Mermaids do not exist, according to the federal government???s scientific agency that oversees the seas.
???Mermaids ??? those half-human, half-fish sirens of the sea ??? are legendary sea creatures chronicled in maritime cultures since time immemorial,??? says the National Ocean Service, a division of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
???But are mermaids real? No evidence of aquatic humanoids has ever been found,??? the federal agency says on its website.
The statement by the federal government follows on the heels of a mock-u-mentary that aired on the Animal Planet channel, in which an actor portraying a NOAA scientist suggested that the government was conducting serious studies on the existence of merfolk.
What they didn???t point out well enough was the fact that the program was for entertainment value only, a source familiar with the hullabaloo told Human Events.
???Apparently, NOAA has been receiving calls from all sides on this, some who are irate that the federal government is spending money on this kind of research, and others who are irate that the federal government is conspiring to keep the truth a secret,??? the source said.
???Mermaids: The Body Found,??? aired on the Animal Planet in late May as part of ???Monster Week,??? and purported to challenge the ???mainstream belief??? that aquatic humanoids were merely fantastical creatures of mythology.
The program ???brings to life the possibility that mermaids may be as real as you and I,??? Animal Planet says in a promotional release on the ???scientific theory??? behind the show.
???The program examines a scientific theory ??? the aquatic ape theory ??? which supports the feasible existence of mermaids and that they???ve evolved from apes as we did,??? the promotion said.
???A unique melding of narrative, science and dissected human history, Mermaids: the Body Found forces us to open our minds to question the barriers of our beliefs and the possibilities of what may be,??? the promotion said.
These magical female figures were depicted on cave walls during the Stone Age some 30,000 years ago, and it is believed that the Greek poet Homer wrote about mermaids in The Odyssey sometime in the 10th Century.
???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 National Ocean Service said.
So why is that mermaids seem to occupy the collective unconscious of nearly all-seafaring peoples?
???That???s a question best left to historians, philosophers, and anthropologists,??? the government agency said.