Mermaids: The Body Found - Just How Real is it?
By: Jodi Westrick
You first saw "Mermaids: The Body Found" during Animal Planet's monstrous Monster Week line-up, but the two hour documentary-style program recently re-aired on Discovery. Once again, the Animal Planet program, which uses scientific theory and real events to debate whether or not mermaids exist, caused a stir among viewers and the program was trending in the No. 1 spot on Google after airing. It seems the program had many convinced that mermaids could exist (much in the way another popular Animal Planet program, "Finding Bigfoot," explores the possibility that Sasquatch could be real).
After the show's original airing in May, executive producer Charlie Foley weighed in on the debate over whether or not mermaids really exist. He explained that the theories presented were rooted in science and based on other evolutionary theories (like polar bears evolving from brown bears). So how did they figure out what mermaids would look like?
[Watch: A Compilation of Mermaids: The Body Found Videos!]
"The mermaids you’ll see in the special were born from the scientific evidence that exists in other real evolutionary theories," Foley explained in his earlier blog post. "This informed us on the physical characteristics mermaids would share with humans and which attributes they would have acquired through evolution in order to live in our oceans.
"For example, mermaids most likely would not have hair, since that would cause much drag moving through the water. And, like other marine mammals such as dolphins and whales, the mermaids have a type of countershading - a dark blue shade on the top and a paler shade on the underside. This is a form of camouflage - when you look down at the creature from above, the dark blue skin tone blends against the dark blue of the water. Whereas if you are looking up at the creature from underneath, the paler shaded skin blends against the lighter surface."
[Photos: See Mermaids: The Body Found Photos!]
So, while the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) may have released a statement earlier in the summer declaring that no evidence of aquatic humanoids has ever been found, the possibility presented in "Mermaids: The Body Found" keeps the belief and lore of mermaids alive.
Now the real question is, what do you believe?
Jodi Westrick is an Associate Interactive Producer for AnimalPlanet.com.