Apparently, an Animal Planet program — ‘Mermaids: The Body Found’ — has confused a number of people and convinced them that mermaids once existed.
I haven’t seen the program from the Discovery Network branch, but apparently it got so much attention that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) felt compelled to put out a statement on the nonexistence of mermaids… or at least the nonexistence of evidence of mermaids.
“Mermaids — those half-human, half-fish sirens of the sea — are legendary sea creatures chronicled in maritime cultures since time immemorial. The ancient Greek epic poet Homer wrote of them in The Odyssey. In the ancient Far East, mermaids were the wives of powerful sea-dragons, and served as trusted messengers between their spouses and the emperors on land. The aboriginal people of Australia call mermaids yawkyawks – a name that may refer to their mesmerizing songs.
“The belief in mermaids may have arisen at the very dawn of our species. Magical female figures first appear in cave paintings in the late Paleolithic (Stone Age) period some 30,000 years ago, when modern humans gained dominion over the land and, presumably, began to sail the seas. Half-human creatures, called chimeras, also abound in mythology — in addition to mermaids, there were wise centaurs, wild satyrs, and frightful minotaurs, to name but a few.
“But are mermaids real? 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.”
Sorry to ‘burst your bubble’ if you were hoping there really had been evidence of mermaids living in earth… or in the oceans and seas.
The Bermuda Triangle and Atlantis are other such mythical sea legends NOAA has released such statements about.
They are all fascinating topics, but most likely topics created out of the active imagination of humans.