When I was a teenager I had a friend who showed me one of the oddest things I had seen. In a drawer, he revealed this frightening looking thing that you see to the right. His older brother was in the U.S. Navy and, my friend said, his older brother had come back from some distant port with this oddity — some sort of sea devil.
I thought I was witnessing some sort of real-life Ripley’s Believe It Or Not side-show in his bedroom that afternoon. What the hell was I looking at?
Years later, when I recalled that bizarre brush with cryptozoology, I set about searching the Web, trying to find out what it was I had seen. And that is when, at last, I came to find that these mer-creatures are referred to as “Jenny Hanivers“.
There’s a long discussion of the lexical origin of the name on Wikipedia if you are interested.
If you have a penchant for the unusual, search eBay for “Jenny Haniver” and pick one of these monsters up for yourself.