What a strange story out of Nigeria yesterday all because of a weird thing found in a batch of frozen fish. At first, the fish seller threw it away but then retrieved it to show others and then… well, the story took on a life of its own.
There was stampede in Ibadan yesterday, as a mammoth crowd stormed Isale Asaka, Oke-Ado, Born Photo and Mapo Divisional Police Station, in the ancient city, over the discovery of a mermaid-like creature in a carton of fish.
Daily Sun gathered that a fish seller, Eleha Ramota, had discovered the strange creature, which has half human body with a tail, while sorting fishes she bought in a carton for the day’s sales.
It was gathered that having thrown the fishes she bought into a bowl of water to thaw, the woman was startled, upon retrieving it, when she saw the strange creature among the fish. She reportedly raised the alarm, which attracted her husband and a Muslim cleric, who reportedly recited some verses of the Quran and prayers upon it.
News of the mini-mermaid swept through the city causing a big commotion. It was reported in the local news that the first person who took a picture of the creature experienced a broken phone. Then it gets weird. The mermaid, described as “very small in size initially, grew bigger and was fish from waist downward and human being from waist upwards, with mouth, nose, eyes and long hair” was now said to have spoken, begging the woman who found it (also called Ramota Adeyemo or Ramota Salawu) not to reveal it. She was taken to the police station for questioning. Her brother took the creature away for safekeeping as the commotion in the village grew.
Overnight, her house was ransacked and her 14 yr old daughter attacked in demand that she turn the creature over to officials.
“While I was away at the station, some area boys came around and descended on my 14-year-old daughter, Hajara. They beat her to the point of injuring her,” she said.
The woman also claimed that traditionalists have been threatening her that if she failed to release the creature to them, they would turn one of her children to a god.
She denied the creature spoke, saying it was dead and frozen when she found it.
It was confirmed that the creature was an octopus.
[T]he state Commissioner of Police, Mohammed Ndabawa, on Wednesday while addressing newsmen in his office in Ibadan, said the purported mermaid was a baby octopus, assuring the residents not to panic.
Ramota had not ever seen an octopus after 14 years of handling fish. I’m not clear why the villagers thought it was something extraordinary unless they had never seen one either. A strong superstitious nature of the people led them to believe the finding would bring bad luck upon their village. But notice how the story grew so fast and caused what appears to be near panic! There is a fake picture going around of a fish with legs. That is not the creature. This is. [editors note: may be squid]
Hard to see mermaid in that.
Addition: Here is another picture allegedly of the creature which shows it to be not an octopus but a squid.