Claim: A mermaid was spotted celebrating its birthday at a beach in Akwa Ibom.
Verdict: FALSE. The mermaid images are from a Facebook user’s birthday photoshoot in 2020.
In Nigeria, mermaids, otherwise known as “Mami Wata,” are renowned for their seductive beauty and mysterious existence. They are also identified as marine spirits and goddesses of fertility.
A Facebook channel, Igbere TV – IGTV, posted images of a mermaid allegedly spotted celebrating its birthday at a beach in Akwa Ibom.
“Beautiful ‘Mermaid’ Spotted Celebrating Birthday at the Beach in Awka Ibom,” the post’s caption reads.
As of Friday, September 8, 2023, the post has had 618 reactions, 319 comments and 37 shares.
While many users dismissed the post’s genuineness, a few accepted it as real.
“Wow! (B)eautiful,” Israel Nwosu commented.
“I was there (live) and have the video,” attested Jeremiah Chijioke.
Mermaids are considered mysterious. However, some people believing the post was real necessitated our fact-check.
We first observed the wrong spelling of Akwa Ibom as “Awka Ibom,” so we decided to do a keyword search and found that Nairaland had posted a similar story.
The popular news blog site announced that a lady identified as Happiness Enekak was causing a stir online for identifying as a mermaid. Nairaland further detailed that the lady had posted the photos in an Akwa Ibom state-based Facebook group called “Ibom Crush.”
We then looked up the lady’s handle on Facebook and discovered that she had posted a similar photo on her platform.
We noticed she acknowledged the studio she had hired to take the photographs as “Dove Studio.”
Additionally, we discovered that it wasn’t the first time the lady had visited the location for a photoshoot.
The claim is false. The photos aren’t images of a mermaid but a birthday photoshoot of a lady, taken in 2020.