Mermaids live in the folklore of most peoples. Indonesians call their mermaids, orang ikan. The orang in translation from the local language is “man”, and Ikan is “fish”.
Where do Orang Ikan live?
They chose for themselves the Kai Islands in the province of Maluku. These islands are famous for their white sandy beaches, amazingly clear water and are a real gem.
In 1943, when the Japanese landed there, the soldiers immediately began reporting that they were observing some strange creatures. Those were seen in coastal waters, looked like a man, especially the face and hands.Their mouth was described as very wide and similar to the mouth of a carp.
They barely reached one and a half meters, their skin was pink, and on their head were some spikes. At the same time, unlike the classic mermaids, they had ordinary human legs, not fish tails.
These creatures swam in shallow water near the beaches. It happened that they were selected on land.
The style of their swimming seemed to the Japanese like a breaststroke. One night, one of the soldiers went swimming and saw a creature in the sand, which he at first mistook for a child.
But when it turned to face him, he saw that his features were not like human ones. Immediately after this, the creature scooted into the water and disappeared. The soldier peered into the water for a while, but the creature never surfaced.
Fishermen said that sometimes these creatures get on their nets, and the Japanese asked if this happens again, to deliver Orang Ikan to them.
One day, Sergeant Taro Horibu was called to the village, where, as it turned out, a dead fish man was found on the shore. The creature was picked up and brought to the elders’ house, where Horibu was able to examine it.
“It was 160 centimeters tall, had long dark hair with a reddish tinge. His neck was covered with spikes, his face seemed to the Japanese like a monkey face with a wide fish mouth, in which there were a lot of small sharp teeth. Between the fingers and toes the fishman’s membranes were stretched, and the body was dotted with strange growths that looked like algae ”
– Horibu said.
Sergeant Horibu said the creature was not like anything known to him. Unable to photograph or sketch the creature, he limited himself to oral stories, but many considered him a liar or an inventor.