Mermaids: Fantasy or Reality?


| 5 Comments
When I was a little girl, one of my favorite Disney movies was The Little Mermaid.  I loved the magical idea of a person being able to breathe and live underwater (not to mention breaking out in song!), especially because I would vacation at the beach every summer and spend my vacation days jumping around in the waves.  Of course, being a little girl, I automatically believed that Ariel and her "mer-world" were a real phenomenon.  Presently, I am not sure of where I stand exactly on the existence of mermaids.  For a while, I seriously pondered this statement and I am still on the fence about the idea of mer-people.  However, most of my research tells me that, unfortunately, Ariel and her talking sea friends are nothing but a very creative and elaborate idea.    

There are  videos that make the idea of mermaids seem ridiculous.  In addition, there are even more videos that try to stretch the idea to a joke by having "skeletons" of mermaids displayed when it can clearly be indicated that the "skeletons" are fake.  Also, who could forget the infamous Animal Planet video clip of the "real" mermaid on the rock in Israel ?  It is hard to believe that mermaids are a non fictitious phenomenon especially when all the videos online and television shows about mermaids do not give good enough evidence of the existence of mermaids.  In an article on slate.com , David Shiffman, a marine biologist, writes how the animal planet documentaries, The Body Found and The New Evidence, are hoaxes, "The 'scientists' interviewed in the show are actors and there is a brief disclaimer during the end credits" says Shiffman.  These documentaries fooled so many people that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released a statement addressing the matter that stated, "No evidence of aquatic humanoids has ever been found."  the believe that people's belief in mermaids has come from ancient myth.  

Do I believe in Mermaids? Currently, No.  There has been no evidence found that they do exist and all of the so called "evidence" that the public has been given on Animal Planet has been one big hoax.  However, If evidence is discovered one day, that will be one heck of a discovery!    
The picture included in this post came from this siteMermaid-mermaids-31406392-800-599.jpg

5 Comments

I was just flipping through the channels and saw that this mermaid special was on Animal Planet the other night... I couldn't BELIEVE that whole special was a hoax either. There's actually people out there thinking it's real when in actuality, everyone's a paid actor! Part of me wonders what my reaction would have been if my friends wouldn't have told me it was fake. Regardless, the evidence they showed was ridiculous - but hey - like you said, who knows what's really out there when most of the ocean is undiscovered!

I relate the mermaid phenomena to Big Foot and the Loch Ness Monster. There's hope inside some of us (me) that these creatures are all real. That they are lurking someone where in dark and we just haven't found them yet. I hope that one day we can fully discover if mermaids and other monsters are real. Who knows maybe this can be a topic of discussion in our class one day! I want these creatures to be real. How awesome would that be! However scientists around the world know that none of the supernatural creatures exist. Who knows, 90% of the ocean is still undiscovered... anything could be swimming out there! Here's an interesting read from Huffington Post about a woman who became a "professional mermaid" http://www.huffingtonpost.com/brenda-peterson/dolphins-sharks-and-mermaids_b_3691691.html

Kaitlin,
Thank you very much for that article! Reading the interview with the professional mermaid was interesting! However, I am afraid that Hannah Fraser acting as a mermaid is further adding to the mockery of the idea of the existence of mermaids and making the idea seem more ridiculous. One of the reasons I think this is because she claims that she "trained" herself to be a mermaid. However, we do not know how mermaids behave or if they behave because we do not know if they actually exist or not. How can she train to be something that is not for sure in existence? The only evidence that she has to base her training off of is fictional myth of how these women of the sea acted. Additionally, she cannot just make herself into a totally different creature all together when she was born a human. Also, I do not think that she needs to dress up as a mermaid to promote the ideas that she seems to be promoting in her interview. It seems as though her motivation is to promote the conservation of the ocean and its animals. I think her dressing up as a mermaid makes it even more difficult to take her seriously.

It's actually not as unusual as you might think for networks to put out fake documentaries about cryptids like mermaids. Just last month, Discovery Channel opened Shark Week by running a fake Megalodon documentary: http://gawker.com/shark-week-opens-with-fake-megalodon-documentary-1028053485 It's disingenuous, but it's what they do for the sake of entertainment. You have to be extremely careful with believing those kinds of programs, unfortunately--if they seem incredible, they probably are.
As for Fraser making a 'mockery' of mermaids, I don't think that's what she's doing at all. I think she's simply operating with the idea that true mermaids aren't real, and she's not actually trying to become one or anything, but she's co-opting the image in a way that she believes can help a positive cause. She's basing her act off of the myths because, based on current evidence, mermaids don't exist anywhere else. It'd be amazing if they did (and 95% of the ocean remains unexplored, so in theory we could find them), but criticizing her for using mythology as her reference would be like criticizing someone's portrayal of a Vulcan because they only used Star Trek as a reference. Of course Fraser could promote her cause in other ways, but I don't find her method ridiculous; if anything, I think it's kind of clever. Her act has appeal, and it certainly grabs attention.

I have been fascinated by the idea of mermaids my whole life and I really want to be able to fully believe that they are, or that for at least at one point in history they were, real. But, as you mentioned a lot of the "proof" of mermaid existence that is out there today seems to be far from believable. After reading what you said about how all the scientists of The Body Found documentary were all paid actors not only am I shocked but also I am disappointed. I remember watching that when it first came out and being absolutely fascinated and sadly believing some of what they said. Now I'm just embarrassed that I fell for it. As of right now, I don't think that mermaids actually exist, but I do think that there is a very strong possibility that they (or a very similar species) does/at some point did. There is so much of the ocean that has yet to be discovered that it seems somewhat illogical to say something straight doesn't exist when we don't even know half of what is below sea level.

Leave a comment

Subscribe to receive notifications of follow up comments via email.
We are processing your request. If you don't see any confirmation within 30 seconds, please reload your page.

Search This Blog

Full Text  Tag

Recent Entries

Silicon
Your high school chemistry teacher probably told you that the element silicon is used for making computer chips but have…
Sleeping is the Best Diet
Coming back to college can be tough on your weight with all the stress, drinking, and the fact that your…
Why do we Yawn?
Have you ever wondered why we yawn? I know I have. A yawn is defined as "to open the mouth…

Old Contributions