Police were surprised after finding a mysterious woman with webbed feet wandering in an area near Fresno, California, at 3 a.m. with no identity and little clothing on April 4.
Their shock was nothing in comparison to what they'd experience moments later.
After asking the woman for her name, her response was stunning: She insisted she is a mermaid called Joanna, YourCentralValley.com reports.
Popular VideoThis young teenage singer was shocked when Keith Urban invited her on stage at his concert. A few moments later, he made her wildest dreams come true.
Further questions led police nowhere and the confused woman responded with "I don't know" to most questions. She did ask for medical attention.
"She was wet, she said she had been in the lake, said she needed help and needed to be taken to the hospital," said Fresno Police Lt. Mark Hudson about Joanna.
"We did go through records after fingerprinting her and we still did not come up with her identity," Hudson added.
Later, police found out her name and where she was from, but have kept her identity confidential. She had traveled to the area from Virginia and is reportedly being reunited with family.
Popular VideoThis young teenage singer was shocked when Keith Urban invited her on stage at his concert. A few moments later, he made her wildest dreams come true:
Like the police, local residents and social media users worldwide are scratching their heads over the incident, many debating whether or not Joanna is really a mermaid.
"There are some strange things that happen up here," said neighbor Karon Renwick. "We're in the mountains."
"How do we know she isn't a mermaid???" chimed in a Daily Mail reader. "Until something is proved wrong or impossible, it is still a possibility."
Most were far more skeptical.
"Indeed, but we make informed decisions based on evidence and experience," one person said in response. "It is possible, as you say, that she is a mermaid - although I would put the odds of that at about the same as her being married to Spongebob Squarepants. Again, possible- but you wouldn't give it any credence."
A few responded to Joanna's claims with jokes.
"Definitely a mermaid," commented one person on the Daily Mail's website. "You can tell by the webbed toes. Might have been hit on the head by a Bigfoot, so that's why she can't remember anything. Bigfoot's are kinda mean."
Others expressed concern for the woman, insisting she must be mentally ill.
"People like you are the reason mental illness is still taboo," responded one individual to those making fun of Joanna. "Have a little respect."
"Hope someone comes forward!" said a second person. "She clearly needs someone to help and look after her."