The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has released an official statement that answers the question -- are mermaids real?
No evidence of aquatic humanoids has ever been found, the administration said.
The statement was an apparent response to the recent speculation that has been raised about whether the half-human, half-fish creatures really exist.
Blame the Animal Planet special "Mermaids: The Body Found," the NOAA added in an effort to explain why the government agency decided to take a stance against the fabled aquatic creature.
The show was aired in May 2012 as part of the network's Monster Week series and was labeled as a fictional account based on a small number of facts.
Continue Reading Below
And while the the folks at Animal Planet may have stretched the truth, Mermaids: The Body Found uses actual CGI images to give its viewers a preview of what a mermaid might look like, if in fact it did exist.
Created and written by Charlie Foley, the film goes on to follow two scientists who share details of a supposed secret government investigation that claims to have proof of mermaid existence.
The scientists use clues such as a picture of a mermaid taken by two boys with a camera phone in Washington State, as well as remains found inside a shark in South Africa, in order to reconstruct a mermaid. The end result is not quite as attractive as the mythical creatures depicted in Disney movies and cartoons.
Mermaids tries to give their claim some credibility by mentioning something known as The Aquatic Ape Theory, which suggests that human evolution was influenced by a shore-dwelling phase.
Referencing the theory, the Animal Planet show proposes that a specific branch of our human ancestors at one point actually began living in the open sea.
Also citing different cultural references over the years, the film's narrator asserts, The seafaring Greeks described them . . . as did the Vikings, as did the Chinese during their greatest period of maritime exploration. They are recorded in medieval manuscripts, and even into the 19th century.
While the NOAA's recent statement debunks most, if not all, of the theory's on the Animal Planet show, the most substantial evidence used in the documentary is said to be the photo taken from the Washington State boys, which contains images never before seen of a supposed mermaid washed up on a beach.
The creature was reportedly alive, but was not immediately thought to be a mermaid, as it lacked long beautiful hair, flawless skin and a sparkly lower torso.