Mermaid Body Found: Documentary Back In The News

    October 1, 2012
    Amanda Crum

Mermaids have always fascinated us; the folklore and imagery we find in beloved films make it easy to believe that lovely women with long, shimmering tails live beneath the waves of the ocean, ready to help the next person they see in danger.

The Discovery Channel was banking on that belief over the summer, when they first aired the faux documentary “Mermaids: The Body Found”, which proposes that humans went through an aquatic stage during evolution. According to Animal Planet’s blog:

While coastal flooding millions of years ago turned some of our ancestors inland, is it possible that one group of our ancestors didn’t retreat from water but rather went in deeper? Could they have ventured farther into sea out of necessity and to find food? The Aquatic Ape Theory makes it possible to believe that while we evolved into terrestrial humans, our aquatic relatives turned into something strangely similar to the fabled mermaid.

MERMAIDS: THE BODY FOUND makes a strong case for the existence of the mermaid, a creature with a surprisingly human evolutionary history, whose ancestral branch splits off from a shared human root. The film is science fiction, using science as a springboard into imagination and centering the story on the following real-world events:

In the early 1990s, the US Navy began a series of covert sonar tests, which were linked to mass die-offs of whales, which washed up on beaches throughout the world. For years, the Navy denied they were responsible for these beachings.

In 1997, scientists at the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) recorded a mysterious sound (called “The Bloop”) in the deep Pacific, which was thought to be organic in nature. It has never been identified.

After a recent re-airing, fans and detractors are taking to the web to discuss the show and debate whether or not it’s a real doc or just something Discovery cooked up for ratings. And while it’s true that no one really knows for sure what may lie at the depths of some of our oceans, it seems Animal Planet is simply saying “anything is possible”. The film is meant to be sci-fi–that’s fiction–based on two mysterious pieces of information which can’t be proved or disproved.