A few years ago, there were a number of studies done by worried psychologists, economic analysts and those who just liked to worry about why so few people were bowling anymore. Bowling lanes that were once buzzing with business in every neighborhood were abandoned, torn down, converted into discos (where those went is the topic of a different discussion) and otherwise left empty, except for the few used by wannabe professionals or kids trying to get college scholarships (yes, there really are bowling scholarships). What were the former bowlers doing instead? If these studies were conducted again today, the answer might be “Looking on Google Earth for pyramids, UFOs, lost cities and other cool stuff.” Pair those somewhat obscure images with modern man’s propensity for pareidolia and posting on social media and you have the time-consuming, bowling-eliminating hobby of the 21st century. Scoff if you must, but without this we would not have today’s story about a mermaid spotted in Antarctica with the help of Google Earth.
“We have this beautifully curved shape right here, we can, of course, see the tail, the fluke, what looks like might be an elongated flipper. You can see there is something right around the neck here that gives it a distinction between the head and the body.”
Florida Maquis, the poster of this “mermaid” video (watch it here), sounds like he (or she) is writing a description for a dating site. However, this is obviously someone who knows their mermaids, because the “fluke” in marine biology means “either of the lobes of a whale’s tail.” Or a mermaid’s. Florida Maquis gives the coordinates of the “mermaid” so anyone can admire it.
If you google those coordinates, one thing you’ll notice right away is that you’re not looking at water but at ice … inland ice. It seems the poor “mermaid” is frozen (yes, “Frozen Mermaid” would be a great name for a new Disney movie – they’ve probably thought of it already) or … Florida Maquis knows what you’re thinking:
“(It) cannot be explained by wind, ice, rock, and snow.”
Something else you’ll probably notice, if you do the math, is that this “mermaid” is about 65 feet long. That’s one big half-woman-half-fish that could lead to a discussion about giants once roaming Antarctica, but that’s also a discussion for another day. If it’s not a mermaid, commenters speculate it could be the remains of a mosasaur – extinct for 66 million years, they might reach 65 feet in length although most fossils are shorter. Or, if you trend towards the mythological – a dragon … although that “fluke” might make this swimming dragon a fluke of nature.
Just for grins, turn the picture (see it here) upside down. Still look like a mermaid? Welcome to the world of pareidolia. Whatever the image really is, one angle makes it look mermaid-ish – as absurd as that might be due to the size, location and lack of evidence they exist, for starters.
If you still see a mermaid, turn off your computer and go bowling. You might meet someone who doesn’t have a fluke … unless you call an interest in bowling these days a fluke. Try it anyway. It could save you some therapy money.