Amazing Japanese mummies

Wednesday, March 11, 2009 at 2:50:09 AM by Randy B

This horrifying collection of Japanese mummies - demons, mermaids, water spirits - must have been very convincing in the 18th & 19th century. They're a great example of why you should be skeptical of things that seem supernatural.

In carnival sideshows called misemono, skilled fishermen turned taxidermy into a gory art form by seamlessly stitching together the corpses of fish, monkeys, and other small animals. On display, the mummies must have seemed like amazing evidence of mythical creatures.

Photo: Mermaid mummy at the National Museum of Ethnology, Leiden