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The Feejee Mermaid
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The Feejee Mermaid



Published in Entertainment & Humor
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  • 1. The Feejee Mermaid Ahmet Baygal-Berk Barlak-Berk Esi
  • 2. The Feejee Mermaid • In mid-July, 1842, an English gentleman named "Dr. J. Griffin", a member of the British Lyceum of Natural History, arrived in New York City bearing a remarkable curiosity — a real mermaid supposedly caught near the Feejee Islands in the South Pacific. The press were expecting him, since throughout the Summer they had been receiving letters from Southern correspondents describing the doctor and his mermaid. So when he checked in to his hotel, reporters were waiting for him, demanding to see the mermaid. Grudgingly he obliged. What they saw totally convinced them of the creature's authenticity.
  • 3. The Feejee Mermaid • Throughout all this, the deception of the public had been three-fold. First, although advertisements had shown the mermaid to have the body of a young, beautiful woman, the creature itself was far less attractive. It had the withered body of a monkey and the dried tail of a fish.
  • 4. The Feejee Mermaid • Finally, the mermaid itself was a fake, and Barnum knew it. He had leased the mermaid from Boston showman Moses Kimball (who, in turn, had bought it from a seaman), but before doing so Barnum had consulted a naturalist to inquire about the mermaid's authenticity. The naturalist had assured him it was quite fake.
  • 5. The Feejee Mermaid • Where Did the Feejee Mermaid Come From? Barnum himself didn't create the Feejee Mermaid. As noted, he merely leased it from Moses Kimball. In fact, the creature had already enjoyed quite a colorful history before Barnum transformed it into a celebrity.