Fact Check

Was a Real Mermaid Found in India?

Images purportedly showing a real mermaid are based on an animatronic sculpture.

Published Dec. 19, 2017

A real mermaid was discovered in the Oman Gulf in December 2017.

The tale of one little mermaid is pretty fishy.

A series of photographs purportedly showing a real mermaid were circulated on social media in December 2017:

A video supposedly showing the mythical creature breathing was also posted online:

Those sharing these images claimed that it showed some sort of mermaid, but they could not agree on where the discovery actually took place. These images were shared as if the mythical creature had been found in varying locations, from London, to Dubai, to India. This is a common trope of hoaxes, as fraudsters will alter small details in order to target a specific audience. If this were a genuine mermaid, on the other hand, simple details about the discovery such as where and when it occurred would likely remain constant.

This "mermaid" is actually an animatronic sculpture. Although we haven't been able to find out much information about who created it or where it is currently displayed, we did come across a photograph showing an artist working on this project.

That image was accompanied by some additional information about the "mermaid." The web site The News Fact reported that it is made of wood and fiber and that there's a motor in the throat to simulate breathing:

The real secret behind the video is, as it was a work of art created by an artist. The news published in Myanmar stated that it was an artist from Myanmar created a masterpiece using wood and fiber and this artwork is made of a motor in its throat to make it look natural.

It's unclear if this mermaid was created as a film prop or simply as a piece of art. However, we're certain that it shows a man-made creation and not a genuine mermaid.


Vinay.   "VIRAL: Human Like Fish Found in Vizag Sea is Fake."     The News Fact.   15 December 2017.

Dan Evon is a former writer for Snopes.