Call us damaged and blame it on watching the X-Files at a young age, but we like to believe that there are things out there that we just don’t understand. Mysteries, secrets, and myths are kind of our thing. We tend to gravitate to the surreal, even if it’s very obviously unreal, simply because it’s way more fun to discuss the Yeti and Nessi than it is to analyze everything through specs of logic. This is why, when we found out that in the very back of the Banff Trading Post there was a freaking merman, we were all sorts of curious.

Sure, okay, this thing looks like a Halloween prop, but there are some locals who genuinely believe that it’s legit and that it was pulled right out of Lake Minnewanka. Hence the name, Lake Minnewanka’s Merman.

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This creepy little critter appears to have been mummified and has a tail, deep-set eyes, sharp, tack-like teeth. and an impressive full head of hair.

Legend has it, a ‘merman’ similar to this one, was actually seen alive in 1824, by a fisherman who was drawn to the middle of the lake by drums and voices, but that’s kind of where the plot begins, thickens and ends. Unfortunately, if it is real, no one knows how it died or ended up in the trading post.

If it’s fake though, we’d like to know exactly what that fisherman was drinking, what the merman is made of, and also… if we could maybe get another one for our mantle?

Some speculate that the Banff Trading Post’s founder, Norman Luxton, may have purchased it from Japan, or even made it with his brother – but these are just more tall (fish)tails.

No matter what you believe, this ookey-spooky knickknack is still totally worth checking out. At the very least, it’ll make for a fun photo op… and maybe also a bad dream or two.


Where: 101 Cave Avenue, Banff, AB, Canada