Sorry, Ariel, looks like you’ll never be part of our world.
The U.S. National Ocean Service (NOS) made the firm announcement that mermaids do not exist. This announcement came in response to public inquiries into the NOS’ mermaid science program after a show about mythical creatures on the channel Animal Planet.
“No evidence of aquatic humanoids has ever been found,” the NOS’s press release read, dispelling any rumors that “those half-human, half-fish sirens of the sea” are anything more than legend and the stuff of Disney movies.
Mermaids: the Body Found was part of Animal Planet’s monster week and is described on the website as “science fiction based on some real events and scientific theory.”
Apparently, the underwater world depicted in the show seemed so real that many watching it thought it was a documentary. This may have been because of the two scientists in the program who testified that “they found the remains of a never-before-identified sea creature.” It also could have been because the Aquatic Ape theory—which states that humans had a mermaid-like ancestor during our evolutionary process—was also discussed prominently during the show.
The film points to humans’ loss of body hair and slightly webbed fingers as evidence of a long lost aquatic equivalent.
The NOS ended its somewhat whimsical press release with the assertion that scientists should not be the ones to look towards a mermaid’s origin. “Why, then, do [mermaids] occupy the collective unconscious of nearly all seafaring peoples?” the National Ocean Service asked its readers. “That’s a question best left to historians, philosophers, and anthropologists.”
And, of course, women of all ages who still sing the “sha-la-la-la”’s in “Kiss the Girl“.