Fish With Human Face (Qazwini, Book of Marvels) on Flickr.
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This image is from the Book of Marvels (عجايب المخلوقات وغرايب الموجودات) by Zakarīyā ibn Muḥammad Qazwīnī, a thirteenth century Arab geographer and scholar. The work is considered a very important example of a medieval Islamic cosmology and contains descriptions of the heavens and the earth, various angels, and many strange and not so strange creatures.
The creature pictured here is somewhat like a mermaid, though a bit fishier than the eroticized Disney interpretation. According to the manuscript, it is called a “spotted fish” due to its characteristic spots. The fish comes onto the land at night to eat grass and jumps back into the sea with sunrise. Some say that it breathes fire from it nose and so burns the grass while it is eating.
This particular manuscript dates to the 18th century and is written in Persian, likely from Mughal India. To view it and many others, check out Princeton’s digital collection of Islamic manusripts: pudl.princeton.edu/objects/h989r3272#page/127/mode/2up