Dead Mermaid Found on a Beach: Real or Fake?

A video allegedly shows a dead mermaid which washed up on a beach in Florida, Bulgaria, or Hawaii. Is this real or fake?

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It’s not real.

There are actually two different videos of beached mermaids currently circulating. We’ll discuss both here. Let’s first take a look at the video, which has been in circulation for several years. The caption states:

My recent discovery of a dead mermaid found washed up on the shores of Gators Pass located at west central coast of Florida. My emotional outburst and crude language forced me to add music otherwise I would not be able to post. The mermaid has been sent to Australia for further scientific study.

(Note that the video has more dislikes than likes on YouTube.)

Juan Cabana – ‘Valisna’ 2012

florida-mermaidThe origin of this mermaid was not the ocean, but the imagination of artist Juan Cabana. His biography on Coast to Coast AM reads, “Artist Juan Cabana, using the remains of dead fish and assorted animals as his medium, creates fantastic new lifeforms for people to enjoy today. His life-like creations reflect his interest in Cryptozoology, Anthropology and Science Fiction. Currently, sea monsters and mermaids are his central focus. Juan hopes to someday have the world’s largest sea creature museum.”

This particular work of art is named Valisna 2012, and can be seen in one of his website galleries. Be sure to read our article about another Cabana mermaid, the “Hurricane Ike” mermaid which has amassed millions of views on YouTube.

Before the connection to Juan Cabana was established, we made the following observations about the video.

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  • The mermaid’s hair appears to be a wig. It looks perfectly combed and clean, which would be unlikely if a creature had been floating dead in the water.
  • The corpse looks mummified, which would not happen while floating in sea water.
  • Minimal decomposition. Mammals and fish which die in the water decompose very rapidly. This specimen is almost completely intact. A decomposed body would also likely have a swarm of flies surrounding it.
  • There is a lack of sand on the body, which presumably tumbled around in the water before washing ashore.
  • The video’s description states that the mermaid was “sent to Australia for further scientific study.” There were no scientific reports about such a creature from Australia, or anywhere else.
  • The texture and cracks on the mermaid’s torso and face indicate it may be made of paper mache or plastic.

Video Rebuttal

We posted an initial video rebuttal to the “dead Florida mermaid” video above, summarizing some of the points above. You can watch it below.

After establishing the origin of the “Dead Florida Mermaid” with Juan Cabana, we produced a second video rebuttal.

Second Video Rebuttal

Below is a YouTube video explaining the connection of the dead Florida mermaid (and the dead Hurricane Ike mermaid) with Juan Cabana.

Spam Facebook App

A malicious Facebook app has also used images from the dead mermaid video to fool users into installing it. Both Facebook and Twitter users have been spotted posting links to the app with such headlines as, “Oh My God! dead mermaid was found up on the shores of Gators Pass located at west central coast of Florida……” Clicking the link prompts users to install a Facebook video app. This app is considered spammy at best, and possibly malicious. It is best not to install the app. If you have already installed it, remove the app promptly to avoid spamming your friends.

2014 Dead Bulgaria / Hawaii Mermaid

In August 2014, a new “dead mermaid” video began circulating. This one was said to be discovered in River Vladaya, Bulgaria. The same mermaid was shown in a November 2014 video which claimed that a mermaid was found on a beach in Kilauea Falls, Hawaii. Watch the original “Bulgaria” video below.

The mysterious creature above was not a mermaid which washed ashore in Bulgaria or Hawaii, but a prop from the 2011 movie Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. That prop was created by special effects artist Joel Harlow.

Bottom Line

The “Dead Florida Mermaid” is actually a work of art entitled Valisna 2012 created by artist Juan Cabana.

The “Dead Bulgaria Mermaid” (also reported to be the Hawaii Mermaid) is a movie prop created by a special effects artist.

Originally published January 12, 2014
Revised November 19, 2014

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  • mangal

    Aguanile Mai Mai from Marc antony should have been the best background music for the video file

  • Urnso

    Jeez…Who’s her hair dresser? Tishy’s fishy shop off Florida in the Bermuda Triangle? Nice try. Better yet… Nice hair

  • Roz

    Real mermaids don’t have hair! Didn’t you want the tv show “Mermaids Found…”?

  • Katerina

    Inresting hard to belive in mermaid the question is why she had a wig and maybe somebody else did it ????????????

    • frank

      The word is interesting.

      • frank

        Believe.

  • Misty Henderson

    Is she ariel on steroids? If so where is flounder and I think king triton and prince eric have some issues. But nice try

  • samuel

    Too bad people just try to Fake things like this and get away with it. I realy hope a real marmaid exist but it brakes my heart to see Fake ones.

  • BigDave

    I went out with a mermaid once. I had to end the relationship, when I found out that she was going with every Tom, Dick and Herring.

    • splash anyone?

      Was the Tom you mentioned, Tom Hanks?

  • miela

    Lol could do with some false teeth too!!!

  • Pat

    Who put the wig on her??? UMJUSTSAYING

    • waffles

      Juan Cabana, the artist who created the mermaid.

  • Jo

    Ok, but the article says right in it that this is a work of art, not a real mermaid. Pretty cool for art.

  • jonas

    Yes this is fake i see it on tv.2 pepole some have do it

  • Ragman

    Funny how there are no flies……

  • sandi

    such a shame a real one wouldn’t turn up and kick ass for misrepresentation!!

  • chiko

    itz unbelievable

  • jason

    Fake hair ! but other than that nice job , maybe next time

  • Gee

    What load of Hype. The hair is wig. The corps is a hollywood make over. The film maker a joker!!!!!!!!

  • Roy Jones

    Ya think? Kind of like the Cardiff Giant..

  • Hi

    the hair is fake!

  • Moses Mbugua

    talk of fantasy and i’ll admitt to all that am currently dating a mermaid and all are invited to our wedding in 4 months time…at the bottom of atlantic ocean

  • something

    i think mermaid might exist cause humans have only explored less than 5% of the ocean so mermaids might be living in the 95% of the ocean that we dont know anything about yet.

  • Tyler Du

    Her hair looks like the queen of blade in Starcraft 2 lol