Making A Splash!

The world’s first museum dedicated to mermaids opens in downtown Berlin

Story by Alison Pappas  |  Photography by Grant L. Gursky

When Delmarva native and accomplished photographer Alyssa Maloof originally purchased a second-floor space in a historic building overlooking charming downtown Berlin, she envisioned that it would serve as a photography studio. Realizing the empty space had the potential to appeal to a large audience, the idea suddenly came to her to instead transform it into a museum devoted to showcasing the legend of the mermaid. 

You might ask: “Why mermaids?” Because, said Alyssa, “Everyone loves mermaids!”

Officially open as of March 2021, the Berlin Mermaid Museum has certainly made a splash as the world’s first museum dedicated solely to mermaids. Its intriguing interior features high ceilings and embodies an eye-catching Victorianesque design.

The downtime resulting from the COVID-19 quarantine period presented Alyssa with an opportunity to really “dive” into researching the mythical creature’s culture and long history prior to opening the museum. She curated the myriad of artifacts and artistic elements completely online. 

As you walk through the museum, there are opportunities to “hear, see and touch” these mystical creatures. The multidimensional exhibits now on display include a wide array of mermaid depictions, from classical representations to more ancient portrayals. Some of the main focal points are a sizeable metal sculpture and walls coated with plaques that recount mermaid sightings throughout history. 

“There’s something here for guests of all ages to enjoy, from flat informational sheets about mermaids’ extensive history to dress boxes with mermaid-themed photo props for the kids,” shared Alyssa.

In addition to a guest book available for all visitors to share their mermaid admiration, there is also a gift shop where guests can purchase unique mermaid-themed items, such as jewelry, stuffed toys and memorabilia.

Currently, the museum is open to visitors Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.