Friday, January 14, 2011

Splash! and the Fiji Mermaid

When I was little, I wanted to be named Madison. Why? Oh, because of a little movie called Splash! I really, really, really wanted to be just like Daryl Hannah's mermaid character in Splash. I even tried to swim with my legs in unison like a mermaid; but I was never successful because I wasn't what you would call a strong swimmer....

The Fiji Mermaid (or Feegee, Feejee, Fegee, Fejee, etc.) is something quite different than Daryl Hannah's aquatic portrayal, but I'm intrigued by it nonetheless.

We can basically thank P.T. Barnum for the Fiji Mermaid hoax. The "mermaid" came to Barnum from a gentleman named Moses Kimball who leased it to Barnum for $12.50 a week. Barnum named the artifact the "Feejee Mermaid" and told audiences it was caught in 1842 by Dr. J. Griffin (completely fictional). While many believed his claims, the artifact was actually a baby monkey head sewn to the torso and tail of a fish and covered in papier mache. Ew.

Of course, Barnum made tons of money off the whole hoax and it sparked several imitations. Hmmm. Well, as Barnum said, "There's a sucker born everyminute."

Want your own Fiji/Feejee Mermaid? Astound your friends! Amaze your family! Impress the opposite/same gender with this one of a kind, unusual belt buckle. Step right up! Only $24:

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