Last night, I watched a Discovery Channel special on mermaids entitled: Mermaids – The Body Found. I was so excited. I’d watched the original special and kinda was disappointed that no conclusive evidence came forth. This time, though, they promised hard evidence of mermaids’ existence.
I’ve loved mermaids as long as I can remember. Not like a creepy, stalkerish love or anything. The ocean has a special place in my heart and I used to wish fervently to turn into a seagull. As a kid, though, they seemed to have the life. They could bob in the waves. They could fish for food whenever they got hungry, bracing themselves on stiff ocean breezes. They waded and swam and perched on cliffs and rocks, all within reach of the cradle, endlessly rocking. They seem to me like the surfers of the bird world. “Dude! There’s a crab! Mine!” Then back to basking in the salty spray. Now that I know more about seagulls, not so much.
Mermaids, creatures of myth and legend, shared the underwater gloom. Mysterious and silent, they glided through the ocean’s currents, clad only in their hair. Beautiful yet elusive, our imaginative depictions look nothing like the creatures found in the TV show.
The theory that there might be another marine mammals started with the Navy doing sonar testing off the coast of Washington state. Several whales beached themselves. But it wasn’t only whales. The pictures, let alone the live footage of the beached merman, gave me the heebie-jeebies. I mean, great, they exist! And ick! They look like Gollum with a fin!
The whole thing left me conflicted. The evolutionary evidence pointed towards humans who adapted to the water, finding their food and their home there. They traveled with whales, playing and hunting with dolphins. Who wouldn’t want to swim with dolphins and be in sync with those amazing creatures?
What I want to know now is why do mermaids still have noses *and* blowholes? How could they hunt anything 1000 meters down? How did they make wooden handheld harpoons? Hello? Anyone else see the holes I do? What of the “bloop”?
I found myself sucked into the whole thing. I learned later -the next day – that it was a fake-u-mentary. They faked all the “evidence”, though the issues with sonar testing are real, if dated. I guess my middle name is gullible. The whole thing was made to look genuine, with actors playing NOAA scientists and marine biologists and such. I also found out it originally aired back in June. I’m just a teensy bit behind. I wasn’t really angry, but I felt duped. Never a good feeling, especially when I Googled it pre-coffee. I did grit my teeth, briefly.
The scientists who contributed to this farce and desperately wanted it to be real would like to think we’re not alone as a species. They’d like to think we have kin riding the waves and swimming with the sea mammals. Who’s gullible?! Meh. I’m thinking we probably are alone. But I will say a part of me is secretly relieved. I’d like to think, if they are out there, those darling denizens of the deep are keeping their secrets and thus their safety.