| "'Feejee Mermaid' has become the generic term for the many fake mermaids that can be found around the world..."
This article contains information relating to a hoax. According to Cambridge dictionary a hoax is "a plan to deceive a large group of people; a trick."
The monster was sighted by Robert Le Serrec and his family in 1964 when it moved towards his ship with its mouth open as if to attack. He spotted its tail was injured, probably by a ship's propeller or by a larger creature. He described that " It was only when we got to within 20 feet of the serpent that we could see its head clearly. The head was large, about 4 feet from top to bottom, with jaws about 4 feet wide. The lower jaw was flat like that of a sandfish. The skin was smooth but rather dull, brownish-black in color, the eyes seemed pale green, almost white. The skin looked more like that of a shark than an eel. There were no apparent scales. Nor did we see any parasites around. We supposed the flexible tail would have shaken any off. There were no fins or spines, nor were there any apparent breathing openings, although there must have been some. Perhaps we didn't see them because our attention was focused mainly on the creature's menacing mouth, the inside of which was whitish. The teeth appeared to be small. A fragment of some dark substance hung from the upper row of teeth, possibly a fish. As the monster was lying on the sandy bottom, we could not see the colour of its belly. The creature was about 90 feet long. Behind the head the body was about 2 feet 4 inches thick and remained that way for about 25 feet, then it gradually tapered into a whip-like tail. The general colour of the body was black with 1 foot-wide brownish rings every 5 feet, the first starting just behind the head. The skin was smooth but dull." Just as it seemed it would swallow the ship, it swam away. Le Serrec managed to take a few shots before it swam away, never to be seen again.
Real or Fake?
The evidence that it is fake and that it is real are equally balanced out. Some say it was photoshopped, but that wasn't invented back then. Others say it was a large sheet of plastic weighed down by sand. The evidence that it is real is that it looked very lifelike, some shots up-close showed that the eyes looked too detailed to be modeled out of plastic. In their book, Field Guide to Lake Monsters, Sea Serpents, and Other Mystery Denizens of the Deep, Loren Coleman and Patrick Huyghe stated the case was hoax. Either way, many people are reluctant to swim in the waters of Hook Island.