Mermaid caught! The truth behind the viral photos

A collection of photos showing a mermaid, which was allegedly caught by fishermen somewhere, is currently viral on social media.

Mermaid: Real or Fake?
Everyone likes the idea of mermaids, the body of which is half female human half fish tail. A mermaid is a legendary aquatic creature that's been part of many cultures' folklore for decades.

Several movies and animated films have featured mermaids as the main or supporting character. These include Fishtales (2007), Mad About Men (1954), Miranda (1948), Splash (1984), The Little Mermaid (1989), Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005), and Empires of the Deep (2014), among many others.

In the Philippines, the most popular mermaid in comics, television series, and films is Dyesebel, a character originally conceived by the iconic Filipino comic book illustrator Mars Ravelo.

According to a Wikipedia entry, the story of Dyesebel has been adapted into five films and a spin-off, throughout the timeline from 1953 to 1996. The most recent adaptation of this famous graphic novel was the fantasy drama television series starring actress and noontime show host Anne Curtis, which ran on ABS-CBN from March 17 until July 18, 2014.

Most of the time, our fascination with mermaids leads us to hope, imagine, or believe that such creature exists. This is the reason why we easily get attracted to anything about mermaids, including photos.

Recently, a Facebook user with the handle Link Tungsen uploaded five photos of a dead creature that looks like a mermaid. His post garnered hundreds of likes and shares on the social networking site.

The virality of the pictures encouraged many Filipino bloggers to create a post to discuss whether or not it was real. Moreover, the trending mermaid photos generated mixed reactions from netizens. Some asked about its authenticity while others debunked the idea.

A few commenters, who were resourceful enough to scour the web for similar photos, said that the mermaids are fake and the viral photos were taken from the set of the 2011 fantasy swashbuckler film Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.


The mermaids in the viral photos were featured in the fourth installment of the Pirates of the Caribbean film series. It were conceptualized and designed by Academy Award-winner Joel Harlow, one of the most innovative makeup and special makeup artists and designers in American motion pictures.

According to Wikipedia, filming the mermaids for On Stranger Tides "involved eight model-actresses as well as 22 synchronized swimming athletes and a group of stuntwomen, both of whom wore motion capture suits to be later replaced by digital mermaids."

Mermaid corpses, the ones seen in the viral photos, were "depicted by plaster models."

Hat tip to Rodney (