Mermaids are nothing but a figment of landlubbers' imagination. In an unusual move, the U.S. government decided to confirm these mythical sea creatures are exactly that — mythical.
"No evidence of aquatic humanoids has ever been found," the National Ocean Services, which is part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, posted on their website June 27. "Why, then, do they occupy the collective unconscious of nearly all seafaring peoples? That's a question best left to historians, philosophers, and anthropologists."
The timing of the official statement came in response to the late-May airing of Mermaids: The Body Found, a two-hour science fiction special on The Discovery Channel's Animal Planet. On its website, the show promised to "brings viewers into the world where the legend is real" by blending "real-life events and phenomena with the story of two scientists who testify they found the remains of a never-before-identified sea creature."
The documentary-style format seemed all too real for many viewers. The federal agency says it received some confused calls, prompting them debunk the claims.
Keeley Belva, spokesperson for NOAA's National Ocean Service, called the statement a "a fun way to talk about it and to have information up about mermaids in different cultures and to draw people into our website and learn more about what NOAA and the National Ocean Service does."