There is no evidence that mermaids exist, a US government scientific agency has said.
The National Ocean Service – a division of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Agency (NOAA) – made the unusual claim in response to public inquiries following a TV show on the creatures. It is thought some viewers may have mistaken the programme for a documentary.
“No evidence of aquatic humanoids has ever been found,” the service wrote in an online post.
Images and tales of mermaids – half-human, half-fish – appear in mythology and art from across the world and through history, from Homer’s Odyssey to the oral lore of the Australian aboriginals, the service wrote, adding that he article was written from publicly available sources because “we don’t have a mermaid science programme”.
Apparently at least two people had written to the agency asking about the creatures following the broadcast of Mermaids: The Body Found, on the Discovery Channel’s Animal Planet network in May. The programme was a work of fiction but its wink-and-nod format might have led some viewers to believe it was a science education show, the Discovery Channel has acknowledged.
Of course, lack of evidence that they exist is not the same as proof that they dont exist…