Can you ever imagine the exact opposite of one of the timeless characters produced by Walt Disney named Ariel, a beautiful half- woman and half- fish creature? If you are a person who is very much acquainted with sideshows, a secondary production closely related to carnivals, you can surely picture out by now. It is none other than the Fiji Mermaid which is a mummified body of an unexplainable fusion. When you are able to see one, you will definitely be baffled with the look.
The noise about the Fiji Mermaid is largely credited to Phineas Taylor Barnum. From that period on, there were a lot of other pirated replicas such as the collection of Robert Ripley, a famous anthropologist, entrepreneur and cartoonist who created the television series entitled “Ripley’s Believe It Or Not.” The original display was presented all over the United States but was missing when the museum owned by Barnum caught fire in 1860.
Since then, the exhibit of the Fiji Mermaid was acquired by the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology of Harvard University. At this juncture, the object can be found right in the storage area of the attic. When you visit the place, you will discover that the work was done by an artisan from Indonesia who made used of a papier- mache stitched to materials of the head of a monkey, torso of a young orangutan and tail of a fish.
As what was previously mentioned, Phineas Taylor Barnum is the person entirely responsible for the popularity of Fiji Mermaid. He can be best recalled for his amusing tricks that were intended to make the crowd suppose a thing is real when truth is, it is not. He also established a spectacle that is identified as “Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus.” Before he was able to achieve his high status in the society at his time, he had his own share of humble beginnings.
Phineas Taylor Barnum is a native of Bethel in Connecticut who was born to a store- and inn- keeper. He initially started as one who overlooks a shop and was also involved with lottery, simultaneously. When his business did not succeed, he ran a paper called “The Herald of Freedom” which was circulated in a weekly basis. After he faced a number of legal complaints where he ended up in prison, he migrated to New York in 1834. It was there that he embarked on a career as a game master.