Mermaids: Comments

Posted by: Nick Redfern on June 1st, 2012

I’ve had emails from far more than a few people over the last few days, specifically commenting on (or asking questions about) the Animal Planet’s Mermaids show of last Sunday night.

There seems to be somewhat of a trend to those emails.

Some thought Mermaids was entertaining and thought-provoking in a “what if it was really possible?” sense, but not to be taken seriously. Others were angry and felt they had been deceived by something that appeared to be what it was not. A couple asked me how the investigation of the events in the show could be taken further – a clear indication that they accepted the “mockumentary” as utterly valid. And one found the whole thing baffling, in terms of its nature and intent.

And I’m sure you have your views too!

In the meantime, here’s a lengthy commentary on the show that should be read by one and all.

Nick Redfern About Nick Redfern
Punk music fan, Tennents Super and Carlsberg Special Brew beer fan, horror film fan, chocolate fan, like to wear black clothes, like to stay up late. Work as a writer.

19 Responses to “Mermaids: Comments”

  1. Brothermidnight responds:

    I really enjoyed the show.I feel that they put more effort into making it believable then a lot of the big time Hollywood movies do. If nothing else it shows what the events of discovery for other cryptids might resemble. I can completely believe that the military would try to hide something of this nature from the public for their own benefit

  2. cryptocajun responds:

    I found it fairly interesting, but it was kind of out there. But, I enjoyed the Dragon mockumentary from a year or two ago much more.

  3. Bobby Schaefer via Facebook responds:

    I thought it was a good show, glad I dvr’d it though because I got to fast forward through the ignorant cartoons on the “aquatic ape theory”. The video of the kids was extremely fake. The most interesting thing I found was the spears found in fish and sharks, never heard of that before.

  4. Aquahead Dan responds:

    So I watched it on Sunday night when it premiered. Prior to watching, I read about the Bloop recording, but I never heard it personally. The whole bit on the Navy and the Bloop was very interesting as well as the Aquatic Ape Theory. The whole show made Mermaids actually seem plausible.

    All of the videos of the alleged ‘mermaids’ they showed look extremely fake. The only exception would be the video they showed with the two boys on the beach poking the body. That seemed almost real until the end when they showed the ‘creature’ coming alive and screaming. It looked so fake, I was actually offended.

    Nevertheless, I was still entertained by the show.

  5. Dr Kaco responds:

    When is “LOST TAPES” coming back? Way faker and way more entertaining. 😉

  6. Dawn Delle via Facebook responds:

    A two hour “Lost Tapes” episode.

  7. springheeledjack responds:

    Ok, the show ticked me off to no end.

    I knew in advance that it was a mockumentary because I did plenty of digging before it ever came on. HOWEVER, the show did not say boo about being a mockumentary until the credits rolled at the end. THE only things that were true was the fact that there is the “Bloop” recording and the fact that the Navy had some serious problems when they tested their sonar and it caused a lot of casualties–both of which I was well aware of.

    The rest of it was made up…which would have been fine if they’d billed it that way, but the show went a long way into hiding that fact (though the supposed kid cell phone video was pretty easy to pick out as CGI, especially since it looked exactly like the animation mermaid junk spattered througout the show).

    I would have been perfectly fine with it IF they had thrown it out there as another Lost Tapes type of show, but the fact is they didn’t do that (And I love Lost Tapes). It felt more like they were trying to sell this idea without ever coming clean about how 95% of it was made up for TV. It sets a bad precedent in my book and just another nail in the coffin for Animal Planet with me.

  8. CelticBull responds:

    For all readers outside the US: The complete video is up on youtube. Full1,5h clip. Watch it as long as it lasts.

  9. sasquatch responds:

    Stupidest thing I ever saw. But I did get a good laugh out of the part where they said apes jumped into the sea and lost their legs and grew flippers etc…Pretty contradictory when earlier they said that apes can’t even swim like people…Which is it? I mean if our supposed ancestors where more like apes, then they’d have heavier muscles and less fat; so wouldn’t be able to do much more than drown. Oh, yeah, they set that up by saying that killer whales use to be wolf-like creatures. Ridiculous. Let’s all let Rover swim around in ponds and see how soon he starts losing legs and fur and have fins pop out. I just don’t buy it. But they use that stuff as a way to give the idea of mermaids more “scientific” credibility? Makes me just laugh harder.
    The acting was very remind-ful of that Loch Ness movie- they used the same halting speech technique to make it sound like real interviews.
    Clever but-it’s been done and is now easier to pick up on as well.

  10. bigbluepoet responds:

    As I understood, most of it, except the recordings of the sounds, was recreated for the show. The scientists are real people who believe in what they were doing, but had the homeland security step in and take over everything. It leads to at least two conclusions: The sonar weapon is real and they are trying to hide all the kills it created or the creatures are real and they want, like aliens, to keep it all under wraps. It is not for nothing that all the web sites have been taken out of circulation by home land security. Something smells rotten in the whole affair. But, taken as entertainment as described by Animal Planet, it was fun and interesting to watch and the CG was well done. I guess, one has to decide for themselves just what really happened and what is completely faked with the evidence available.

  11. Nny responds:

    Hey all. I’ve been quiet and lurking for the last few months. Seeing this special and reading a lot of the comments has made me wish to break my silence.

    I watched the Mermaid special the other day. It was amazing. Highly entertaining. Never gave mermaids a second thought, and that special kinda fascinated me the same way bigfoot does.

    I never thought the show was real. I never thought they were trying to hoax. They were trying to entertain, make the viewer believe, bring a little myth and fantasy into reality.

    It made me want to check out that Dragon mockumentary people have brought up.

    To the people who proclaim this entertainment mockumentary as fake, a hoax, and stupid… I’ve a couple things to say: If you feel the need to clear the air about it being fake, that makes me think part of you was tricked by it. You were fooled somewhere, sometime by something that you later realized was fake. That’s okay. The other thing it makes me think– you probably like Finding Bigfoot. Because that’s ‘real,’ unlike the mermaid moc.

  12. flame821 responds:

    I found the show entertaining and enjoyed it, but then I knew it was a mockumentary. It also played on a lot of conspiracy theory touchstones. The term ‘Big Brother’ was used a LOT. The shadowy Navy officer, the police raiding the museum and taking all the evidence, etc. (Truthfully, in this day and age WHO wouldn’t at least keep digital back ups of such ground breaking evidence? Thumb drives, online vaults with false names; I’ve worked with some near-on-insane geniuses who kept their own personal notes with dated documentation in case someone ‘stole’ their research and got published first) The ‘Trust No One’ story twists could have come straight from an episode of the X-files. I also thought they were very inventive regarding the spears being made from stingrays and the artwork on the handles.

    Still, I did enjoy the aquatic ape theory as it does use some good scientific ideas. The special effects could have used some help, but it’s a made for TV special so we can’t expect too much. I think what I enjoyed the most was the ideas that it brought up. Things like ‘what extreme would governments go to in order to protect their interests’ or ‘can modern humans be trusted to not kill out of fear or pleasure’ and ‘is avoidance the only reason they still survive’. I also liked the part about polar bears and how they are evolving into aquatic mammals, just as whales, seals and dolphins have.

  13. DJdip responds:

    I watched Mermaids: The Body Found documentary film here, though its based on fiction but explained with the actual theory of evolution. worth watching.

  14. thylo responds:


    “sasquatch responds:

    … Oh, yeah, they set that up by saying that killer whales use to be wolf-like creatures. Ridiculous. Let’s all let Rover swim around in ponds and see how soon he starts losing legs and fur and have fins pop out. I just don’t buy it.”

    ummm…. hmmmm…. not sure what to make of this statement of yours amigo.

    in the off chance that you are being ironic, my apologies…. but i see so much poor understanding of evolution that i have to say something here.
    first of all though, i am responding to that portion of your post that i have quoted above, and am not arguing for mermaids (nonsense). AAT is something else and i wish that these buffoons had not involved it in a discussion of mermaids… sigh.

    so… whether you accept evolution or not, the concept is not, NOT, that you can put a dog in water and force it to adapt. it is not even that within the life of an organism it will adapt to a new environmental pressure and magically store thatas genetic data for transmission to subsequent generations. no….

    evolution simply put is that the variation found in offspring of a species may or may not equip it to better deal with a new environment than previous generations. over a vast amount of time, these small inborn mutations may survive and thrive through natural selection.
    this is not a process that happens within one lifetime, and the changes are hardwired at conception- they do not happen after birth, development notwithstanding (cf. larva, pupa, neoteny etc.), in repsonse to a pressure.
    behavioural adaptation is not intrinsically genetic and not part of evolution. big * on this because of course there are tangents to this such as genetic predisposition to adapt behaviourally, and many other permutations on the theme that could be considered.

    but no, rover in the pool learning to swim will never develop fins. he was born with the morphology he will die with.

    however, if there was a life-strategy advantage to living in the pool and adapting to it, then future generations of rover’s descendants may exhibit physiological and morphological tendencies that that lifestyle favoured. and this would occur over a vast amount of time and the changes would typically be miniscule at any given point. perhaps a blood chemistry more favourable to a highly chlorinated environment and so on.

    and your statement indicates your belief that rover would, by evolutionary theory, become your orca?

    nah… although it is often noted that the ancestors of all cetaceans (not just orcas) were “wolf-like”, they were not wolves or even members of order Carnivora at all. they were hoofed carnivores most closely related to elephants, tapirs and pigs that lived near the seas and some of whom developed greater and greater affinities for aquatic life. they were known as mesonychids.

    and if you want to see a good approximation of the transition from terrestrial carnivory to fully aquatic carnivory there are many good examples of varying degrees to be seen in the present day: minks, otters, pinnipeds (eared seals), and phocids (earless seals) to name a few in order of dependence on the land. given a good stretch of time you may see all these forms develop even more for a fully aquatic life, check back in in two million years!

    i won’t argue with your right to believe in creationism or what have you, but at least be aware of what evolution actually theorizes if you are going to address it. otherwise you are misrepresenting it and, like crappy animal planet shows, there is too much of that out there.

    rover in the pool is just a stinky dog.


  15. Nny responds:


    I guess I’d just like to use this post here and say that I really appreciate your input on this. And I would also like to say that I agree with or at least enjoy about 90% of your postings on here. I think your one of the regulars. And I like what you say a lot.


    In the case that sasquatch wasn’t being completely ironic… I do believe I appreciate your post most of all. For the sake of anyone who reads and lurks or whatever, your post has to be a benefit to someone…. uninformed.

  16. sasquatch responds:

    “Given vast amounts of time”, “given vast amounts of time”, “given vast amounts of time”….Give it up it didn’t happen.
    Why is it so hard to believe that Ford built a T an A, a Mustang, a T-Bird or a Belaire. Some similarities, but separately created and designed by smart folks….I don’t think given vast amounts of time a Belaire is going to become a submarine.
    Like I said you should give it up, as all evolutionists should.
    It doesn’t hold water…get it?

  17. flame821 responds:

    @ Nny
    🙂 Thank you.

    @ Sasquatch

    Your lack of understanding regarding evolution doesn’t mean everyone else is wrong, it means you haven’t bothered taking the time to learn.

    More to the point, Science has proof positive through fossils, DNA, anthropology and physiology that evolution has occurred and is happening even as we speak. What does Creationism or ID have? Nothing but failed lawsuits and a highly politicized, badly edited version of Bronze Age myths to back its hypotheses up. No ability to predict outcomes, no way to prove everything ‘magically’ appeared on the face of the Earth. All you have is wishful thinking and the ability to plug your ears and scream until you drown out the voices of others. And I know for a fact that religion and evolution are NOT mutually exclusive as I know plenty of religious folks who understand and accept evolution, including a priest, several Rabbis and a few Pastors.

    If you choose to follow the teachings of a religion, even to the exclusion of reality, that’s fine, no one is trying to stop you, no one wants to stop you. Drink all the kool-aid you like, put on funny hats and declare yourself king. However your rights to do this end at the point that you harm others. I try taking a live and let live approach to most things, but you spewing ignorance on an easily researched topic is quite simply beyond the pale. If we followed your line of thought people would still be dying of easily cured infections, childhood diseases and childbirth. (bacteria theory, drug resistance, antibiotics, vaccines)

  18. sasquatch responds:

    Flame, cool-aid is yummy, I’d advise against the poison the public schools dish out however…I had my fill of it and barely survived…thankfully I woke up and actually started reading and looking into the arguments from the other side…And guess what?! They usually make a lot more sense.

    I’m not screaming with my hands over my ears either; why would I be dialoguing with you?

    Yes, there are lot’s of “Religious folks” that accept evolution…but they’re just as wrong as you are. And should know better.

    I do not “misunderstand” evolution at all-I understand it very well. It’s hokum. It has been redefined many times so that the average Joe doesn’t REALLY know what could be implied by the word “Evolution”. For example; I DO accept: survival of the fittest, and (limited -genetic barriers are real-true science-wink, wink) change within’ kinds, (Scientifically true) some mutation-(BUT IT’S ALMOST ALWAYS DETRIMENTAL TO A SPECIES ON A WHOLE)…but I DON’T accept the slime to you and me “evolution”; that is a fairy tale beyond description.

    Look, We’ve got the SAME evidence, it’s just how you interpret it.

    Anyway, since this IS a cryptozoology site where many believe dinosaurs could still be living somewhere on the planet… Check this out.

  19. flame821 responds:

    @ Sasquatch

    Sorry it took so long for me to get back to you, for some reason your reply didn’t show up in the RSS feed.

    I looked at the “Real Science Friday” site, run by Kgov, I’m sorry you believe that stuff. I’m sorry the public school system failed you so badly. I’ve read over the first several articles posted and clicked on the referencing works, in many cases the kdog site completely misrepresents what the studies found. The Caveman one stands out boldly, as does the ‘human gestation was lengthened from 6 months to 9 months as Eve’s punishment”.

    I do not “misunderstand” evolution at all-I understand it very well. It’s hokum. It has been redefined many times so that the average Joe doesn’t REALLY know what could be implied by the word “Evolution”.

    So the fact that science has no trouble correcting or clarifying its results based on new evidence is a ‘bad’ thing? Really? Science is not a dogma, it is not a belief system, it doesn’t claim a higher authority, it has to sink or swim on its own merits. If you put forth a hypothesis you had better be able to back it up, because half of the community is going to poke it with sharp sticks. As it should be. If a hypothesis cannot stand up to questions or evidence it doesn’t belong in science and will never become theory or law.

    Mutations are not always detrimental. This is the biggest fallacy concerning evolution. The fact is most mutations are neutral, some beneficial and the ones that are harmful tend not to survive long enough to breed so they cancel themselves out. Hair, skin and eye color are examples of neutral mutations; the skin lightening served a purpose in Northern living humans, the hair and eyes were probably novel mutations that piggybacked with other changes. I personally have several mutations regarding my bones, but I’ve lived long enough to breed successfully and at least one of my offspring has the same mutations, more than likely one of my parents has the same mutations.

    What about the Earth only being a few thousand years old? I see that is the reason they think soft tissue was found in the triceratops horn. Finding soft tissue in fossils is not as rare as you would think, although it usually takes a demineralizing bath to find it. The only fossils that seem to have this happen are ones that got buried quickly in soils/sediments containing heavy metals (think landslide) as the carcass was not exposed to scavengers or elements so the soft tissue didn’t get the chance to naturally decay. There is nothing strange about this. As for people on this site believing dinosaurs may still exit, they are right, they might. We have several animals living today who were contemporaries of dinosaurs, Crocs and Gators jump to mind.

    I understand that believing in something unchanging can be comforting, but the god of the gaps (we don’t know, so therefore god did it) isn’t really an answer. I would much rather have an honest “I don’t know” or “We think this is how it happened” than a vague invocation to an invisible being who blames his arch enemy for trying to deceive the faithful every time a fossil is found.

    We have records and evidence of civilizations that rose, thrived and fell over and over again. We have physical evidence for creatures millions of years old. We have bones and DNA from our own ancestors as proof that we have changed, that we are continuing to change. We can use the theory of evolution to predict were we go from here, just as we have used evolution to create antibiotics to defeat new mutations in bacteria.

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