The year was 1830 on the small island of Benbecula in the Outer Hebrides. A farmwoman cutting seaweed with her neighbors on the shore was startled to see the fish-like form of "a woman in miniature" happily turning somersaults just a few feet from her.
Several men attempted to capture the creature as she splashed about, but were unable to. As she appeared to getting away a boy struck her in the back with a rock. Days later, the mermaid's dead body washed ashore. A careful examination was performed and documented by local officials. Everyone agreed that this was a mermaid and therefore partly human. As a result, there was a complete burial in a shroud and a coffin made by order of the chief magistrate of the island.
The corpse was seen and described in detail by Alexander Carmichael, a well-known scholar. 'The upper portion of the creature was about the size of a well-fed child of three or four years of age, with an abnormally developed breast. The hair was long and glossy, while the skin was white, soft and tender. The lower part was like a salmon, but without scales.'