Government denies mermaids exist

8th Jul 2012
Written by: Andrew Tipp

Government denies mermaids exist

National Ocean Service ‘doesn’t have mermaid science programme’

The US government scientific agency has taken the unusual step of publically denying the existence of mermaids, following the broadcast of a programme on the Discovery Channel’s Animal Planet network.

Mermaids: The Body Found was screened in May, and presented a realistic but tongue-in-cheek portrayal of the scientific search for mermaids.

It is believed that some viewers may have mistaken the show for a genuine documentary on the existence of mermaids. Since the show aired the National Ocean Service has received enquiries from the public asking about their scientific research into the study of the mythical sea creatures.

The US agency has now published a blog article on their site confirming that no evidence has ever been found to suggest the existence of mermaids.

The article states:  “Are mermaids real? No evidence of aquatic humanoids has ever been found.”

It then goes on to ask: “Why, then, do they occupy the collective unconscious of nearly all seafaring peoples? That’s a question best left to historians, philosophers, and anthropologists.”

Mermaids are legendary sea creatures that have been mythologised for centuries. They first appeared in cave paintings 30,000 years ago and have since featured in anything from Homer’s Odyssey to the seminal 1988 Tom Hanks film Splash.

In East Asia, mermaids were the wives of sea dragons. In Australia, Aboriginal people call mermaids ‘yawyawks’ – a name thought to refer to their entrancing songs.

Check out the trailer for Discovery Channel’s Mermaids: The Body Found below.

How realistic does the trailer look to you? What other ‘mythical creatures’ will the US government deny? What legendary humanoids would you like to see on your gap year?


Journalism Internships in Shanghai

from £2470

28 - 180 days


Get ahead in the competitive world of journalism and media by pursuing an internship in one of China’s most important...

Belize Manatee Conservation

from £795

7 days


Belize is at the centre of a biodiversity hotspot with pristine subtropical forests, exotic wildlife, ancient Mayan ruins and the...

African Wildlife Photography and Conservation Project

from £2090

28 - 56 days

South Africa

This Wildlife Photography and Conservation project is based in the world renowned Greater Kruger Area - famous for the Big...

Elephant Protection Volunteering

from £269

7 - 56 days


Take part in this amazing opportunity that seeks to promote sustainable elephant-based tourism, benefiting the local community and the elephants,...

Amazing Turkey By Gulet

from £450

10 days


This awesome tour starts off exploring Istanbul the former capital of Turkey before heading off to Gallipoli to pay respect...

Egypt & Jordan Discovered By Land

from £533

15 days

Egypt, Jordan

Journey through Egypt and Jordan, visit some of the most astounding sites from the old world. Discover two of the...

Ultimate Eastern Adventure

from £939

15 - 15 days

Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania, Serbia

In Bond movies, Eastern Europeans are always the bad guys. But casting directors need to grow up and get real...

Volunteer with Monkeys in Ecuador

from £809

14 - 84 days


Help out at a primate rescue centre located on the edge of the Amazon rainforest!

Pure Pacific

from £1295

From 30 days

Cook Islands, New Zealand, United States of Americ...

The quickest and best way to get to New Zealand just happens to be via the Cook Islands. Why not...

NGO Building Work in Ghana

from £795

7 - 84 days


Work alongside the local team of builders and carpenters to build schools, health clinics, community buildings and vital hand washing...


Eastern Turkey Adventure

Spectacular mosques, rustic Armenian churches and towering stone castles reward those willing to get off the beaten path. From ancient...

Costa Rica on a Shoestring

from £407

Hit two of Costa Rica's famed features – volcanoes and beaches – on this exciting trip that isn't too hard...

Mongolia’s Naadam Festival

from £2375

The ancient Greeks may have the Olympics but the Mongols have Naadam. Mongolia’s annual circus-like Naadam Festival is a centuries-old...

Cape Town, Kruger & Namibia

from £3949

Gazing out over Cape Town from Table Mountain, the panorama alone is worth the trip to southern Africa. Then again,...

Australia North to South – Darwin to Melbourne

from £1319

You’ve got just over two weeks in Australia, so what are you going to see? Everything! Travelling south from Darwin,...

Explore Vietnam

from £480

Get a taste of adventure in Vietnam. Travel from French-influenced Hanoi to heaving Ho Chi Minh City on a journey...

Big Apple to Big Easy

from £611

Cut through the heart of the gigantic United States and hit the open road between two of its most iconic...

Asia Family Holiday

from £2825

Visit Thailand, Laos and Vietnam on this epic family adventure. Travel by overnight train to Chiang Mai and by boat...

Natural Highlights of California

from £1679

Set out on a nine-day quest through some of California’s greatest national parks. From the arid, sun-scorched landscapes of Death...

Wild Sarawak

from £1113

Wild, tropical and remote, think of Borneo as South-East Asia's answer to the Amazon. See orangutans swinging through the rainforest...

[contact-form-7 id="4" title="Contact form 1"]