A United States government scientific research agency has said that there is no evidence supporting the existence of mermaids, locally known here in Nigeria as ‘mami-water’.
This unusual announcement by the US National Ocean Service comes after viewers of a Discovery Channel-Animal Planet Network documentary on the mythical ‘half woman half fish’ creature mistook the TV programme for a real life documentary.
At least two people had written to the agency inquiring about the creatures existence.
“No evidence of ‘aquatic humanoids’ has ever been found,” the US agency wrote in an online post.
Mermaid is the common name for a fabled aquatic creature, typically depicted with the head and torso of a girl or woman, and the tail of a fish. Mermaids appear in the folklore, literature and popular culture of many countries worldwide. The masculine equivalent is called a “merman”, -Wikipedia
The National Ocean Service posted an article last week on its educational website, Ocean Facts.
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.
The article was written from publicly available sources because “we don’t have a mermaid science programme”, National Ocean Service spokeswoman Carol Kavanagh told the BBC.
The inquiries followed May’s broadcast of Mermaids: The Body Found, on Animal Planet.
The programme was a work of fiction but its wink-and-nod format apparently led some viewers to believe it was a science education show, the Discovery Channel has acknowledged.