Animal Planet Mermaids Hoax
‘Oh sweet sirens of the sea, how much the world does long for Ye’. While Animal Planet managed to achieve a record number of viewers for their most recent Mermaid documentary, there’s definitely a tongue in cheek attitude behind the project that deserves at least a degree of appreciation for pulling the whole stunt off. As much as the 3.6 million viewers who tuned into the documentary may have been hoping to get a good check out of Wanda’s fins, the fact is that the project was little more than a publicity stunt that has, weirdly, actually worked. Following up from last years Mermaid: Body Found, this episode promised not just startling new footage but also the support of respected marine biologists in the production of the show. This was enough to get the viewers interested, at least in a core demographic – it is estimated that half of the shows viewers were part of the influential 25-54 year old group (who tend to decide what goes on the tv). The show followed on from the first episode, and while promising much actually delivered very little of any significant note. Most of the pictures used were so ridiculously out of focus they could as well have been shot on a polaroid back in the early ’50s, making even the most dedicated Mermaid aficionado start to smell something a little, well, fishy. Even more so were the alluded to claims that one had actually been captured (detained?), yet for some unspecified reason it could not be displayed to the world. Right…. Maybe it’s because Mermaids have generally swam under the conspiracy theory radar for so long that people have suddenly thought to themselves – ‘hey, I forgot about the whole half lady half fish people, that sounds cool!’. While they have been a feature in popular folklore for many hundreds of years, Animal Planet were quite happy to allude that their presence has been known for a long time and is being kept under close government secrecy. Presumably the U.S government, of course, just like that whole Roswell incident that has itself now become a popularly believed fact despite a glaring lack of any real evidence. Eagle eyes viewers may have noticed though that there is a very quick little disclaimer in the most recent Mermaid hoax documentary that declared that the show is based upon ‘science theory’. What, exactly is the difference between this and science fiction? Sadly, the fact is pretty much nothing – much like Bigfoot and the Yeti, experts would love to make folklore come to fruition but are just as likely to stumble across King Kong or Godzilla. Perhaps it’s a little unfair to just accuse Animal Planet of making a fraudulent hoax upon their unsuspecting viewers. With all respect to the channel, if such a monumental discovery had been made it’s unlikely they would get such a scoop ahead of the rest
of the worlds media – but surely the vast majority of people who tuned into the show realized this already. But hey, theres nothing wrong with a little escapism once in a while, but maybe Animal Planet ought to get back to what it really does best.