANO.
We examined the image’s metadata using an online tool and found it was created in Photoshop in June 2012 – around the time it appeared on the Bulgarian website.
It also appears on a DesignCrowd blog post titled Giant Skeletons Seem Too Real To Be A Hoax, where it’s credited to a designer called The1Calleddano.
The image has also been debunked by fact-checkers at Snopes and Hoax-Slayer.
And there’s no harm in repeating the fact that mermaids are mythical creatures.- Dancan Bwire (11/06/2019).
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