Aside from their frequent appearances on ancient frescoes, statuary and artwork, such fanciful creatures of mythology don't have a clear origin, although some have linked the mermaid to lonely sailors who glimpsed dugongs (also known as sea cows) in the distance and made a giant leap.
But a recent discovery in an Iranian salt mine, one scholar suggests, may shed light on the origins of a famous satyr of antiquity, one so well known that it merited a visit from the emperor himself. The satyr is a goat-man in Greek legend who dances and frolics, playing pipes and chasing nymphs all day, living in a woodsy version of the Playboy Mansion.
In June, a man's body, naturally mummified within an ancient salt mine, was found outside the Iranian city of Zanjan. Six such discoveries have been made since 1993, according to the Circle of Ancient Iranian Studies foundation based in London. Earlier salt man finds go back as far as 540 B.C., around the time of the ancient Achaemenid dynasty.
Eh. Seems like kind of a stretch to me.