Mermaids: half human, half fish and nothing less than fascinating. The Internet began to get flooded with questions about whether the mythical creatures were real after Animal Planet aired on Sunday “Mermaids: The New Evidence,” a sequel to its hit mockumentary “Mermaids: The Body Found.”
Are mermaids real? There’s no proof they are, of course, but there’s plenty of speculation. Animal Planet kicked off its Monsters Week with a 2.0 episode of the hit mockumentary. Mother Nature Network sat down with “Mermaids” creator, writer and executive producer Charlie Foley to find out whether mermaids could be real and what they might look like.
Foley began by explaining why mermaids enrapture many humans: “I suppose the human psyche is fascinated by mermaids because they’re an idealized version of ourselves. The idea of a humanoid creature that lives in the ocean and can breathe underwater. Mermaids belong to a world we know and a world from which we come, but which is now alien to us: That’s the world of the oceans, and so we identify with them even as they occupy a place of mystery for us.”
Foley said he believes humans are also enchanted with mermaids because they represent the evolutionary past -- where humans might have came from originally. “They are a reflection not only of our psyche but our evolutionary selves,” he told the site, “a direction we might have gone, and a direction, if you believe the legends and our conjecture in the film, that one branch of our family tree may very well have gone.”
The mythical creatures have been depicted in art and mythology for thousands of years, and Foley said he believes that is the case because they were actually seen by our ancestors. “The most frequent explanation is that of sun-strained sailors at sea too long who mistook manatees and dugongs for mermaids. But I think you’d have had to have had a lot of grog before you could mistake a manatee for a mermaid.”
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The National Oceanic And Atmospheric Administration issued an official statement after “Mermaids: The Body Found” premiered, saying: “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.”
During “Mermaids: The New Evidence," footage that supposedly showed a mermaid leaping off a rock and into the water was revealed. Take a look at the supposed new piece of evidence below: