Fact Check

Dead Mermaid Found in River Vladaya, Bulgaria

Photographs show a dead mermaid found in Bulgaria's Vladaya River.

Published Aug 6, 2014

Claim:   Photographs show a dead mermaid found in Bulgaria's Vladaya River.


Example:   [Collected via e-mail, August 2014]

The photos in this video are starting to circulate the internet. There's other versions on YouTube which claim the dead mermaid was found in Thailand, the Canary Islands, etc.


Origins:   There's nothing much to see in this version of yet another hoax report about the supposed discovery of a

mermaid skeleton or mermaid body. The still images of the "Dead Mermaid Found In River Vladaya, Bulgaria" shown in the above-linked video should be familiar to anyone who has seen the fourth installment of the Pirates of the Caribbean film series, 2011's Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, which featured a plot point about the notorious pirate Blackbeard's seeking to prolong his life by harvesting tears from a mermaid.

As seen here and here, those figures are dead mermaid bodies created for that movie by Joel Harlow, a make-up effects artist who provides special make-up effects and prosthetics for film and television productions.

Last updated:   6 August 2014

David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.

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