The mystery of the abandoned dock remains unsolved.
Mermaid Dock
Credit: Petty Officer 3rd Class Travis Magee/U.S. Coast Guard/Associated Press

Much like Ariel in the classic Disney film, The Little Mermaid, it appears a tiny castaway shed was longing for a little adventure beyond the sea. But unlike the movie's villain, Ursula The Sea Witch, who sought to claim the finned heroine's soul, no one seems to want to claim this beautifully adorned dock.

According to, the U.S. Coast Guard found the painted mermaid shed on Wednesday, August 2, floating in the Gulf of Mexico, about 180 miles south of Louisiana's only inhabited barrier island, Grand Isle. While the Coast Guard crew knows exactly where the empty vessel came from, they have yet to track down its rightful owner. Apparently, in the wake of Tropical Storm Emily, the dock tore loose from its moorings behind the Parrot Key Hotel Resort in Key West, Florida.

When contacted by a Times-Picayune reporter, a Parrot Key Hotel representative said the dock belonged to Sunset Water Sports, which is located on the hotel's property. But the hotel's reservation manager, Margie Luckey, denied ownership.

"We do not own that," she said. "Never have."

From what we can tell, the portion of the dock facing land depicts a painted mermaid, octopus, and a sea turtle. Just above the pastel blue and lilac door, is a sign that reads: "Club Shed." As far as plans to trace the registered owner, Petty Officer Brandon Giles told the Associated Press they're no longer searching for its possessor, and they have no plans of towing the shed to shore.

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So it looks like we may never learn the owner's identity, but what we do know based on the Ariel, Dudley, and Ursula references in the image, he or she was definitely a fan of the animated film and television series.