Photographer's Note

Another sea monster.
On our way back to Sidari from Palaiokastritsa we stopped in a small village with the big souvenir shop. It was full of strange dried sea creatures and various shells, big and small. I found this one quite funny. I have no idea what it could be. Anyway, Would you like to bring it to your home?

Bigger beta picture

See also four smiling heads.

Chris wrote, that it is cold Jenny Haniver.
In JApan, while shopping for seafood you are still able to buy Jenny Hanivers. A Jenny Haniver is a creature created by fisherman that, frankly, looks like an alien.

Jenny Hanivers are actually a form of marine taxidermy where the bodies of skulls and rays are dried in this macabre and scary way. In most other parts of the world, these brilliant creations can only be seen online.

The earliest known picture of Jenny Haniver appeared in Konrad Gesner's Historia Animalium vol. IV in 1558. Gesner warned that these were merely disfigured rays and should not be believed to be miniature dragons or monsters, which was a popular misconception at the time.

The most common misconception was that Jenny Hanivers were Basilisks. As Basilisks were creatures that killed with merely a glance, no one could claim to know what one looks like. For this reason it was easy to pass off Jenny Hanivers as these creatures which were still widely feared in the 16th century.

In Veracruz, Jenny Hanivers are considered to have magical powers and are employed by curanderos in their rituals. This tradition may have originated in Japan, where fake ningyo similar to the Fiji mermaid that were produced by using rogue taxidermy are kept in temples.

It is the first time that I saw this.
Thanks, Chris for information!

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Additional Photos by Malgorzata Kopczynska (emka) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 12618 W: 133 N: 32568] (149831)
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