Merman of Delaware
The Zwaanendael Museum is modeled after a 17th century Netherlands town hall and offers a showcase for Lewes-area history. But its most popular exhibit has nothing to do with Lewes' Revolutionary War or maritime heritage. It's a monstrosity named The Fiji Merman.
Lounging on a royal blue velvet cushion, safely separated from the non-monster world in a glass box within a glass box, the mummified foot-long creature was given to a prominent Lewes family by an old sea captain. After nearly a century of foster care, the family loaned it to the Zwaanendael Museum in 1941. When the last family member died in 1985, the citizens of Lewes banded together and bought the Merman for $250. "Nobody wanted him to go," said museum director Andrea Anderson. She added that the merman is still "much beloved by the town" and that local kids call him "Monkeyfish."