How Fictional Is Animal Planet’s ‘Mermaids: The Body Found’?
Described as a fictional account based on a small number of facts, the show first aired in May 2012 as part of the network’s Monster Week series, but since it re-aired last night, it’s hit the Google trends big time.
In response to the media hype, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released a statement on July 3 to put the debate to rest and confirm that mermaids have never existed and do not exist:
No evidence of aquatic humanoids has ever been found. Why, then, do they occupy the collective unconscious of nearly all seafaring peoples? That’s a question best left to historians, philosophers, and anthropologists.
Discovery News also reported that the Animal Planet show is itself a work of fiction, but it is presented in a documentary style on a channel that often airs non-fiction content:
Though the filmmakers acknowledged that the film is science fiction, for many people it was indeed ‘wildly convincing.’ The show was an ‘X-Files’ type fanciful mix of state-of-the-art computer animation, historical fact, conspiracy theory and real and faked footage sprinkled with enough bits of scientific speculation and real science to make it seem plausible.
Here are some tweeps who are convinced otherwise:
A mermaid body was found today!
— Brandon Castle (@CaptainCastle_) July 16, 2012
A REAL MERMAID BODY WAS FOUND #whatdahaiiiiil
— Jessica Horan (@ItsJethhh) July 16, 2012
A mermaid body was found!? Whaaaat
— Tayler Marshall (@TaylerNMarshall) July 16, 2012
Everyone watch mermaid the body found on discovery tonight at 9. You will believe in mermaids!
— Noah Guzman (@noahguzman23) July 15, 2012
WTF they found a real life #Mermaid body??? i gotta watch that
— Tony I-Grind Harda (@JusThuwun) July 14, 2012
Check out a piece of the program below: