NOAA Releases Report: Mermaids Do Not Exist - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

NOAA Releases Report: Mermaids Do Not Exist

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In Disney's "The Little Mermaid," Ariel asserts her desire to be "part of your world." Not so fast, says the NOAA. (Image courtesy Disney's "The Little Mermaid.") In Disney's "The Little Mermaid," Ariel asserts her desire to be "part of your world." Not so fast, says the NOAA. (Image courtesy Disney's "The Little Mermaid.")
"The Jewel of Norfolk," a fanciful mermaid sculpture located in Norfolk, Virginia. (Image courtesy NOAA) "The Jewel of Norfolk," a fanciful mermaid sculpture located in Norfolk, Virginia. (Image courtesy NOAA)
Manatees have been mistaken for mermaids, perhaps most famously by Christopher Columbus who felt they were not so easy on the eyes. (AP Photo) Manatees have been mistaken for mermaids, perhaps most famously by Christopher Columbus who felt they were not so easy on the eyes. (AP Photo)

SILVER SPRING, Md. (CBS News/NewsChannel5) – The National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration has issued an unusual report saying that mermaids do not exist.

In the statement, NOAA officials said "No evidence of aquatic humanoids has ever been found."

Read the full report: Are mermaids real?

The release was issued in response to the television show "Mermaids: The Body Found" on Animal Planet. The show itself is a work of fiction, but confused viewers have apparently been asking the NOAA to put the matter to rest.

The confusion may have come about by Discovery News called the show a "documentary-style" show. Discovery News and the Animal Planet are both subsidiaries of the Discovery Channel corporation.

They write: "Though the filmmakers acknowledged that the film is science fiction, for many people it was indeed 'wildly convincing.' The show was an 'X-Files' type fanciful mix of state-of-the-art computer animation, historical fact, conspiracy theory and real and faked footage sprinkled with enough bits of scientific speculation and real science to make it seem plausible."

These scientific sprinkles were not enough for the NOAA, and the official word is that no mermaids exist or ever existed. Though the statement from the organization does indulge in a small trip through the mythology:

The belief in mermaids may have arisen at the very dawn of our species. Magical female figures first appear in cave paintings in the late Paleolithic (Stone Age) period some 30,000 years ago, when modern humans gained dominion over the land and, presumably, began to sail the seas.

Half-human creatures, called chimeras, also abound in mythology. In addition to mermaids, there were wise centaurs, wild satyrs, and frightful minotaurs, to name but a few.

Some people have speculated that sea-voyagers may have mistaken manatees for "aquatic humanoids."

Historians believe Christopher Columbus mistook three manatees for mermaids in 1493 near the Dominican Republic, describing them as "not half as beautiful as they are painted."

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