Thursday, July 14, 2011

Merman Sighting 1684

In 1684 Italian couple Elizabeth Nastasia and Peter Anthony Consiglio gave birth to a fish boy. According to his parents "when born, the boy was quite covered with the scales of fishes, having nevertheless a beautiful and comely neck and face with no unseemly colour. His head was adorned with curious flaxen hair and from the neck down to the sole of the foot, he is all over blackish and hairy intermixt with spots of several sorts and colours like the scales of a fish.'
'He is of human stature and tender-limbed. The bottoms of his feet are white and so are the insides of his hands, like unto shells of a sea tortoise. He is about ten year of age and called Barnardin."
His mother, being afraid for his safety kept him hidden and prayed over him hoping for a change. Unfortunately every time he would lose a scale another would be under it to replace it. Eventually he was found to be quite intelligent and sent away to be privately educated. He could speak Italian, French and Dutch but his education didn't save him from being exploited. Barnardin was 'exhibited' in London by a Mr. Barton where he was seen by the King and poor alike.

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