Fiji Mermaids by Sawdust Bear

The Fiji Mermaid, as popularized by PT Barnum in his grotesque sideshows, is generally known to have been a baby monkey sewn to a fish. This particular attraction was replicated many times in the 1800′s.

In 1995, we began compiling images, documents, and where possible, actual specimens of the Fiji Mermaids. During the course of our research, we decided to deconstruct a specimen that had been kept in formaldehyde, and discovered that the specimen we chose was not a taxidermied form, but appeared to have been a live creature.

While the majority of Fiji Mermaids were likely hoaxes, we now have evidence that at least some of them may have been real. Our paper on the Live Fiji Mermaid is currently under peer review and will be published soon. Our small collection of Fiji Mermaids (fake) can be visited in our small showroom at the Ellis Estate by appointment only. Via Sawdust Bear

You’ll find 3 of these wonderful specimens at a show called “Creatures From the Deep” at 225 Forest (it’s a Hurley store) in Laguna Beach, CA from May 3 – June 4. Sawdust Bear will also be making more for her shop, so stay tuned!


Author: Supahcute

Art Blogger • Curator at Leanna Lin's Wonderland

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