Just When We Thought It Was Safe to Go Back in the Water

Animal Planet did it again. They have “new evidence” that mermaids are real. Twitter was alive with #mermaids–instead of going to bed, I watched the tweets about the show roll in.

I have to believe that some of the people get that it’s a science fiction show, and they are tweeting tongue-in-cheek comments about believing the evidence. Most of them have that sarcastic vibe and that the show was full of malarkey.

But some seem earnest about how they are never going to doubt again. Or that they are now afraid to swim in the ocean (because sharks aren’t a bigger threat?). Or that the show has made them believers. Or that the mermaids are sooo fake (they kinda are, since CGI isn’t real).

Some are just having fun with the hashtag, so the entire feed is entertaining.

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Just two of the thousands of tweets…

May the viewers be smart enough to leave NOAA out of it this time. See my previous posts about it HERE and HERE. (I don’t have an obsession. Really, I don’t. *cough*)

By the way, the people on the show are actors, even the scientists. For realz. Here’s a post about the first show from the Animal Planet blog.

I’d like to know that mermaids are real, too, but I don’t want someone telling me that that’s the way they look and act.

My mermaids would be way cooler, because they don’t do windows, not even portholes on sunken ships.

Maybe they would be mammals (half dolphin) like the first (and most dreadful) novel I ever wrote. The dolphin-ish merpeople were my creepy antagonists (I really do have a dark side). Seriously, have you ever seen real dolphin behavior? They may be nice to humans, but they aren’t that nice to each other.

I digress…   Mermaids…

Mermaids are in the collective consciousness of mankind because people have imaginations. People want to believe that they are real. Who doesn’t?

Many cultures have mermaids in their mythologies, but that doesn’t mean they have to be real in the way that Animal Planet made up. We haven’t discovered every species in the oceans (or on land for that matter), that doesn’t mean we’re going to discover mermaids for real. Like fairies and Santa, they are too smart to get caught and end up as a science experiment.

Except this one:

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Madison in the movie Splash got caught…

Face it, we’ll never discover everything. I’m pretty sure our universe is filled with an infinite number of creatures. It’s hard to count to infinity. (Have you ever tried?)

The Animal Planet show does have a tiny disclaimer that it’s science fiction “based on scientific theory”–which is totally and completely redundant in repeating itself. *cough* Science fiction is based on scientific theory. That’s why it’s science fiction.

I suppose that didn’t want people to think they were making a fantasy episode, which is where mermaids usually are categorized.

The Mother Nature Network has an interview with the Animal Planet people. Go read it for all the reasons why they decided to make it look like a documentary. Yes, they wanted it to look real, even though it’s not.

There are plenty of other mythological, Cryptozoic creatures that are in multiple cultures. Several have proven to be hoaxes. Bigfoot has many hoax stories, but there’s no proof that it doesn’t exist right? What about the Loch Ness monster? There could be one in the Great Lakes, too.

And for the people who tweeted that unicorns are as real as mermaids: Unicorns are real! North Korea has them.


What do you think? Are you worried about swimming in the ocean now?

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